Team USA is playing Iran in men’s basketball at the Olympics and is favored by more than 40 points at some sportsbooks. What action there is, is heavily on the Iranians.
What a world.
“Who wants to lay 41 points?” Borgata sportsbook director Tom Gable asked rhetorically.
To be clear, action is far from furious. The line and the time difference are helping ambivalence. The game tips off at 12:40 a.m. East Coast time.
But those who are wagering are not playing Kevin Durant and the Americans, who are coming off an 83-76 loss to France. Iran also lost its Olympic opener, but staged a late rally to cover a 17-point spread in a six-point loss to the Czech Republic.
There’s “no faith in Team USA,” said Zach Lucas, trading analyst for TwinSpires. We’re “4:1 money on Iran ... We’ll need USA to cover first half (+22.5) and full game.”
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A spokesperson for BetRivers said early Tuesday evening that its line opened at 41 and dipped as low as 37.5 before climbing back up to 39. This opens up a potential middle should the US win by 38-40 points.
These are outrageous point spreads, folks.
Guessing many Americans had no idea Iran had qualified for the Olympics before the last week or so. Now, they’re hoping Behnam Yakhchali (23 points against the Czechs) can keep it to within 35 or so against a group of American NBA players.
“I think we have a history of dominance. We may not always blow people out, but we have a history of winning,” Team USA guard Damian Lillard said the other day. “It’s not often that you see Team USA go out there and lose, especially to start [an international tournament]. ... I think that’s why a lot of people make it seem like the end of the world.