If you've been tailing my picks for Team USA during the knockout stage of the Olympic basketball tournament, you're now 2-1 and, depending on how much you bet, up at least a few bucks. We've hit on the under against Spain and Australia and, unfortunately, missed on the Team USA first-half spread against Australia -- they were actually trailing at halftime before blowing out the Aussies in the second half.
Now we're in the gold medal game of these men's basketball Olympics where Team USA faces France, which eked out a 90-89 win over Luka Doncic and Slovenia in the semifinal match. The French have several big-name players and a win over Team USA already under their belt, having beaten the Americans 83-76 in the qualifying round-robin tournament. That was a different Team USA, however, and I'm expecting a different result in this game.
USA vs France Odds
WynnBET has Team USA as a -900 moneyline favorite to win this game outright (bet $900 to win $100) and France a +565 underdog (bet $100 to win $565).
The U.S. is also a 12.5-point favorite on the spread with -110 odds (bet $110 to win $100) on both sides. [That means if you think the US will win by 13 or more points you pick them and if you think France will keep it within 12 points or fewer you pick them.]
The over/under (how many points the two teams will combine to score) is set at a conspicuously low 176 points with the over (-105) getting better odds than the under (-115). [That means if you think the teams will combine to score 177 points of more you take the over and 175 points or fewer you take the under. If they score 176 points exactly it's a push and you get your money back.]
USA vs France Prediction
A lot to digest in those standard odds, but I'm looking at another prop for my first bet. In the first game between these two teams, France outscored Team USA 25-11 in the third quarter. That turned a seven-point lead for the U.S. into a seven-point lead for France and they never looked back.
Since then, Team USA has outscored every opponent its faced in the third quarter and they blew out Australia by 22 points in the third frame in the semifinals. Coach Gregg Popovich had been under fire for his inability to adjust in game, but clearly that issue has been resolved. In a game with everything on the line, an in a sport where the winner is so often determined based on who performs better in that critical quarter following halftime, I expect team USA to continue that trend.
My first pick is Team USA -3.5 in the third quarter with -120 odds.
France is a great defensive team anchored by Rudy Gobert. They hadn't given up more than 77 points in the Olympics before the 89 Slovenia scored in the semis. They also held the U.S. to just 10-for-32 shooting from 3 in the opener. Since then the U.S. has shot 41%. That's why the over/under is set at just 176 points.
In previous stories I've thrown a curve here and gone against the trend. Today I'm doing the same and taking the over at 174.5 points with -120 odds. This is an alternate over/under total WynnBET offers in addition to the standard one and I feel more comfortable taking the over at this number than the under at 176 points. It may seem like a minor difference, but sometimes that single point does indeed make the difference.
The thought process is simply that Team USA is shooting better now than it did at the start of this tournament and will look to put up a big number on France as payback for their earlier loss. The French, meanwhile, are my bigger concern as they have averaged only 86.6 points per game in the Olympics. But my feeling is they'll score around 80 and team USA will break 100.
Fingers crossed on both and good luck to us all!