London 2012 Olympics - USA Men's Basketball - Finals
Gold Medal Game - USA vs. Spain
The 2012 gold medal match for Men’s Basketball will be a repeat of the 2008 Beijing Olympic finals. USA advanced to this year’s gold medal game after putting up a healthy win over Argentina, 109-83, while Spain came back from behind on Russia to win 67-59. USA is undefeated this year having cruised its way through this Olympic tournament, never anything but the favorite. Spain on the other hand has had to battle its way to this game first beating France in the Quarter Finals, then, defeating Russia (who beat them in the Group Stage) in the Semi-Finals.
USA is the favorite to win the gold medal game. The point spread is 21 points while the over/under is 190 ½. There will be a number of team props for this game and two of which are the individual team over/unders. The over/under for total team points for USA has been set at 106 then Spain has been given 84 ½ points. One has to wonder where the 84 ½ points are going to come from since Spain has only once scored that many points in this year’s tournament; and that +84 point game was against China. So the numbers may be high for total team points for Spain. Now in pre-tournament play Spain and USA met in a friendly where the Americans won 100-78. But during the tournament USA has averaged 116.7 points per game. So even if Spain only reaches 75 points and the USA hits their average the over/under for the gold medal game is low.
The point spread might be low too. The Americans have won by an average of over 30 points this tournament. Coming into the Olympics Spain and Argentina were the second and third favored teams; USA beat Argentina both times by more than 21 points. Furthermore, considering how much Spain struggled against Russia it is hard to see them having a great deal more success against the dominant Team USA.
This will be an extra special game for USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski who helped USA rebuild their program, win gold in Beijing, then win the World Championship last year. If the Americans win the gold in London that would be the first time the team has won three majors in a row. Krzyzewski has announced his retirement after this year’s gold medal game.
Bronze Medal Game - Russia vs. Argentina
These two teams have yet to meet in the Olympics this year so it would be difficult gauge how they will matchup; the only mutual opponent was Brazil. In the Group Stage Russia beat Brazil 75-74. In the Quarter Finals Argentina beat Brazil 82-77. Fresh off a game against the USA, Argentina’s game should be sharp plus their pre-tournament action had them favored above Russia; thus Argentina is once again favored over Russia with a -175 Moneyline to Russia +135. But it not a surprise that the point spread is close at 4 points and then the over/under is 156. The over/under should be pretty close in this game, Argentina has a tournament average of 87.6 ppg and Russia is sitting at 77.4 ppg. Lately Argentina has easily been scoring over 80 points therefore if the point spread is even close to correct then a game total of 156 points is likely low.