USA vs. Serbia Olympic Basketball Betting

usa-serbia-bettingIt’s little surprise that Team USA is in the finals of the Rio Olympic basketball tournament. The US men have been heavily favored to win gold, and they’ve won every game up until this point.

The Americans cemented their place in the final with an 82-76 win over Spain. Pau Gasol had a strong 23-point game against Team USA, but the Americans kept the distance by preventing the Spaniards from big runs.

Serbia looked more impressive in their semifinal contest, beating the Australians by a score of 87-61. The Serbians were dominant from the opening tip, bolting out to an 8-0 run and never looking back. They held the Australians to just 14 first-half points in a dominant display of basketball.

The US is still expected to win the gold medal game, but Serbia showed that they’re still a team to be feared. Can they keep the game close and beat a +14.5 spread? Or will the Americans save their best for last in the gold medal game? Find out as we discuss the final of the men’s Olympic basketball tournament.

GTBets.eu line for USA vs. Serbia Basketball (August 21 at 2:45pm EST)
Serbia +14.5 (+700)
Team USA -14.5 (-1429)

Why USA Will Cover the Spread

Team USA hasn’t obliterated all their opponents like everybody expected. They won 3-point games over France and Serbia in group play, then notched a 6-point win over Spain. Nobody has wavered on the Americans’ chances of winning the gold medal, but these close games show that elite international teams can hang.

usa-serbia-betting-1One thing that the US needs to do is cut down on silly mistakes. They led Spain by a comfortable distance through three quarters, then began making foolish mistakes that allowed the Spaniards to stay in the game. Failing to box out Gasol, and traveling on a breakaway dunk highlighted the miscues.

But as they’ve always done, the US used their overwhelming talent down the stretch to pull away. DeAndre Jordan was dominant in the paint and eventually tired Gasol out. Klay Thompson scored a team-high 22 points and provided much-needed outside shooting.

Spain will probably be the toughest test that the Americans face in this medal round. They have the talent to overwhelm Serbia, like they’ve done with other opponents. As long as they don’t play isolation basketball, and stay tight on defense, they could pick up a big win.

Why Serbia Will Cover the Spread

While the Serbians were ranked sixth in FIBA’s basketball rankings before the Olympics, they were a little underestimated going into the medal round. Serbian got a close 86-83 win over their rivals Croatia, but they absolutely dominated the Boomers en lieu of the gold medal game.

usa-serbia-betting-2Milos Teodosic led this effort with 22 points and 5 assists, while three other players scored in double figures. What makes Serbia so good is that they move the ball well and find lots of good looks.

The Americans found this out the hard way as Serbia scored at will against them in a narrow 94-91 group-play contest. This game saw Nikola Jokic pour in 25 points in a losing effort.

Beyond the offense, Serbia has been good at shutting opponents down, as evidenced by the game against Australia. This will obviously be more of a challenge going into the contest with Team USA, but the Serbians won’t lack for effort on defense.

Most expect the Americans to triumph again in the gold medal game. But if Serbia plays their best basketball and frustrates the US offense, then they have a chance to keep the score close.

Prediction on USA vs. Serbia

Before the men’s Olympic basketball tournament began, many expected France, Spain, or Brazil to challenge the Americans for gold. So it’s surprising that Serbia will be the Americans’ last opponent – but not too surprising.

The Serbs play tough defense and move well on offense, giving them a chance to beat any international basketball power on any given night. Based on how they’ve played in the Olympics, Serbia has proven themselves to be a power on the international scene. With the gold medal on the line, expect the Serbs to keep this game within 10 points or less.

Score Prediction: USA 91 – Serbia 83
Betting Advice: Bet on Serbia to cover their +14.5 spread

Usain Bolt Dominates First 100m Heat

usain-bolt-2016-rioUp until now, swimmer Michael Phelps has grabbed most of the headlines at the 2016 Rio Olympics. But Usain Bolt recently took the track in his first 100-meter heat and has already stolen the show.

Bolt, who’s trying to sweep the 100m and 200m races again for the third straight Olympics, breezed through the first heat.

He posted a time of 10.07 seconds, which easily qualified him for the semifinals at 8pm EST on Sunday (Aug 14). The finals, which you can bet on here at GTBets, will take place at 9:25 EST on Sunday.

Bolt seemed to be toying with the competition, almost jogging the second half of the race. Bahrain’s Andrew Fisher (10.12 seconds) began to close on him, which prompted Bolt to speed up a little to secure the win.

“It wasn’t the best start,” Bolt said afterward. “I felt kind of slow.”

Almost 30 years old, Bolt is attempting to become the first man to win three consecutive 100-meter gold medals. It’s unclear whether he has another world record in him after dealing with a hamstring injury and inactivity.

For most mortals, this would be a death knell on a stage where one needs to be their best to medal. But Bolt is no normal athlete, and South African competitor Akani Simbine thinks that the Jamaican is once again the favorite to bring home gold.

“Most definitely,” Simbine said of Bolt’s chances of winning. “He’s the king. If he puts it together, he’ll win.”

Rodman Teltull of Palau, a Pacific Island Nation, told Yahoo Sports that he isn’t confident in his or anybody else’s chances of beating Bolt.

“I’m going to beat him,” said Teltull, before laughing and adding. “Ten years from now.”

Not everybody is ready to concede. American Trayvon Bromell, who qualified for the semis (10.13), isn’t intimidated by running against the world’s fastest man.

“I don’t really get excited about racing Bolt,” said Bromell. “I’m just here to do my job.”

Bromell and the other competitors will need to step up if Bolt runs anywhere close to what he’s capable of doing. The 6’5″ sprinter owns both the 100m world record (9.58) and Olympic record (9.63).

usain-bolt-olympicsBut given Bolt’s injury and limited training up until Rio, nobody’s sure how close he is to top form. However, Bolt’s first race showed that he’s at least within striking distance.

What’s more is that he also drew a full stadium in what would otherwise be a mundane day of first-heat qualifiers. Fans went crazy and numerous mobile phone cameras snapped photos of Bolt as he walked to the starting block. They also chanted his name and created a deafening sound.

It didn’t take Bolt long to win over the Brazilian crowd, as they also stomped their feet for him, and continued chanting up until the start of the race. There were also plenty of high fives in the stands after he cruised to victory.

“He just steps onto the track and the crowd goes crazy,” said Simbine. “It was wild. He brings a whole different atmosphere.”

Perhaps more than any runner at the Olympics, Bolt is a showman, which he showed by doing is patented bow-and-arrow move after winning.

Justin Gatlin, another medal hopeful, also appreciated the crowd and atmosphere.

“The crowd was great,” said Gatlin, who turned in the day’s best time at 10.03. “It’s the culture to party.”

Despite Gatlin’s fast time, this still seem’s like Bolt’s race to lose. He beat the fastest 100m field ever assembled in London – some of which are in Rio. The competition wasn’t even close, which makes one wonder if, four years later, anybody can dethrone the champion.

And what’s scary is that Bolt didn’t even feel his best.

“Hopefully tomorrow I’ll come out and I’ll feel much better,” he said.

Australia Basketball: A Good Bet in the Olympics

australia-basketball-bettingAs expected, Team USA has been rolling through Olympic competition with ease. But their 98-88 victory over Australia was anything but easy. It took a combined 26 points from Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving to put away this feisty group of Australians.

Since this loss, Team Australia has been praised for the close game. But center Andrew Bogut is one player who’s not celebrating because he knows the potential of this team.

“Everybody gets birthday cake like it’s the best day ever,” joked Bogut. “We’re disappointed. We lost. We’re not going to take small, moral victories.”

Australia has never won an Olympic medal in basketball. Despite featuring NBA players like Bogut, Aron Baynes, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills, they aren’t expected to win a medal either, sitting 11th in the FIBA rankings.

patty-mills-austaliaBut despite a mediocre ranking, the Boomers aren’t backing down from anybody. And if you’re into Olympic basketball betting, this could be the perfect underdog team for you to bet on moving forward.

“The first-ranked team, or the 50th-ranked team, we’re going to play them the same way,” said Ingles. “We’re not intimidated, we’re not scared of anyone and we hope we get another crack at them. We’re a really good group of guys. We’ve played together. We’ve got a helluva roster and we can match up with any team here. We’re going to play the same way, no matter what, we’re going to do what we do.”

The last time that Australia faced Team USA, they were clobbered by 33 points in the 2012 London Olympics. But this is a much different squad, one that has more maturity and talent than any previous Australian basketball team.

This maturity really shows in Australia’s offense, which, as SBNation describes, features bone-crushing picks from Bogut and tremendous off-ball speed from Mills. Here’s one excerpt that perfectly describes the offense’s strengths:

Together, Mills and Bogut form the bedrock of a system that combines speedy guards, multiple playmakers and big men that operate in the high post while flocking to anyone in the vicinity that can be picked off.

SBNation continues to diagram various pictures where Bogut’s screens are crucial to getting playmakers like Mills, Dellavedova, and Ingles open for shots.

What Australia showed against the US shouldn’t be a surprise since they beat both fifth-ranked France and sixth-ranked Serbia in their first two contests.

Considering that the Boomers are taking the Olympic basketball scene in Rio by storm, they might continue to be undervalued on lines. Of course, that won’t happen any time until after group play because they close out their schedule against China and Venezuela, two teams that’ll be heavy underdogs.

matthew-dellavedova-australiaProvided they make it out of group play as expected, they’ll face some of the other international basketball superpowers that are battling for a medal. Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, France, and Spain all have good teams. But if we’re judging based on the first three games of group play, Australia has looked better than all of them.

What’s crazy to think is that, considering how Dante Exum, Ben Simmons and Thon Maker didn’t play this summer, the Boomers only look to get better.

“The future looks very bright,” said head coach Andrej Lemanis. “The Australian development system, it’s been coordinated and organized. That work is all starting to show itself in the quality of player that is coming through. It’s exciting.

“And, the other thing with Australia’s cultural mix as well, the athlete that is starting to come through as well, is changing the landscape a little bit.”

But even without these players, Australia is alive and well in the hunt for a medal. If you’re thinking of betting on them through GTBets, here’s a look at their remaining group play schedule:

Saturday, August 13th: Boomers vs China @ 3.15am
Monday, August 15th: Boomers vs Venezuela @ 1.15am

2016 Olympics Basketball Betting: Team USA Overwhelming Favorites

team-usa-argentinaUnfortunately for Team USA basketball, elite players like LeBron James, Steph Curry, Chris Paul, and Kawhi Leonard will skip the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. But this won’t affect their odds of winning, though, since they’re overwhelming gold-medal favorites.

Vegas sportsbooks have the team at 1-10 odds of winning, which is vastly better than the two next-closest teams – Spain (10-1) and France (10-1).

What’s impressive about Team USA being such big favorites is that many of their top picks declined to play for reasons ranging from injury to the Zika virus. Aside from the players mentioned above, others who said no include Blake Griffin, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis.

Despite fielding a so-called “B Team,” the Americans will trot out a talented roster that includes 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant, 2-time Olympic gold medalist Carmelo Anthony, and 2016 NBA champ Kyrie Irving.

Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo, who went deeper into the reserve talent than he expected to, told Reuters that he’s please to have such a deep talent pool.

“We are blessed with a lot of talent here in the USA, we have the ability to withstand players dropping out for various reasons,” said Colangelo. “With the depth of our national team roster we were able to select a very strong team.”

Players who’ll be joining Anthony, Durant, and Irving in Rio include DeAndre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMarr DeRozan, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, Kyle Lowry, and Paul George. The players will compete in the Olympic Games from Aug. 5 to 21.

With an interesting mix of outside shooters (Butler, Durant, Irving, Lowry, Thompson), low-post presences (Cousins, Jordan), and all-around players (Anthony, Barnes, DeRozan, George, Green), this team has all phases of the game covered.

The lone problem for Colangeo’s roster is the lack of Olympic experience because only Anthony and Durant have played on this stage. It’ll be head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s job to prepare the other players for what to expect in Rio, despite their immense talent advantage.

Kzyzewski, who’s won 5 championships at Duke University, has had great success with USA basketball, winning gold at the 2008 and ’12 Olympics, as well as the 2010 and ’14 FIBA World Cups.

As a whole, Team USA boasts a 17-game win streak that dates back to winning the bronze medal game at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Colangelo took control of US basketball operations following this disappointing third-place effort, instilling a more-detailed program that sees NBA players involved at all stages of qualifying. Before this, Team USA relied on putting together talent before the Olympics and forming a team concept shortly before the tournament.

team-usa-olympic-oddsTeam USA is currently on a 63-game international winning streak, and sits at 75-1 overall in Colangelo’s tenure.

The only time that a Colangelo-constructed team lost was in the 2006 World Championship semifinals, when a less-talented Greek team beat a squad that boasted Anthony, James, Dwyane Wade, Tim Duncan, and Paul.

“That loss proved the point that on any given night a team that hits their shots, makes their free throws, doesn’t turn the ball over and you miss your free throws and turn the ball over (a loss) can happen and it did happen,” Colangelo said.

He added that this game was a turning point with how Team USA now approaches Olympics basketball. They haven’t lost in over a decade since that game.

The current group that’ll head to Rio may not be the 1992 “Dream Team,” which is considered the greatest collection of basketball talent ever assembled. But this will be a well-prepared group of excellent players.

“There is certainly enough shooting, a couple of players are outstanding shooters. Durant and Klay and Kyrie are three of the outstanding shooters in basketball,” explained Colangelo. “Each Olympics is a challenge and each one is a little bit different.

“Our biggest rival is ourselves. If we take care of business, if we maintain our focus, if we keep our eye on the prize then all things should work out because of our talent and coaching.”

Other teams that are expected to contend include France and Spain. France is especially formidable since they feature Evan Fournier (Orlando Magic), Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets), Boris Diaw (Utah Jazz), Rudy Gobert (Jazz), and Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs).

Spain will boast a roster that includes Pau Gasol (Spurs), Nikola Mirotic (Chicago Bulls), Willy Hernangomez (New York Knicks), Sergio Rodriguez (Philadelphia 76ers), and Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves).

2014 World Cup Final Betting: Germany vs Argentina Preview

germany-vs-argentina-world-cupWhat began with 32 teams is now down to just two as Germany and Argentina will meet in the 2014 World Cup Final. If you’re looking to watch the much-anticipated match and/or do some 2014 Word Cup Final betting, keep in mind that it kicks off at 3pm ET tomorrow (July 13th).

The Germans are really coming into this match with some major buzz after their 7-1 dismantling of Brazil. The host country was shell-shocked as Germany quickly scored four goals within the first 10 minutes, then cruised to the biggest World Cup semifinal blowout in history. Sure Brazil was without Neymar and Thiago Silva, their two best players, but this team was still expected to put up a fight in front of their home crowd.

As for Argentina, their path to the Final was much more discreet. First, it took them extra time to earn a 1-0 victory over Switzerland in the round of 16. They then earned another 1-0 win over Belgium in the quarterfinals. Their run was completed after playing the Netherlands to a scoreless draw, then winning 4-2 on penalty kicks. Compared to the shocker that Germany delivered the day before, many considered Argentina’s victory to be a pretty mundane affair.

Given everything that we’ve discussed up to this point, it should be little surprise that the Germans are favored on many 2014 World Cup betting lines, including ours at GTBets.eu. But is this team really such an overwhelming favorite to win their fourth-ever title at the World Cup? Or will Argentina be hoisting their third-career Cup trophy? Let’s try to make some sense of it all by looking at the following points.

Germany has their Full Lineup

germany-vs-argentina-world-cup-1One thing that really goes in favor of the Germans is that their team is healthy. The match against Brazil was far from grueling, which means that we’ll see the same fearsome lineup, including record-breaking striker Miroslav Klose along with Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil providing support. About the only injury problem with this team is Defender Mats Hummels, who’s dealing with tendinitis but is still expected to start.

As for the Argentines, they’re not in as bad of shape as Brazil was, but they still have some worries ahead. Midfielder Angel Di Maria is doing some light training now, but he’s not expected to start because of a thigh injury. Left-back Marcos Rojo has a sore ankle and was very limited in Friday’s practice, although he’s expected to play. On the bright side, forward Sergio Aguero is now healthy and available to start in place of Ezequiel Lavezzi or Gonzalo Higuain.

Argentina has History on their Side…Just Not Recently

If you want to factor history into Germany vs Argentina betting, then the latter has an edge here. The two sides have played 15 international matches against each other, with Argentina getting the better end at 9 wins to 6 losses.

In more recent times, though, Germany has had the upper hand. Playing on their home soil at the 2006 World Cup, the Germans defeated Argentina on penalty kicks. At the 2010 Cup, Die Mannschaft completely dominated the Diego Maradonna-coached Argentines to the tune of 4-0. This humiliating loss convinced Maradonna to step down as the international team coach. Taking this loss into account, could Argentina be focused on revenge?

Both Players have Star Power

lionel-messiAlong with Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi is one of the world’s top two soccer players. And he’s done nothing to disprove this thought by scoring four goals at this year’s World Cup, tying him for third with Neymar.

But don’t expect Germany to be starstruck because they have elite players of their own. Thomas Muller has scored five goals thus far, ranking second behind Columbia’s James Rodriguez. There’s also André Schürrle and Miroslav Klose, who’ve scored 3 and 2 goals respectively. Klose’s two goals have allowed him to become the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer with 16.

So who’s going to win?

Germany comes into this match with the complete team that’s capable of domination, as they more than showed against Brazil. But Argentina plays good defense and is always a threat to score, thanks to Messi. So this definitely doesn’t look to be another opponent that Germany will steam roll. However, we still think that this is the Germans’ year and like the following to happen:

Germany wins by a score of 2-1

USA may lose Sochi Medal Count after Disappointing Hockey Loss

us-olympic-medal-count-sochiOver the past few days, it’s been tough to keep track of who’s on top in the Sochi Games’ medal count. With a blaze of events finishing up both while we’re all sleeping and awake, The Netherlands, United States, Norway, Canada and Russia have been at or hovering around the top. Russia’s rebounded after a sluggish start to grab the top spot with 29 medals, versus second-place United States’ 27 medals so far.

Of course, these two may fall from the top within the next few hours of this being written the way that things are going. And things are getting very tight with less than 10 of the original 98 events left to conclude.

If the USA wants to make up ground on Russia and claim the medal count, they’re going to have some work to do in the remaining few events. They took a major hit earlier today after losing the third-place hockey game to Finland by a score of 5-0. This was a demoralizing loss since America could’ve inched closer to Russia by beating Finland and winning a bronze medal.

This definitely wasn’t to be, though, as the Finns controlled the game from start to finish, taking a 2-0 lead into the third period. The last period is when the floodgates opened as Finland tacked on three more goals against a battered US squad.

The gold medal hockey game will be decided by Sweden and Canada tomorrow, the latter of which, we mentioned, is still in the hunt for the most medals. Many think that Canada could make a late run since they’re guaranteed a hockey medal and have a strong chance to pick up more in the men’s long-track speedskating pursuit, four-man bobsled and snowboard parallel slalom. Of course, they have 24 medals, so they’ve got some major ground to make up.

Norway certainly can’t be counted out of the discussion either because they have 26 medals and the opportunity to get more in the biathlon and cross country events. The US will also be trying to overtake Russia, with their defending champion four-man bobsled team chasing a gold medal again. Meanwhile, the host country is hoping to hold on to their lead and maybe add another medal or two over the closing days. Here’s a quick look at the medal count as the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games wind down:

1. Russia: 11 golds, 10 silvers, 8 bronzes
2. United States: 9 golds, 7 silvers, 11 bronzes
3. Norway: 11 golds, 5 silvers, 10 bronzes
4. Canada: 9 golds, 10 silvers, 5 bronzes
5. The Netherlands: 8 golds, 7 silvers, 9 bronzes