France vs USA
July 25, 2021 8:00 am EDT
The Line: USA -12
(Get latest betting odds)
France and USA meet Sunday morning in the 2020 Olympics in a basketball meeting at the Saitama Super Arena. France is in its third straight Olympics and hopes to medal for the first time since 2000. USA enters the games as the overwhelming favorite to win gold, and looks to do so for a fourth straight appearance.
France has put together back-to-back sixth place Olympic finishes and is in its third straight Olympics since 1952-1960. France is riding a four-game losing streak, which includes three straight exhibition losses, so confidence could an issue out of the gate. As for the roster, France is led by NBA Defensive Player of the Year in Rudy Gobert. There are four other NBA players on Team France in Nicolas Batum, Frank Ntilikina, Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot and Evan Fournier. The rest of the roster includes one of the most decorated players in French history in Nando de Colo, an elite defender in Moustapha Fall and somebody with great size and limited NBA experience in Vincent Poirier. France may have issues at times scoring the basketball, but the defense is going to be high quality and give itself a real chance of advancing. There’s not a lot of weak spots on this France defense.
USA was hit or miss during the exbithion games in Las Vegas, as it lost to Nigeria and Australia. The United States finished strong with wins over Argentina and Spain, but there’s still question marks with this squad. Bradley Beal and Kevin Love are no longer apart of the roster. The good news is Khris Middleton, Devon Booker and Jrue Holiday are with the team with the NBA Finals complete. Throw in Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum and Bam Adebayo, there’s no team in this field that has the top tier talent to match Team USA. It’s just about forming chemistry and playing to the potential on paper.
USA has won three of the last four meetings against France, but that lone loss was in the last meeting in the 2019 World Cup quarterfinals.
France is going to be really good defensively and has the ability to slowdown the US as well as any team in the field. The issue is at the other end of the floor. The United States should also be better with more practice time under its belt and the additions of three high level players. We should see the best version of the US yet.
I’ll lay the chalk with the Americans.