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Betting on Olympic Basketball

Wondering how or where to bet on Olympic basketball? Wonder no more. This page is designed to answer those questions and bring you up to speed on the format of the basketball tournaments at the Olympics.

We discuss the different types of bets you can make and detail some records as a reference for what’s taken place on the hardwood in past Olympic Games.

For everything you need to know about betting on basketball at the Olympics, we’ve got you covered.

Olympic Basketball Format

12 teams qualify for the Olympic basketball tournament. Here’s how teams used to get there.

  • The reigning champions automatically qualified.
  • The host nation automatically qualified.
  • Seven teams qualified through regional championships.
  • Three teams qualified in the world qualifying tournament.

However, the qualifying procedure was altered in advance of the Tokyo Games. The defending champs and host nation still qualify automatically, while six other nations qualify via the FIBA World Cup of Basketball in 2019.

The final four slots are awarded to the four winners of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (held about a month before the start of the Olympics).

Once the 12-team field is set, the clubs are clustered into three different groups (A, B, C). Each squad competes against the others in their group (each team plays three games). Eight of the 12 advance to the knockout stage.

  • The top-2 teams from each group advance.
  • The 2 best third-place teams also advance.

If records are identical, head-to-head results followed by point differential are used as the tiebreakers to decide which teams move forward.

The remaining eight teams are placed into a bracket with the top-four teams seeded. A random draw is used to determine the exact seeding for the bottom-four teams.

A single elimination bracket then takes place over a five-day period. The last team standing wins the gold medal and the loser of the championship game is awarded the silver medal. The two losers of the semifinal matchups square off in the bronze medal game.

From start to finish, the Olympic basketball tournament lasts approximately 15 days.

NBA Rules vs. Olympic Basketball Rules
NBA Olympics
Game Length 48 Minutes 40 Minutes
Foul Limit 6 5
Court Size 94 x 50 ft 92 x 49 ft
Three-Point Line 23.75 ft (straightaway), 22 ft (corner) 22.15 ft (straightaway), 21.65 ft (corner)

Where to Bet on Olympic Basketball

Occurring just once every four years, you don’t want to miss your chance to bet on basketball at the Olympics. Most bookmakers provide Olympic basketball odds and let you bet on the individual games. Some sites offer a wider selection of wagers than others.

To capture the most competitive pricing and get a full range of what’s out there, stick to the following online betting sites.

Rank VA Betting Site Exclusive Bonus Get Started
#2 50% Up To $1,000 Visit Site Visit Site
#3 50% Up To $250 Visit Site Visit Site
#4 50% Up To $1,000 Visit Site Visit Site
#5 50% Up To $1,000 Visit Site Visit Site

Basketball betting at the Olympic Games doesn’t have to be complicated. These bookies are reputable and offer several banking options.

They post a steady flow of Olympic basketball bets before and during the tournament, including a bevy of Olympic props intended to keep bettors intrigued.

Before you even ask if the top Olympic basketball betting sites are accessible on a mobile device, the answer is yes.

You can place bets on your computer, phone, or tablet and enjoy a satisfying experience.

Types of Olympic Basketball Bets

Let’s dig into all of the options when it comes to betting on basketball at the Olympic Games. We’ll start with the same basic bets you can place for any NBA game.

  • Money Line – Betting on who wins the game outright
  • Spread – Betting on a team to cover the point-spread
  • Total – Betting on if the game goes over or under the specified total

Not all, but some online sportsbooks will generate odds with ­alternate spreads. For example, let’s say you’re aiming to back Argentina in a particular contest where they’re listed at -5 and odds of -110. You may also have the option to bet on Argentina -10 at +350.

Keep an eye out on odds for quarters, halves, and team totals. These betting markets are also available, they’re just not as prevalent as the ones listed above.

Olympic Basketball Futures

Once the 12-team field is set about a month before the Olympic Games get underway, Olympics basketball odds are released for the futures markets.

This is your way of betting on who wins the gold medal, and you should expect to see the pricing fluctuate during the exhibition period.

As the games get closer, odds to win the silver medal and bronze medal should start popping up.

Qualifying Tournament and Exhibition Games

Betting on Olympic basketball starts well before the torch is lit at the Opening Ceremony. The qualifying tournament takes place about a month before and is followed by a series of exhibition games (each team plays five).

In other words, a full slate of basketball betting at the Olympics is available for a six-to-seven-week every fourth summer.

Olympic Basketball Props

The range (and prices) of Olympic basketball prop bets will be different at each site so be sure to surf through your options.

Let’s say that the United States is pitted against France in a game. Here’s an idea of the types of props you could encounter.

Kevin Durant Total Points

Over 23.5-110
Under 23.5-110

Rudy Gobert Total Rebounds

Over 9.5-110
Under 9.5-110

For a deeper dive into betting basketball props, check out this guide that is chock-full of advice.

Previous Olympic Basketball Champions

Basketball was added to the Summer Games in 1936. There were no games in 1940 or 1944 due to WW2, and the 2020 Games in Tokyo were postponed until 2021 as a result of a pandemic.

Here’s a list of all previous Olympic basketball medal winners.

Year Gold Silver Bronze
1936 United States Canada Mexico
1948 United States France Brazil
1952 United States Soviet Union Uruguay
1956 United States Soviet Union Uruguay
1960 United States Soviet Union Brazil
1964 United States Soviet Union Brazil
1968 United States Yugoslavia Soviet Union
1972 Soviet Union United States Cuba
1976 United States Yugoslavia Soviet Union
1980 Yugoslavia Italy Soviet Union
1984 United States Spain Yugoslavia
1988 Soviet Union Yugoslavia United States
1992 United States Croatia Lithuania
1996 United States FR Yugoslavia Lithuania
2000 United States France Lithuania
2004 Argentina Italy United States
2008 United States Spain Argentina
2012 United States Spain Russia
2016 United States Serbia Spain

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The United States has dominated the competition, bringing the gold back to America on 15 out of 18 occasions.

In fact, the US has stood on the podium in every Summer Olympics aside from the 1980 games in Moscow.

Team USA has been incredible successful at the Olympic basketball over the years.

In terms of the total number of medals won in Men’s Basketball at the Olympics, the following table breaks down that information.

Olympic Basketball Medal Table (Men)
Nation Total Medals Gold Silver Bronze
United States 18 15 1 2
Soviet Union 9 2 4 3
Yugoslavia 6 1 4 1
Spain 4 0 3 1
Brazil 3 0 0 3
Lithuania 3 0 0 3
Argentina 2 1 0 1
France 2 0 2 0
Italy 2 0 2 0
Uruguay 2 0 0 2
Canada 1 0 1 0
Croatia 1 0 1 0
Serbia 1 0 1 0
Cuba 1 0 0 1
Mexico 1 0 0 1
Russia 1 0 0 1

CLICK TO CLOSE

It’s worth noting that both the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia teams are no longer active.

  • The Soviet Union last competed in the Olympic basketball tournament in 1988.
  • Yugoslavia bowed out of the Summer Games after 2000.

Olympic Basketball Records

Everybody loves records, and there are a handful of one’s worth mentioning.

We’ll start with the biggest margin of victory in an Olympic basketball game; a whopping 100 points. And it happened twice to the same team!

Iraq suffered a 125-25 beatdown versus China and a 120-20 throbbing against Korea – both at the 1948 Summer Olympics.

Check out some more basketball Olympics records.

Olympics basketball records
  • Highest Scoring Game: 229, United States defeated Nigeria 156-73 in 2012
  • Lowest Scoring Game: 27, United States defeated Canada 19-8 in 1936 (Championship Game)
  • Most Points Scored in a Single Game: 51, Oscar Schmidt (Brazil vs. Spain in 1988)
  • Most Consecutive Wins at the Olympics: 63, United States (1936-1972)

We’ll finish up with the leading points scorers at Olympic basketball.

Most Career Points at the Olympics
Player Nation Total Points Scored
Oscar Schmidt Brazil 1,093
Andrew Gaze Australia 789
Pau Gasol Spain 623
Wlamir Marques Brazil 537
Luis Scola Argentina 525
Manu Ginobli Argentina 523
Sergei Belov Soviet Union 475

Women’s Olympic Basketball Betting

Betting on women’s basketball at the Olympics

Making its debut in 1976, women’s basketball has been entrenched into the Summer Olympic Games ever since.

All of the same Olympic basketball bets you can place on the men’s side are available for the women’s side as well, although the prop section either won’t exist or it’ll be much less extensive.

As far as betting on who wins the gold and all the individual games, the online betting sites endorsed on this page will all offer these markets.

Much like the United States men’s team has been an unstoppable force throughout history, the American women have been equally as controlling.

Medal Breakdown for Women’s Basketball at the Olympics
Year Gold Silver Bronze
1976 Soviet Union United States Bulgaria
1980 Soviet Union Bulgaria Yugoslavia
1984 United States South Korea China
1988 United States Yugoslavia Soviet Union
1992 Unified Team China United States
1996 United States Brazil Australia
2000 United States Australia Brazil
2004 United States Australia Russia
2008 United States Australia Russia
2012 United States France Australia
2016 United States Spain Serbia

More Advice for Betting on Basketball

Did you find everything you need to be ready for Olympics basketball betting?

A look at past winners and some of the records shows us one thing for sure; the United States has essentially “owned” this tournament. That doesn’t mean you should always bet on Team USA, but it’s certainly something to bear in mind.

Outside of that important consideration, betting on Olympic basketball is much like betting on other forms of basketball. If you check out our basketball betting guide, you’ll find also sorts of useful information and advice that applies at the Olympic Games.

If you’re also interested in betting on other sports and events and the Olympics, our main Olympic betting guide covers most of them.