USA vs. Venezuela Olympic Basketball Betting Preview and Odds

Posted by Aaron . on August 8, 2016 in

The United States opened their Olympic tournament by demolishing China, 119-62. Venezuela does not look any more intimidating to the Americans. Last month, the two teams met in exhibition play, and even though the United States only shot 42.4 percent from the field (its worst in exhibition tune-ups to these Olympics) and only made 16 percent of their three-point shots, they still won by 35 points in an 80-45 hide-tanning. The Americans tallied more points in the opening quarter (20) than the Venezuelans put up in the entire first half (18).


USA vs. Venezuela Olympic Basketball Betting Preview and Odds

When: Monday, August 8, 2016, 6:00pm ET
Carioca Arena 1, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Live Stream:
NBC Sports Live Extra
Basketball Odds:
USA (-51.5)


Why should you bet on the Americans?


Ever since Olympic rosters were allowed to include professional athletes, the American “Dream Team” approach has put up a ton of points on offense. However, one element that makes this team even more intimidating than some of its predecessors is their suffocating defense. The Chinese were only able to make 35.7 percent of their shots in the opener. They turned the ball over 24 times, but they only scored 20 baskets. They lost by an 86-62 score to a Serbian team that isn’t all that competitive either. The United States has not one but two stellar centers in DeAndre Jordan and DeMarcus Cousins, as Jordan spends a lot of his time above the rim and Cousins simply uses his strength to own the paint.


Why should you put your money on the Venezuelans?


Well, this isn’t about a straight up proposition. Instead, this is a 51.5-point line. So we’re not writing about whether the Americans can win, but whether they can put up a score that is likely to come close to doubling the opposition’s output. They won by 57 against the Chinese, and the Chinese have a better interior group than the Venezuelans. Venezuela did hold the Americans to 80 points in exhibition play, and if they can frustrate the USA again early, and if the Americans are cold from the floor again, they could win handily — but still fail to meet this line.


Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

I liked the intense defensive effort that the US put up against China. I look for that effort to continue against the Venezuelans, but if the Americans cool off even a little bit, they fall below this gargantuan point spread. I can see this happening as the Americans wait for their true competition to show up in the medal rounds. I’m predicting a 104-56 win for the United States — and for Venezuela to cover.