Main basketball tournament among men in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics will take place from July 25 to August 7 at Saitama Super arena in Chuo-ku, Saitama, Japan. This Olympic event is the most unpredictable: the USA national team, which has dominated the Olympics, has some solid rivals in 2021.
USA basketball team in the 2021 Olympics
American squad is still the best national team in world basketball right now. But the Olympic Games may not be an easy walk for them.
Gregg Popovich’s men have lost 2 of the last 4 fixtures, and they have been clear favourites in each. Yeah, they lost against Australia (83-91), which is the third team of the FIBA World rankings, playing without two key players, who performed in the NBA final series. But the USA lineup looked much stronger than Australian. Also, they were beaten by Nigeria (87-90). Handicap of 3 points is too small to make a long-term conclusion, Nigerian basketball team is only 22nd in the FIBA World Ranking
There are no top-level rivals in their Group A: France, Czech Republic and Iran. This will help Americans finish their group first and get a weaker rival in the first round of the playoffs.
Gregg Popovich’s men to win the fourth Olympics in a row are priced with the odds of 1.25 (-400 American; ¼ Fractional). Chances are around 80%.
USA Olympic basketball team key players
The whole roster is full of stars, but there are players who should be noted.
Kevin Durant could be named the best forward in the current USA roster, but his recent club season was not as perfect as it could be. Durant finished the season with only 943 points on his account, though he skipped many matches. The Brooklyn Nets were second in the 2020-21 Eastern Conference but lost 3-4 in the series to Milwaukee. Anyhow, Durant is one of the main performers in the current USA Olympic team.
Damien Lillard finished the last NBA season with the third best points per match rate. He scored 1926 points in total and 28.7 points per game on average, so Lillard is sure to help his teammates.
Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton of Milwaukee Bucks, current NBA champions, are on the team as well.
Spain basketball team in the 2021 Olympics
Spanish squad is the second best team in the world according to the FIBA World Ranking. They should be the main opponents of the USA star-roster. While all American players have been finishing the last NBA season in their clubs, Spanish players trained and performed for their national team. They lost their last fixture against the USA, but it is a single loss in the last 8 for Spain. Also, they have won 2 fixtures against France, which is not in their best conditions, but is still a tough rival. Spain is the current champion of the FIBA World Cup.
Spain has more difficult opponents in the group stage. They will meet Argentina and Slovenia in Group C, who may be able to pull off a surprise win. La Roja to win at the Olympics comes with the odds of 10.00 (+900; 9/1). Chances are around 10%.
Spain Olympic basketball team key players
There are many players in the Spanish squad who showed incredible performance in the Euroleague. But one should be especially mentioned.
Ricky Rubio, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ guard, who finished the last season with 26.1 points per game rate. He was named MVP of the FIBA World Cup 2019, where he shined with his national team.
Australia basketball team in the 2021 Olympics
Australia won over each of their opponents in 2021. They beat New Zealand (81-51), Argentina (87-84), USA (91-83) and Nigeria (108-69).
Most of the current Australian roster consists of NBA players. And there are factors speaking in their favour too. Australia is in their best condition, and have no difficult opponents in the group stage. Australia to win in the Olympic Games 2020 is priced with the odds of 12.00 (+1100; 11/1), which equals an approximate probability of 8%.
Nigeria basketball team in the 2021 Olympics
The Nigerian basketball team lost against Australia (69-108), but won over Argentina (94-71) and the USA (90-87). Their current roster is not among the tops, and there are no world-class players in it, but Nigerians have shown that they can beat top opponents.
They will meet Australia, Germany and Italy in Group B. Nigeria’s chances to win group B are the second-highest, with the odds being around 6.25 (+525; 21/4). Odds in the outright betting market equal 34.00 (+3300; 33/1).
Other teams of the 2021 Olympic men’s basketball tournament
Slovenia finished the Olympic qualification with 4 wins and 0 losses. Sure, this team is among the top of the Euroleague, but there are 2 difficult opponents in their group: Argentina and Spain. Slovenia is second by the odds of winning Group C — 3.00 (+200; 2/1), with chances twice bigger than those of Argentina, but lower than Spain’s.
France had a streak of 4 losses in a row and have not won over top teams for 2 years by now. French team has some fine players, but they are bad at tactics. They are lucky to meet Iran and Czech Republic in the group stage. This will help them to qualify for the playoffs. France is second after the USA by chances of winning Group A — 7.50 (+650; 15/2).
Italy won over each of their rivals in the qualifiers for the Olympic tournament, but there were no high-level opponents apart from Serbia. Italy will meet Australia and Nigeria in the group stage, and their current form may not be enough to stop these teams. Italians are a little behind Nigeria by the chances of qualifying from Group B — 6.75 (+575; 23/4).
Argentina is the last strong team on the list. They are currently 4th in the FIBA World Ranking but come to the Olympics with a streak of 4 losses in a row. The Argentine team should qualify for the playoffs, but they are destined to have problems in the knockouts. Argentina is third to top Group C with the odds of 6.50 (+550; 13/2).
The Japan, Czech, Iran and Germany basketball teams are all sure underdogs of the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. In spite of their last results, they are still weaker than other participants, and have low chances to qualify for the Olympics knockouts. Germany is the most powerful among them, but this team was unlucky to get the most difficult group of all.
Tokyo 2021 Olympic men’s basketball schedule
Group stage. Round 1
Group stage. Round 2
Group stage. Round 3
Bronze and final matches