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The USA men’s basketball team looks to bounce back after losing its first contest in Tokyo to France this past weekend.
Now USA is set to play Iran tonight at 12:40 a.m. ET/9:40 p.m. PT. Iran has also started off 0-1 after falling to the Czech Republic in its opening matchup.
“Obviously [USA knows] they have to start playing better,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “They’re very prideful players, they don’t want to be embarrassed on the national stage. They just might not have chemistry or that it’s been a long season and their legs are dead. Something’s missing—if you look at talent vs. talent, they should be winning fairly easily but they’re struggling.”
USA (-15000 on the moneyline) opened as a 37.5-point favorite at William Hill, and now the line has jumped to -40 against Iran (+5000 ML). The total has moved considerably as well, increasing from 164.5 to 167.5.
William Hill bettors are split on which side will cover the big number. Iran has the advantage with 72% of the total number of tickets among all spread bets, while the USA has the edge in total dollars wagered at 51%. There’s much more alignment on the total, where the over has drawn 76% of the total number of tickets and 97% of the total dollars wagered.
Other upcoming men’s basketball games that are available at William Hill are Germany vs. Nigeria (-4.5) at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, Australia (-7.5) vs. Italy at 4:20 a.m. ET/1:20 a.m. PT and France (-9.5) vs. Czech Republic at 8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT.
While every team has one game under its belt, which longshot drew noteworthy action to get the gold ahead of the opening matchups?
“USA closed at -220 after we opened them at -550,” Bogdanovich said. “Those exhibition games definitely pressed them down lower. Our worst case is if Luka Doncic and Slovenia or Australia win it. Slovenia opened at 30/1 and then closed at 9/1. Slovenia also had the second-most money, only USA had more.”
One Nevada bettor laid $2,000 on Slovenia at 30/1 for a total potential payout of $62,000, while another Nevada bettor put $1,000 on Slovenia 18/1 for a total potential payout of $19,000.
Check out William Hill’s latest odds for tonight’s game between USA vs. Iran below.