Spain’s Rudy Fernandez, left, fights for a rebound with United States’ Draymond Green (14) during a semifinal round basketball game at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
- Team USA has opened as the -300 favorite to win basketball gold at the Tokyo Olympics
- Damian Lillard and Draymond Green headline the early stars to commit to the Games
- Read below for the latest Olympic basketball odds
Team USA is heavily favored to win basketball gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Early news on Olympic commitments broke on Tuesday with Damian Lillard and Draymond Green leading the star names on the USA roster.
As ever, Team USA is expected to pick up the gold medal in the men’s basketball. They have lived up to that expectation in each of the last three Olympics.
Argentina’s triumph in 2004 is the only time the Americans have failed to win gold since 1988. FIBA World Cup disappointment in 2019 looms large for Gregg Popovich’s team, but this roster could be unrecognizable from the team which fell to Serbia in the classification semifinals.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Basketball Odds
|Team||Odds to Win Gold at DraftKings|
Odds as of June 15th
DraftKings Sportsbook Promo Gives Bettors 100-1 Odds on Any NBA Playoff Game
Damian Lillard is the biggest star currently committed to Team USA for the Olympics, but that could change. Lillard could once again be in the shadow of Steph Curry. The two-time MVP was reported to be ‘unsure’ on playing in the Olympics as recently as late May. Even on June 8th, Joe Vardon of The Athletic claimed that Curry is 50-50 on participating.
Curry has never played in the Olympics. He was not selected back in 2012, and following an MVP campaign and Finals run, opted to take the summer off for the 2016 Games in Brazil. With the Golden State Warriors missing the postseason, Curry may look more favorably on playing in Tokyo.
Steph Curry is reportedly “50-50” on whether he wants to compete for Olympic gold this summer in Tokyo.
Curry has never competed for Team USA in the Olympics through his career so far, but won two gold medals at the FIBA World Cup in 2010 & 2014.
(via @joevardon) pic.twitter.com/jP2Il25yZL
— ProCity Hoops (@ProCityHoops) June 8, 2021
Vardon doesn’t stop at Curry, however. With the Celtics suffering an early postseason defeat, it’s suggested that Jayson Tatum could bring yet more star power to the Team USA roster.
Other Names Could Follow
The prospect of Lillard, Curry, Green and Tatum might seem extremely ambitious. With the depth of talent in the NBA right now, though, a lot of top-tier players had their seasons end earlier than they would have liked. The congested schedule may put some off, like Zion Williamson, and those who play into late-June or even July are very unlikely to go to Tokyo.
Plenty have already been eliminated who could make a huge difference. Zach LaVine, Julius Randle and the Wizards’ All-Star backcourt all fall into that category. The same goes for Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who endured a difficult season with the Heat. Miami’s deep bubble run and disjointed season might put the Heat duo off extra competitive basketball, however.
DeMar DeRozan, Harrison Barnes and Kyle Lowry all won gold in 2016 – will that make them more likely to go for back-to-back wins? DeRozan and Lowry’s upcoming free agency could make them think twice.
Depth of Talent
Green and Lillard alone is enough to make Team USA heavy favorites. All eyes will be on Curry and Tatum, but even if Popovich doesn’t get any more All-NBA talent, there should be plenty of All-Star caliber players to choose from.
Injuries and deep postseason runs have taken some out of contention. Kemba Walker, Myles Turner and Mitchell Robinson can’t play, and it would be a shock if Devin Booker was available after the Suns booked their place in the Conference Finals. There’s still LaVine, Barnes, Malcolm Brogdon, Jarrett Allen, and Jerami Grant. Perhaps Trae Young is involved too, after being added to the roster in March.
The FIBA World Cup disappointment will make some bettors wary, and with good reason. This summer’s roster is going to have more high-end talent, though, and in Lillard, they have a player made for the pressure of the Olympics. The price might seem short, and it’s easy to see value in Spain and Serbia, but -305 is exactly what we’d expect.
Sam Cox is a freelance writer and sports junkie, who has spent the past several years immersed in the online gaming industry. He has worked with 888sport, Oddschecker, and Colossus Bets to name a few. Based in the UK, Sam also runs Franchise Sports with his brother.