Olympic hoops quarterfinal preview: USA favored by 33 over Aussies

Aug 7, 2012 |
USA is now onto the quarterfinals as Group A’s No. 1 seed in Olympic men’s basketball. What has bettors more interested is that the Americans are 3-2 ATS in the tournament and have played over the total in all five contests.

Sportsbook.com has the U.S. listed as -2000 against the field heading into play Wednesday.

Here’s a preview of all four quarterfinals with odds:

USA vs. Australia (+33, 188.5)

Holding a 60-59 lead at halftime, the USA came out on fire in the second half, outscoring Argentina 42-17 in the third quarter to blow the game open and it cruised to a 126-97 victory to wrap up group play.

The Aussies went 3-2 in the preliminary ground and feature adept ball-handlers Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova. Mills, who ranks second in the tournament in scoring (20.2 ppg), drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift his squad to an 82-80 victory over previously unbeaten Russia on Monday. The Australians are long shots at +1600 to derail the defending Olympic champs.

Brazil vs. Argentina (-3.5, 159)

Brazil finished 4-1 in Group B, falling only to Russia by a single point. The Brazilians also knocked off group favorite Spain on Monday but are still +130 underdogs against Argentina.

Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola led Argentina to a 3-2 record in Group A. The Argentinians dropped games to the USA and France, but simply overpowered the lesser teams in the group to claim a spot in the quarters. They enter as 3-point favorites.

France vs. Spain (-6, 151.5)

It’s a shame that one of these teams will be leaving London without a medal.

Spain began the tournament 3-0 and then fell to Russia and Brazil. Despite the back-to-back losses, the Spaniards are 6-point favorites to prevail over France. They’ll be counting on Pau Gasol, the tournament’s leading scorer (20.6 ppg), to propel them to the semis.

After suffering a substantial loss to the USA in its opener, France swept the final four games of group play, but enters as +235 underdogs. France will need a superb game from Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum, who unquestionably have the speed and talent to exploit Spain's dodgy perimeter defense.

Russia vs. Lithuania (+7.5, 154.5)

Lithuania's signature game in group play was a loss. They gave the Americans a scare, eventually falling 99-94. It was the smallest margin of victory for the U.S. thus far in the Games. Despite the spirited effort, Lithuania is a +290 dog to knock off the Russians.

Russia’s 4-1 record has earned them top spot in Group B. The Russians were a perfect 4-0 before bowing to Australia in a game that had no seeding implications. They are 7.5 favorites over Lithuania.

Olympic semifinal play is scheduled for Aug. 10, and the finals are on Aug. 12.

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