USA Basketball announced on Thursday that Bradley Beal will not play in the Tokyo Olympics.
Beal was placed in the health and safety protocols presumably after testing positive for COVID-19.
Team USA is still the -390 odds on favorite at FanDuel to win the gold medal in Japan.
The U.S. men’s basketball team suffered a big blow on Thursday when it was forced to replace Bradley Beal from the Tokyo Olympic team after he was placed in the COVID-19 protocols.
Report on Team USA’s health & safety protocol situation with Bradley Beal now out for Tokyo due to health & safety protocols + Jerami Grant going into them (w/@wojespn) https://t.co/RxGMkWs23E
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 15, 2021
As of this writing, USA Basketball is still working on naming a replacement for Beal. Finding talent isn’t the issue here because U.S.A. Basketball’s Olympic Pool is an abundance of talent. The main issue will be chemistry as the team will be shaken up after being hastily formed a couple of weeks ago.
Gregg Popovich on Bradley Beal missing the Olympics: “I’m dying for him. We all are. Since he was a little kid, this has been a dream of his. He was playing great. He was having fun being a big part of us coming together chemistry-wise. … It’s devastating.”
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) July 15, 2021
Head coach Gregg Popovich described Beal’s removal as “devastating”, saying that the Washington Wizards guard was playing great and was a big part of the team coming together chemistry-wise.
Beal had started for Team USA in their first three exhibition games and averaged 10.3 points per game on 10-21 shooting. After scoring just two points in his first ever game for the flag against Nigeria, Beal put up 10 points against Australia and then went on to lead the team with 17 points in their win over Argentina.
Aside from missing Beal on the basketball court, Pop said that it has always been Beal’s dream to play for the flag. He had that opportunity two years ago at the FIBA World championships in China but the was forced to pull out from the event due to family matters.
Beal’s Olympic teammate Draymond Green also echoed Popovich’s statement and even went on to say that Beal should get a gold medal if the Americans win.
Draymond Green believes Bradley Beal (out for the Olympics—COVID) should still receive a gold medal if @USABasketball wins it in Tokyo🏅@FortyEightMins || #TeamUSA 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/c80nGSfuN9
— Chris W. Crouse 🏙 (@NBACrouse) July 15, 2021
But while Green has a point and Team USA is still favored to win the gold medal, Dray may be looking to far ahead when he began talking about the gold medal.
Team USA’s Odds Have Tumbled
Updated odds to win the Men’s Basketball Gold Medal at the Olympics 🥇
Are you still riding with Team USA after dropping two in a row?
➡️ https://t.co/mZUdsWkMzR pic.twitter.com/JHjkqPG9jO
— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) July 13, 2021
The American men’s basketball team has always been a heavy favorite in international basketball tournaments since pros were allowed to represent their countries in 1992. But after being listed at -1000 when the Tokyo basketball tournament lines were opened, Team USA has seen their odds tumble at the best basketball betting sites after suffering back to back losses, even if they were only exhibition games.
Online sportsbook BetMGM adjusted their odds to -800 after losing to Nigeria. They were further relegated to a -600 after losing Australia. William Hill U.S. currently has Team USA as a -550 to win the gold with Spain in second spot at +750. Meanwhile, FanDuel has the shortest Team USA odds at -390 although it has Australia at +1000 and Spain at +1100.
The Americans’ opening game of the Olympics will be against France on July 25th. The BetOnline App has listed them as a -15.5 point and -1250 moneyline betting favorites to win that game. But remember that they were favored to beat Nigeria and Australia by more than that. Of course those were just exhibition games. But don’t forget they were 54-2 in such games prior to this year.