USA vs France Prediction: Olympic Basketball Gold Medal Game Picks
August 6, 2021
USA vs France is the gold medal game of the 2020 Olympic men’s basketball tournament in Tokyo. It is a rematch of the first group stage game for each team, in which France upset the United States as 12-point favorites. Since then, both teams have played better and better to make it to the gold medal game, and this contest promises to be one of the most exciting events of the entire Tokyo games.
USA vs France Men’s Basketball Betting Pick
Since their loss to France to open their Olympic campaign, Team USA has been excellent for large stretches of each game during the rest of this tournament. Despite slow starts against Czech Republic, Spain and Australia, USA Basketball has won each of their last four games by 14 points or more and looks like the obvious choice to win the gold medal here. But against France, they may not be able to afford to get out to the slow start Americans have become accustomed to seeing.
For the United States, perimeter shooting will once again be the key to their success. They made just 10 of their 32 three-point attempts in the first matchup with France, with their woeful shooting in that game costing them the top seed out of their group. Since then, the United States has provided plenty of fireworks from the perimeter, shooting 43% from beyond the arc over their last four games.
France didn’t exactly light it up from the outside themselves in their first meeting with the United States in this tournament. They made just eight of their 27 three-point attempts, but won that game with a defense that has been by far the best in this Olympic tournament. France has allowed over 80 points just once in this tournament, with that coming against a Slovenia team in the semifinals that played the fastest pace of any team in the tournament.
The French pose a tough matchup for the United States thanks to the presence of multiple defenders that make things tough for the Americans. Nicolas Batum can be a thorn in the side of elite scorers like Kevin Durant, while Rudy Gobert can clog up the paint in international play without fear of reprimand in the form of a defensive three-second violation. Throw in guards with way more experience playing under FIBA rules like Nando De Colo, and the French are a more than worthy adversary.
In the gold medal game, the biggest question is whether the United States can play four quarters of solid basketball, something that they have yet to accomplish outside of their blowout of Iran. And while the improvement of the United States in this tournament will be a focus for most, the fact that France beat the United States without blocking a shot and with a slim rebounding edge could spell trouble for the Americans here.
At the end of this gold medal game, the United States will likely be the ones celebrating a victory. But the French are simply a tough matchup for a team that still hasn’t put it together for a full 40 minutes. Expect France to make Team USA sweat, and for the French to cover the same 12.5-point spread that we saw in their first meeting, while the US wins the gold.
Olympic Basketball Betting FAQ
Who is the single most important player in this game?
Kevin Durant is always going to be the most important player for Team USA in any game, as his virtually unstoppable scoring abilities make him vital at every turn. Outside of Durant, Jrue Holiday has been important not just with his scoring, but with his passing, and will need to get the wheels turning to get France’s defense off-balance.
Who will win the women’s gold medal game?
The women’s gold medal game is expected to be an even bigger blowout than the men’s gold medal game. Team USA is somewhere in the neighborhood of a -5000 favorite to beat Japan, who surprised France in the semifinals of that tournament. With such a talented group, especially at the forward and center positions, the Americans should roll over the host nation there.
What is next for the players in this game?
Hopefully the players who take part in the gold medal game get some rest next, as many of them were competing deep into the NBA playoffs. But NBA season is just under three months away, and we won’t be without the stars from Team USA for very long before another season is upon us.