The U.S. men’s basketball team dropped its second consecutive exhibition game on Monday, losing to Australia 91-93.
With back to back losses, Team USA has seen its Olympic odds shorten from -1000 to -600 at BetMGM.
Prior to this version of the team, Team USA had a 54-2 record in exhibition games since 1992.
When Team USA lost to Nigeria a couple of days ago, it came as a shock. But when they lost for the second straight game to Australia, it may be alarming.
For 10,581 days beginning July 21, 1992, an NBA-led Team USA lost only twice in a total of 56 exhibition games played. However, in a span of three days since Saturday, they have equalled their loss total in the previous 29 years, and have done so in back to back games.
The Americans are the heavy betting favorites to win the gold medal in the men’s basketball competition at the Tokyo Olympics. But after losing their first two exhibition matches, the best basketball betting sites might have to adjust those lines.
Team USA was a -750 betting favorite at FanDuel to win the Olympic gold medal last week:
Updated Olympics odds for men’s basketball, via @FanDuel pic.twitter.com/b5LOw9lug6
— Cameron (@CTabatabaie) July 9, 2021
Those odds might become narrower when the odds boards are updated after Monday. At BetMGM, Team USA has gone from a -1000 at opening to -600 after Monday.
Australia Was a +425 Underdog
Australia beats Team USA 😳
AUS +425 💰 pic.twitter.com/YoQi6yNzAW
— SportsLine (@SportsLine) July 13, 2021
Sure, last Saturday’s loss to Nigeria was the bigger upset because the D’Tigers were +2500 betting underdogs against the Americans. In fact, William Hill U.S. had Team USA as a -28.5 point betting favorite to beat Nigeria but not only did the Americans not cover the spread, they lost the game outright.
On Monday, the Aussies were expected to give them a challenge, But at +425 at the Moneyline and a -16 point spread favorite at the Las Vegas SuperBook, they were not expected to beat Team USA, especially since the Americans were supposed to be fired up after losing to Nigeria.
Instead, the Aussie men’s national basketball team led by NBA veterans Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, and Matthew Dellavedova played a gritty game and ended up beating the Americans 91-93 before a stunned crowd in Las Vegas. Mills led the way with 22 points while Ingles added 17 and Sixers guard Matisse Thybulle contributing 12 points, three assists, three steals, two rebounds, and two blocks.
New Team, Same Expectations
New team, same expectations.
The 🇺🇸 #USABMNT Olympic numbers are in 🙌 pic.twitter.com/W3aecRZpxw
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) July 5, 2021
While this current version of Team USA doesn’t have LeBron James or Steph Curry, it isn’t lacking in talent either. The team is led by NBA superstars Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, and Jayson Tatum. They are ably supported by veterans Draymond Green, Kevin Love, Bam Adebayo, and Jerami Grant. Sure, Devin Booker, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday are still playing in the NBA Finals but the holdovers resemble an NBA All-Star team.
But this team was hastily formed, as was their predecessors. But while past versions of Team USA were able to get away with their lack of chemistry and teamwork, this one has not, maybe at least not yet. But with the Tokyo Olympic tournament preliminary round beginning on July 24th, there isn’t enough time for a honeymoon.
The United States has won the last three men’s basketball Olympic gold medals and since professionals were allowed to play in the Summer Games, the Americans have failed to win just once, in Athens where they settled for the bronze medal after losing to Argentina in the semifinal round. It may be too early to judge Team USA but after two exhibition games, it’s safe to say they’re on shaky ground.