Team USA vs Australia Betting Preview
Team USA will look to get revenge this Friday when they face Australia for a second exhibition matchup. Both teams are coming off of wins and enter the Olympics as favorites to bring home the gold.
HISTORY: The United States leads the all-time series 28-2, but the Boomers were able to pull off the upset on Monday.
Australia Looking to Build Steam
After advancing to the semifinals for the fourth time in team history, Australia is looking to first their first medal ever. The Boomers have recorded wins over Argentina, Nigeria, and the United States so far this summer, and this just feels like a start.
The Australian backcourt is headlined by longtime San Antonio Spurs sixth man Patty Mills. The 6’0 guard has historically given Team USA trouble, and he completed the mission last Monday. After providing heroics with a game-winner against Argentina, Mills buried the United States in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of his 22 points en route to a 91-83 win.
“It’s what he’s done for 12 years. It’s just what he does for our group,” says Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles speaking of Mills’ fourth-quarter performance.
Melbourne United guard Matthew Dellavedova didn’t score in 23 minutes but brought plenty of defensive energy, stifling the United States backcourt. Fellow Melbourne U guard Chris Goulding added 11 points in the first meeting.
Ingles played a big role in the win himself, hitting a trio of three’s en route to scoring 17 points. Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle scored 12 points and hounded Team USA stars Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum. An early injury to Toronto Raptors center Aron Baynes opened the door for Real Betis big Nick Kay to contribute 8 points and 9 rebounds. Melbourne U big man Jock Landale added 8 points and 7 boards.
Team USA Needs to Build Rapport
Team USA got off to a rocky start this summer, uncharacteristically dropping their first two games to Nigeria and Australia. “I thought we got better tonight,” said US coach Gregg Popovich after the loss to the Boomers. The United States responded with a decisive 108-80 victory over longtime foe Argentina. The Team USA roster appears to be gaining a feel for each other after a blowout win, and that isn’t a good sign for the field. They aren’t even at full strength yet, with Milwaukee Bucks guards Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, and Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker set to join the team at the conclusion of the NBA Finals.
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant scored 17 points in the first meeting, and he may have to turn it up this summer if the United States wants to secure the gold. KD is the leader of the team, and he’s going to be the best player at the tournament. Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum rested after struggling against the Boomers, going 4-12 from the field and 0-6 from deep. Tatum is due to get going soon, but it will be tough dealing with Thybulle and Ingles all night.
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal continued to shoot well in the win over Argentina, scoring 17 points on eight shots. Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard led the team with 22 points against Australia, but he’ll need to match Patty Mills’ energy in the fourth quarter. The United States failed to score during the final 4:34 of the game, and that’s normally when Dame shines. Chicago Bulls guard Zach Lavine stepped up in Tatum’s absence and scored 15 points in the win over Argentina.
Believe it or not, Team USA may be one of the smaller teams at the Olympics. Coach Popovich is going with Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo and Golden State Warriors do-it-all forward Draymond Green as Team USA’s bigs this summer. They’ve been out-rebounded in all three of their exhibition games so far, so this may come to haunt the United States throughout the tournament.
Players to Watch
This is Durant’s time to shine. He’s finally out of the shadow of LeBron James, and an elite Olympic run would only add to his impressive resume.
Mills continues to hit a switch when international play roles around. Monday wasn’t the first time Coach Pop has watched him take over the fourth quarter, and if the Boomers want to add silverware this summer, they’ll need the best two-week run of his career.
USA vs. Australia Prediction & Pick
In 2004 it was Argentina. In 2008 it was nearly Spain. Could Australia sneak up on the United States in 2021? Annually, Team USA has the best team by far at the tournament, but this year’s team has its flaws. Their size disadvantage could haunt them this summer, but after falling to the Boomers on Monday, Coach Pop and Team USA should get back on track here and avoid an alarming third exhibition loss.
Since the US money line isn’t worth much, you might want to take the Australian spread. We can’t imagine this game not being close, and the Boomers have historically played the Americans close.