The US basketball team kicks off its Olympic adventure against one of the biggest competitors for the gold medal – France. Gregg Popovich and his guys faced many problems in recent days, but they are still filled with optimism and positive energy despite all the negative factors. France hopes to surprise and beat the Americans, but the atmosphere among the Gauls is not even close to what it is supposed to be. They’ve suffered a couple of nasty losses in the prep period, looking disorganized and pale.
USA vs. France Schedule
- Where: Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan
- When: Sunday, July 25 at 8 a.m. ET
- How to Watch: NBC
USA vs. France Odds
USA Looking for Vengeance
Gregg Popovich lost to France at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China in the quarterfinals. Back then, the American team was quite solid, with two players from this roster – Jayson Tatum and Khris Middleton. Popovich told the reporters before this match that his team prepared for France in the last two years.
When mentioning the preparations period, things haven’t been smooth for the USA at all. Two losses and two wins weren’t expected, but the positive thing is that as it went by, the Americans were playing better and better, heading for Tokyo with back-to-back triumphs. Though, we need to say that just one of four USA’s games saw more than 91 points.
Zach LaVine is in Japan, as he joined the team on Thursday. Also, three players from the recent NBA Finals, Middleton, Holiday, and Booker, are all in Tokyo, ready to play.
The Gauls have three losses in three prep matches, two against Spain and one vs. Japan, which was when they landed in Tokyo. Now, Vincent Colet shouldn’t be worried about losing to Japan because of the trip and the jet lag, but routine defeats to Span weren’t planned.
France lost the first clash with 86-77 and the second with a similar result, 87-79. What we saw in those games is that the offense isn’t functioning properly, despite having several high-profile NBA players like Evan Fournier or Nicola Batum.
The French team has several extremely gifted players in terms of athleticism, and it would be fun to see how their US counterparts respond to that situation. Rudy Gobert will be in charge of the defense, with the three-time NBA DPOY being the pivotal figure on that part of the court.
USA vs. France Head to Head
The last match was as we said in China and France won 89-79. Two before that were in the Olympics, and the USA won both, one in London, 98-71, and the one in Rio, 100-97.
USA vs. France Prediction and Pick
Even though France had a rough time in the prep period, we believe that the bookmakers have underestimated them a little bit, putting a 12.5 spread between them and the USA. We think that the French side is better than this and that Colet’s boys have the power to defend that gap.
Pick: France +12.5