- Luka Doncic has been immaculate at the Olympics, arguably the best player at the competition.
- The United States is still favored to win the gold medal, with -275 odds to do so.
- Doncic’s Slovenia has rocketed up the odds boards, and is now the second most likely team to win the tournament in the eyes of sportsbooks.
TOKYO - The United States Olympic Men’s Basketball team took a tough loss to France in their first game in Tokyo. Meanwhile, Slovenia has been utterly fantastic under the stewardship of Luka Doncic, whose first Olympic game saw him score nearly 50 points.
However, given that these games are in the group stage, there’s still plenty of time left for changes to happen.
The United States opened as a -300 favorite to win gold, and that number went as high as -1000 before the loss to France.
Slovenia, meanwhile, has gone from being a relative underdog to being one of the most likely teams to win it all on the online sportsbooks.
Tokyo 2021 - Basketball Men Winner
- USA -275
- Slovenia +750
- Australia +900
- France +900
- Spain +1000
- Italy +3300
- Germany +6600
- Argentina +8000
- Nigeria +10000
- Czech Republic +20000
- Japan +25000
The United States’ odds to win have stabilized after a dominating victory over Iran put them second place in their group. For Slovenia, despite Doncic’s heroics, the problem is that they will, at some point, likely have to beat the United States.
As much as the United States has been playing poorly, they still have the most talent on the court in every game they play.
Losing to players like Guerschon Yabusele and Evan Fournier is not necessarily expected from a team with Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility either.
Patrick Ewing, who won an Olympic gold medal in 1992 as part of the Dream Team, noted that the rest of the world has closed some of the gap on the United States.
“It’s harder to play now because of the Dream Team,” said Ewing. “All of the current players grew up looking up to us and watching us dominate the rest of the world. But the rest of the world caught up. There are so many talented players. Some of the NBA’s top players today come from all over the world. It wasn’t like that back then.’’
Doncic, along with NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo, certainly falls into that category.
Despite Ewing’s warning, the United States is still the most favored team to win the tournament, and the sheer volume of talent that they have is still a notable advantage, even if top end foreign players have gotten closer and closer to the level of the United States.
Doncic’s heroics have been nothing short of superhuman, and have led to two comfortable victories for Slovenia. To the sportsbooks, however - and the online gamblers using them - those heroics are likely to end in the face of a United States roster constructed of NBA stars.