The US basketball team has one of the toughest possible opponents waiting for them already in the Olympic quarterfinals – Spain. Gregg Popovich’s side recently met with this unit during the prep period and defeated the big rivals, against whom they played so many games over the past two decades. The US team has a certain edge over the Red Fury, but that doesn’t have to mean anything in this match. Pau Gasol and the boys are a very tough nut to crack, and just to remind you, Spain is the reigning world champion.
USA (-800) regained some of its mojo lost over the past few weeks. The losses to Nigeria and Australia, and more importantly, vs. France in the Olympic opener, undoubtedly damaged the morale of Popovich’s side and also gave wings to all other teams who now have less respect towards the NBA superstars than before.
It is why Durant and the boys wanted to beat Iran and the Czech Republic with a high score, to send a message to all other rivals that Team USA is still the best in the world. Iran was trashed, 120-66, and the result against the Czech Republic was 119-84.
Jayson Tatum is the best scorer on the American team with 16.3 points per each game, with the Celtics’ superstar adding 2.3 boards per match while shooting 71.4% for two. Kevin Durant averages two points fewer but is more useful because he grabs five boards per match and delivers 4.3 assists.
Spain (+500) lost to Slovenia in the decisive match for the first place in their assembly, which eventually led them onto the USA. Luka Doncic and the boys have defeated the Red Fury 95-87, in one very intense and exciting game. Spain had a double-digit lead in certain moments, but they couldn’t defend the quick ball movement of the Slovenians.
They would almost always have a player left in the corner alone, which eventually, turned out to be the biggest reason for Spain’s loss. That and the offensive rebounds Slovenia had in the key situations.
Prior to this event, the world champs beat Japan, 88-77, and their old rivals, Argentina, 81-71. as you see, their games are tough and without too many points, and even the one against the USA was in the same range.
Head to Head Games
The match in Las Vegas saw the US team beating Spain 83-76. We need to say that the Spanish side had a lead during the first half and also that its coach Scariolo often mixed the lineup, not playing with the starting five players too much.
The USA and Spain met both in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and the Americans triumphed on both occasions.
Now, the American team is a -12 point favorite, and once remembering what we said about sending a message to all other rivals, this seems to be a perfect chance for that. Spain is an old team, with many veterans who can’t follow the slow pace, and we saw that against Slovenia two days ago. Team USA will probably make a difference with its high tempo, and that is why we suggest being courageous in this case and betting on the USA’s win with the spread covered.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.