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USA vs. Serbia – Rio 2016 Olympics Men’s Basketball Gold Medal Match Predictions, Picks and Betting Preview – August 21, 2016

USA vs. Serbia – Rio 2016 Olympics Men’s Basketball Gold Medal Match Predictions, Picks and Betting Preview – August 21, 2016

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USA vs. Serbia Men’s Basketball Preview

Where: Carioca Arena 1 — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

When: Sunday, August 21, 2016, 2:15 PM ET

Line: USA (-16) vs. Serbia (+16); total: 181.5 – view all men’s Olympic basketball lines

TV Broadcast: NBC / NBCOlympics.com

Writer’s Pick: USA (-16)


Today’s exclusive promotions courtesy of TopBet News


Betting on the USA (-16)

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To the surprise of no one, the United States is back in the gold medal match of men’s basketball. The Americans did have to weather a significant rough patch during group play, though. Despite eventually winning by 10, they were pushed hard by Australia. They followed that up with back-to-back three-point wins against Serbia and France.

Defense was the main issue that plagued the U.S. in those games. They coughed up an average of 92 points per game on 52.8 percent shooting. However, they final seem to have found a solution to those defensive problems during the knockout rounds.

DeAndre Jordan, who has replaced DeMarcus Cousins as the starting big man, has been a major factor in their defense’s revival. He had nine points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks in their recent 82-76 semifinal win against Spain, which was arguably their best defensive showing of the tournament. Jordan helped the U.S. outrebound Spain 53-41 while holding them to just 39 percent shooting.

Over their last two games with Jordan starting, the U.S. has allowed only 77 points per game on 38.4 percent shooting. Jordan’s renewed role in the team should help the Americans contain Serbia’s big men more effectively this time around. Miroslav Raduljica and Nikola Jokic combined for 43 points on 17-of-23 shooting in their first meeting.

The U.S. offense hasn’t been incredibly efficient, often taking contested jumpers with little to no ball movement. But you’d still fancy all-world scorers like Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Kyrie Irving being able to put up enough points against an average-at-best Serbian defense.

Betting on Serbia (+16)

Serbia has already showed it has the offense to hang with the United States. With NBA-caliber talents like Jokic, Bogdan Bogdanovic (13 points per game), and point guard Milos Teodosic (12.6 points, 5.7 assists per game) leading the charge, the Serbs lit up the Americans’ subpar defense for 51 percent shooting in their group stage meeting, a very close 97-94 loss to the Serbs.

However, it was their defense which took center stage in their semifinal matchup against Australia. The Serbs simply shut down the Aussies, who had arguably the most efficient offense in the entire tournament, and limited them to just 14 first half points.

The Serbs were a Bogdanovic three-pointer away from taking the Americans to overtime, and will need another big game from their leader, Teodosic, to get that close to beating them again. But the 29-year-old point guard often comes through in the big games. He led the team with 22 points in 22 minutes against Australia, and had 18 points and six assists in the first meeting against the U.S.

Defense is still the big question mark for Serbia, though. Despite that terrific performance against Australia, it’s still tough to see them completely shutting down an athletically superior U.S. team. But if they can get enough stops, they should have enough offense to stay within single digits.

Writer’s Prediction

The Americans make the necessary adjustments and score a much more comfortable win. The U.S. (-16) wins the gold, and covers in the process.

Create a betting account now and grab this golden opportunity to cash in on some Olympic men’s basketball action one last time.

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Brad
Written by Brad

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