USA vs. Spain Odds
|Moneyline||-500 / +360|
|Time||6 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday and via BetMGM.|
The United States men’s basketball team takes on Spain on Sunday evening in its final exhibition game before heading to Tokyo for the Olympics.
Unfortunately for the U.S., its roster has been in flux after Bradley Beal was ruled out of the Games after being placed in health and safety protocols. The Americans are also dealing with the absence of Jerami Grant, who was also placed in health and safety protocols. Although Grant will still be available for the Olympics, this is just one less player the US will have.
Making matters worse, Kevin Love withdrew from the team this week, leaving Gregg Popovich to scramble for replacements in the form of Keldon Johnson and JaVale McGee.
Nonetheless, the U.S. is hoping to win its third straight game after a dominant 108-90 victory over Argentina on Tuesday night. After back-to-back losses against Nigeria and Australia, the U.S. made easy work of Argentina and looks to continue to round into form.
While they rebounded with a victory over Argentina on Tuesday, the Americans will face a much tougher test against Spain, who are the reigning World Cup champions and rank second among all Olympic teams.
Despite the roster being in flux, oddsmakers have installed the US as 8.5-point favorites over Spain with a total of 178.5.
Let’s analyze both sides and find out where the value is.
USA Roster in Flux
The US men’s basketball team finally lived up to its potential on Tuesday night, making easy work of Argentina. Although I’m not particularly fond of this year’s Argentina team, the U.S. did what it was supposed to do, exerting its dominance over an inferior team. The Americans increased their defensive intensity, holding Argentina to just 38.4% from the field and 9-of-29 (31%) from behind the arc.
In addition, the U.S. also displayed its star power with Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, Zach Lavine, Damian Lillard and Bam Adebayo all scoring double-digit points. The U.S. as a whole shot 51% from the field and jumped out to a 15-4 lead just 3 minutes into the game, leaving no doubt of who the superior team was from jump street.
The U.S. won the rebound battle against Argentina 40-34, which will be key as it comes off a game in which Australia out-rebounded them 32-25 and outscored it 44-22 in the paint. Keeping Spain out of the paint will be key, and while Team USA changed up its starting lineup to include Jerami Grant for Jayson Tatum, Grant will be unavailable for Sunday’s game.
The biggest issues surrounding the U.S. have been the changes in their roster over the past week.
In addition to the aforementioned absences and additions, Jayson Tatum is listed as day to day with right knee soreness while Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker are still active in the NBA Finals. The United States will find itself shorthanded in Sunday’s exhibition against Spain.
Spain is one of the teams that the United States will likely be competing with for a medal in the Tokyo Olympics. Depending on your sportsbook, the Spanish are the second or third favorite to win the Gold Medal behind the United States and Australia. Spain is also the favorite to win Group C with Slovenia, Argentina and Japan behind them.
Unlike the United States, much of this group has played together for quite some time and the reigning World Cup champions has secured a medal in each of the last three Summer Olympics (silver 2008, silver 2012 and bronze in 2016).
Spain is 4-0 in their first four exhibition games, defeating both Iran and France twice, scoring 89.2 points per game while allowing just 67.5.
The Spaniards still have Marc Gasol and Pau Gasol, as well as active NBA players in Willy Hernangomez and Ricky Rubio and former stateside names like Alex Abrines and Rudy Fernandez.
Historically, the U.S. has dominated this Spanish team, going 12-0 and winning by an average of 22.6 points. Their recent matchups in the semifinals of 2016 and the gold-medal game in 2012 were much closer, however, and it’s clear that the gap between these teams isn’t particularly large.
Historical matchups between these teams are meaningless given the difference in teams. What makes this game so difficult to handicap is the based on how much the U.S. roster has been in flux.
Unlike other national teams, this team doesn’t have a lot of experience playing together and we’re already seeing this team in a bad spot, needing replacements as players are announced out due to health and safety protocols. I don’t think you can bet this U.S. team against a Spain team with a ton of experience playing together.
This is a pass for me, but if you have to take action, look to bet Spain live at the best number you can find.
Pick: Look to live bet Spain at a better number than +8.5