Kobe Bryant Heads Up USA Basketball Team Favored With -500 Odds

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:

Heavily favored USA beat Russia on Saturday as the team prepares for this coming week's Summer Olympics.

Kobe Bryant scored 19 points to spark the United States to a 89-68 win over a dogged Russia in a warm-up for the Beijing Olympics on Sunday.

Carmelo Anthony added 17 points for the gold medal favorites, although the Russians emerged with credit for slowing the Americans' much-vaunted offense in a defensive battle.

"It was a great challenge," Bryant, the NBA's Most Valuable Player, told reporters. "They're a physical team, a big team but we played with a lot of energy... It was a big win."

Team USA was favored with -500 odds at Sportsbook.com. Spain had the next shortest odds, with a payout potential of $300 for every $100 bet.

And there is a reason for those highly inflated odds.

The team consists of LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) is joined by reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers), Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets), Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks), Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic), Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams (Utah Jazz), Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors), Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets), Tayshaun Prince (Detroit Pistons), Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat) and Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks).

The American men have won 12 gold medals in Olympic basketball, most recently in 2000. But after compiling a 109-2 record, the US lost three games in the 2004 Olympics, including a semi-final setback to eventual champion Argentina.

For anyone looking to place a wager on another team to win the gold, it would be easy to look back at the 2004 Summer Olympics where Team USA walked away with a disappointing bronze.

Here are all the odds to win the Men's Basketball gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics courtesy of Sportsbook.com

Argentina +450
Greece +1500
Italy +2500
Lithuania +1500
Puerto Rico +5000
Spain +300
United States -500
zx Field (Any Other Country) +1000


Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com

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