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Canada vs USA Predictions, Picks & Odds – 7-10

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Canada vs USA Predictions, Picks & Odds – 7-10

Our Olympic basketball betting picks believe Team Canada will keep things much closer than the oddsmakers are expecting in their 40-minute exhibition clash with Team USA on Wednesday night.

Rory Breasail - Betting Analyst at Covers.com

Jul 10, 2024 • 10:43 ET

• 4 min read

Team USA and Team Canada are the Top 2 favorites to take home gold at the 2024 Paris Olympics. But before the tournament begins in earnest, they have a few tune-up exhibition games on the schedule, including a showdown between the two highly-touted North American sides in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 10.

I take you through my Canada vs. USA predictions and free betting picks as I explain why the Canadians could make this more competitive than oddsmakers believe.

Canada vs USA predictions

My best bet
Canada +14.5 (-115)

My analysis

The road to the Paris Olympics begins in Las Vegas tonight. Or at least it does for two of the teams with the greatest aspirations in the tournament in Team USA and Team Canada. While the Americans are big favorites to win the gold — and their exhibition match against their northern neighbors on Wednesday — both are far from a sure thing.

The world continues to catch up to Team USA when it comes to talent, and in recent years the Americans have proven much more vulnerable than their talent pool would suggest. After capturing gold in the Tokyo Olympics, Team USA failed to medal at the FIBA World Cup last year.

In part, that’s because they sent their B-team in terms of star power. While a few key players from that fourth-placed finishing squad return — including Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton — the rest of the team is stocked with the most talented and decorated players in recent American basketball history. 

They have arguably the best to ever do it in LeBron James, the most decorated men’s Olympian in Kevin Durant, and first-time appearances by both Steph Curry and Joel Embiid just to name a few. While Durant is sidelined with a calf injury ahead of Wednesday’s tilt, the rest of the team is a full go and should prove formidable.

But the other reason that American team didn’t medal at FIBA is because Team Canada beat them in the Bronze Medal game. Canada has their own star power in the form of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jamal Murray, who form as good a one-two punch in the backcourt as any team in the tournament — including Team USA — can muster.

Team Canada also has a level of continuity that the Americans do not. While this American team is almost entirely different than the one that suited up for the FIBA World Cup, Canada is bringing back almost the same roster with the addition of Murray. Some members of Team USA have played with each other at the international level, and some are teammates, but this mix is one they’ll still be working to figure out. 

There is still a ton of uncertainty with Team USA’s rotation, and they’ll likely use these exhibition games to experiment. 

Who stars and who sacrifices is always a tricky dance that Team USA typically takes a few games to sort out. Brandon Ingram was in theory going to be among Team USA’s leading players heading into last year’s World Cup, but in the end figured very little as Jalen Brunson, Edwards, and Haliburton seized the reins.

The Canadians come in knowing their roles on both ends, and that should give them something of a leg up when it comes to competing with Team USA’s overwhelming talent advantage.

And while Team USA theoretically has the ability to play multiple styles with the depth of their roster, they’re limited in style of play with their starters. With Embiid presumably getting the nod as the starting center, they will have to play a drop defense with perimeter players fighting over the screen. 

Jrue Holiday is excellent at navigating those kinds of screens, but the rest of the American guards are certainly not. Canada can have whichever guard isn’t guarded by Holiday play pick and roll, and attack Embiid in space.

Gilgeous-Alexander and Murray are among the few players who can beat teams strictly from the midrange area, so a drop defense is not going to slow them down as long as they have quality spacing.

Team USA are deserving favorites, but with some kinks to work out and some notable defensive limitations, I suspect the Canadians will at least keep things respectable on Wednesday.

Canada vs USA odds

  • Spread: Canada +12.5 (-120) | USA -12.5 (-120)
  • Moneyline: Canada +450 | USA -800
  • Over/Under: Over 195.5 (-125) | Under 195.5 (-115)

Odds as of 7-10-2024 at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Canada vs USA spread and Over/Under analysis

  • Team USA opened as a massive 15.5-point favorite to come out ahead on Wednesday.
  • However, action on Canada has sent the line all the way down to +12.5.
  • The total is similarly massive for a 40-minute game at 195.5.
  • Oddsmakers are expecting an All-Star game level of defensive intensity in this one, and outside of a few specific players like Dillon Brooks ramping it up, I have little reason to doubt them.

Canada vs USA game info

Location: T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, NV
Date: Wednesday, 7-10-2024
Tip-off: 10:30 p.m. ET
TV: FS1

Not intended for use in MA.
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