Kevin Durant and Team USA basketball got a challenging draw in the Olympic quarterfinals, squaring off against the defending World Cup champions Spain on Tuesday at 12:40 a.m. ET.
No, this is not an ideal tip-off time for those of us east coasters who wanted to watch what should be a competitive game, but it is ideal for bettors who want to put a couple of bucks on the game and not have to sweat out the results. Personally, I'll be fast asleep by the time this game is done, but will my betting account be richer? We'll find out.
USA Spain Olympic Basketball Odds
As soon as I saw the bracket, the first thing I did was check the odds at WynnBET to see if they think Spain can hang with Team USA. Spain is the No. 2 ranked team in the FIBA world rankings, so I assumed this would be a competitive game. Turns out the Vegas odds for USA-Spain indicate this will be a blowout.
Team USA is a -800 Moneyline favorite to beat Spain outright at WynnBET. That means you have to bet $800 to win $100, which is astronomical. It also means Vegas is giving Team USA an 88.9% chance of winning this game based on implied probability.
Obviously shelling out $800 to win $100 is of no interest to meager means men such as myself so I then looked at the line, which is how much a team is expected to beat another team by. WynnBET has several line options, but Team USA is set at -105 odds to beat Spain by 13 or more points. That means you bet $105 to win $100 if the US beats Spain by 13 or more. Ok, we're getting closer to something here.
The last thing I checked was the over/under, which is how many points both teams will score combined. Again, WynnBET has several O/U options to chose from here, but the odds that intrigued me the most was -115 for the combined score to be 179 points or more. In this scenario, you have to bet $115 to win $100 if the two teams combine to score 179 points or more.
USA Spain Prediction
Spain scored 88, 81 and 87 points in its three group games (85.3 average). The US scored 76, 120 and 119 points in its three qualifying games (105.0 average). The combined average is 190.3 points, which is more than 11 points over the 179 mark. However, and I'm throwing you a curveball here, I think this will be a low-scoring affair and my prediction is the UNDER at 179.5 points with odds of -110 (bet $110 to win $100).
I know, picking the under is weak, but I'm trying to make money, not make people happy.
The only way for Spain to win this game is to slow things down. They're older, don't have a superstar scorer (Ricky Rubio leads team in points) and rotate 11 players in their lineup. They can't keep up with Team USA in a scoring contest. In an elimination game, their best hope to win is playing an ugly game with tough defense and no easy baskets. That's what I think this will be, with Team USA winning by around 10, but the score to be something like 87-76, which is far below the 179 mark.
So that's my pick for this game. Take the under and go to sleep dreaming of missed shots and long possessions. Then see what happens when the morning arrives. Either way, you won't have to sweat it out.