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Olympics Betting: Basketball

Tokyo 2020 | 24 July – 8 August | Multiple Rounds & Events

Olympics Basketball History

Basketball first featured in the Olympic Games St. Louis 1904 as a demonstration sport, but it wasn’t until Berlin 1936 that men’s basketball appeared on the Olympic programme. Meanwhile, the women’s game made its Olympic debut almost 40 years later at Montreal 1976. Professional players have been allowed to participate at the Olympics since Barcelona 1992, when the USA ‘Dream Team’ won gold. Since then, NBA players have continued to feature on their national teams, attracting attention with their outstanding skills.

Basketball at Tokyo 2020

At Tokyo 2020, In both tournaments, a new competition system has been put in place for Tokyo. The Group Phase will consist of three groups of four teams each. The teams placed first and second in each group, and the two best third-placed teams in the Group Phase qualify for the Final Phase.

  • 12-team tournament (Men)
  • 12-team tournament (Women)

Olympic Basketball: How it Works

Basketball is played by two teams of five players on a 28mx15m court with players looking to score by shooting the ball into a basket. A successful shot from outside the three-point line is awarded three points, a successful shot from inside the three-point line is two points and a successful free throw following a foul is one point. A highlight of the sport is the famous dunk which is made at the end of a fast-paced offensive plays. Basketball is played over four 10-minute periods.

All five players switch between offence and defence, and the pace is extremely fast. Players run up and down the court, trying to outdo each other, stealing the ball and ducking the defence to take a shot. The sport is characterised by non-stop action with intense contact.

Time limits are also imposed on various plays: the offensive team must take a shot within 24 seconds from when they gain possession; players must not remain in the restricted area under the goal for more than three seconds; and the offensive team must progress the ball past halfway within ten seconds after gaining possession of the ball.

Three-pointers have become a more regular occurrence in recent years and even the centre, who is normally the tallest player on the team and traditionally plays close to the basket, has become adept at shooting from behind the three-point line. However, players in the modern game — no matter which position they play — are required to have diverse skills.

Olympics Betting: Basketball

In terms of Olympics basketball betting, since the USA formed the ‘Dream Team’ and impressed at Barcelona 1992, both the men’s and women’s teams have continued to dominate the game. Apart from the men’s bronze medal finish at the Athens 2004 Games, the USA have won Olympic gold medals in both men’s and women’s competitions since Atlanta 1996.

Damian Lillard is one of the players to watch on the USA men’s team. Lillard, who posted the third-highest per game scoring average in the league (28.8) this season, was selected to his fourth All-NBA Second Team, as well as his sixth All-Star team. But watch out for Australia, whose side feature many NBA players and recently beat the USA at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, as well as Spain, Argentina and France who won gold, silver and bronze respectively at the World Cup.

USA will be going for the seventh consecutive Olympic gold in the women’s competition, and the team has been playing consistently well. The core players are veteran Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird who will be looking to make their fourth Olympic Games appearance. Other medal contenders include Australia, who have won five Olympic medals, and Spain, who have highly skilled players and were silver medallists at Rio 2016.

See our Olympics Basketball betting markets now.