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The United States men’s basketball team plays their third game in London at the 2012 Olympics today, taking on Nigeria. The first two games Team USA won relatively easy, though neither start to the match ups were very good. They will look to change that and get things off to a good start to move to 3-0, which everyone expects them to do.
One thing that was definitely encouraging in the United State’s victory over Tunisia on Tuesday, was the fact that the second team played so well. Led by Carmelo Anthony, Team USA dominated Tunisia in the second half for a 110-63 win.
But despite the 47-point victory, for you bettors who placed a wager on the United States to cover the spread, it would have resulted in a loss. Team USA was set as a 54-point favorite over Tunisia.
So how does the line look against Nigeria?
Well, it’s still a huge margin, but relative to Tunisia, it’s nothing we aren’t used to. 2012 Olympics Basketball Betting Odds available at Bovada Sportsbook have set the United States as 42.5-point favorites over Nigeria. So to cover this line, Team USA will need to win by at least 43 points. They are 1-1 against the spread through two games, covering against France in the opener, and then losing on the line to Tunisia.
There is no question that the slow start against Tunisia ended up affecting the point spread in the end, with just a few more baskets and it could have been a 55-point win or more.
That’s the thing about these big lines though, is that bettors can’t afford to have teams get off to sluggish starts, even if they perform as expected in the second half. That is exactly what happened against Tunisia, as the United States led by just 13 points at the break. They won the second half by 34 points, which one would have thought would be enough. But it wasn’t the case.
The line is certainly closer against Nigeria, but Team USA will still need to get off to a good start and pu the pressure on early and often. But once again, if you like getting a lot of points on the underdog, this is another game to look at.
Coverage of Team USA vs Nigeria will get going at 5:15 pm ET, ad can be seen live on the NBC Sports Network.
Check out these basketball betting odds and more below as seen on Bovada.