At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Argentina pulled off the biggest international men’s basketball upset in history when they toppled the United States en route to a gold medal. On Tuesday, the Argentines will try to accomplish the feat once again in a quarterfinal rematch.
Argentina’s golden generation will get one more shot at the United States, as staples Manu Ginobli and Luis Scola play in what will likely be their last Olympic appearance. The South Americans went 3-2 in the group stage, squeaking into the quarters thanks to some disappointing performances from the host country Brazil.
The Americans (5-0) were the only undefeated country in the round robin, but don’t hand them the gold medal just yet. Team U.S.A.’s defense has had trouble staying connected against opponents who move the ball well, and Argentina excels in that category.
When it comes to the spread, it’s no surprise to see Kevin Durant and company as 23-point chalk. Cashing tickets has not come easily for this group, as team U.S.A. failed to cover huge spreads against Serbia and France (both three-point victories). Despite its immense talent on paper, cohesion hasn't been the United States’ strong suit so far in Rio, so I wouldn’t feel completely safe putting that many points on the line.
The total, which opened at 190.5, is the highest of the medal round. The United States (104.8 points per game) and Argentina (88.2) were in the top three offensive teams in round-robin play, and both were No. 1 and 2 in three-point percentage. Unless each team tightens up its defense overnight, the OVER looks like a solid play here.
The winner of this game will go on to face either Spain or France in the semifinals.
For outright winner odds, visit our Rio men’s basketball futures page.