USA vs. France – Olympic Basketball (July 25, 2021)
Team USA has arrived in Tokyo and has begun preparing for France. Well, most of the team anyway. Four members of the 12-man squad (Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Devin Booker, Zach LaVine) weren’t on the flight to Japan but hope to rejoin the team by the time the torch is lit.
Considering the French National Team downed the Americans in Shanghai at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the United States needs all the help they can get.
With the July 25th tilt on deck, let’s dive into a USA vs. France betting prediction.
USA vs. France Odds
This line was sitting at USA -14.5 just a couple of hours before the Red, White, and Blue boarded their charter flight on Monday. Once the news broke that Zach LaVine’s status could be in limbo, “14.5” had vanished, and the line was reduced to 12.5.
The original total (180) also received a slash.
When it comes to betting on the USA vs. France basketball game, picking a side (money line or spread) and attacking the total are just a few of the ways to get money down. As introduced in this guide to betting on Olympic basketball, you can dabble into quarters, halves, alternate point spreads, and team totals. Along with a litany of player props.
Why USA Can Cover the Spread
Getting upset by an upstart team from Nigeria is old news. After a slow start in Vegas, Coach Pop rallied his troops and got them playing the type of basketball we know they’re capable of.
The Americans stifled the Spaniards all night long, forcing 20 turnovers. They held the Gasol brothers and company to just 76 points on 38.3% shooting. Damian Lillard was the catalyst with 19 points and four steals, while newcomer Keldon Johnson provided a major boost (team-high +18 +/-).
And remember, this team is about to get much more potent.
Devin Booker is a bonafide scorer who will take pressure off KD and Dame doing all the heavy lifting. Adding a playmaker like Jrue Holiday will ensure the offense doesn’t get stagnant. Tossing Khris Middleton into the fray – a glue guy who can do everything – is simply the cherry on top.
What About France?
In my assessment of the United States Olympic basketball roster, the lack of size in the post immediately stands out. That concern was confirmed when Spain outrebounded the US 42-29; it grows when you account for the length France has at its disposal.
Head coach Vincent Collet can try and slow the game down (not the way the United States wants to play) by dumping the ball into Gobert in the post. France has a handful of capable scorers on the perimeter who won’t be intimidated by the American star power. Nic Batum shot over 40% from downtown for the Clippers this past season and has a wealth of experience competing at the International level. Evan Fournier clocked in at 41.3% from beyond the arc in 2020-21 and averaged more than 17 points per game.
Spending the final 16 games in a Celtics uniform following a trade from Orlando, Fournier connected on over 46% of his three-point attempts.
The United States unquestionably has lots of vigor on the roster, but don’t get it twisted. France has plenty of firepower of its own.
USA vs. France Betting Prediction
I addressed the fact that the Americans got off to a slow start during exhibition play. However, big wins over Argentina and Spain combined with bolstering their roster with new faces mean USA will saunter into the Summer Games riding positive vibes.
What I didn’t speak to in this United States vs. France basketball preview was what the Frenchmen have been up to in their preparation for Tokyo.
- Lost to Spain on July 8th (86-77)
- Lost to Spain on July 10th (87-79)
- Lost to Japan on July 18th (81-75)
What’s glaring about France’s 0-3 record is a six-point loss to the host nation. For some perspective, Japan is listed at +19000 to win Group C and +100000 to win the Gold. They’re sitting 11th out of 12 teams in these Olympic basketball power rankings.
One club is surging into form; the other is searching for a rhythm. Plus, instead of coughing up 14.5 points in a USA vs. France pick (at the outset), now we only have to lay 12.5.
It’s time to start chanting, U-S-A, U-S-A!