As third favourites for the 2016 Olympic Games basketball tournament, there is a lot of expectation placed on France to come back with a medal from Rio. No one really expects the French to win the tournament, it is for the United States to lose as opposed to anyone else to excel and grab the tournament but when you’re third favourites, you need to be looking at bringing back the Bronze medal at least.
Team USA are currently listed at 1.071 for the title with the second favourites Spain being listed at 11.00. Both of these teams have had their place in Rio booked for a long time but with France just confirming their spot at the weekend, their odds of 15.00 may be appealing to some. France were clear favourites to progress from the qualification tournament in Manila and it would be fair to say that they weren’t pushed to their limits to progress to Rio.
France may have an edge when it comes to Olympic action
However, it may be that the competitive nature of that qualification progress will sharpen the French which may be enough to squeeze them beyond the Spanish and from there, who knows. Things are now moving swiftly for the French side and their 12 man roster for the 2016 Olympic Basketball tournament has been confirmed.
The squad consists of:
- Tony Parker
- Nicolas Batum
- Boris Diaw
- Rudy Gobert
- Joffrey Lauvergne
- Nando de Colo
- Antoine Dot
- Mickael Gelabale
- Thomas Heurtel
- Charles Kahudi
- Florent Pietrus
- Kim Tillie
This squad features five players who are currently plying their trade in the NBA (the first five players on the list) while Nando de Colo has NBA experience and is the reigning Euroleague MVP. It is interesting to note that Rudy Gobert wasn’t involved in the qualifying tournament in the Philippines but has been included for the Rio Games. It was decided that the team had enough in their locker to allow Gobert to rest at the end of a hard NBA season but he will be relied upon when things get tough in Brazil.
France has plenty of big game experience
When it comes to Olympics experience, Parker, Batum, de Colo, Diaw, Pietrus and Gelabale were all involved in the London 2012 Games. That tournament saw France edged out at the quarter-final stage when they were defeated by Spain. A similar outcome for the French this time around would be a massive disappointment for the French side.
One player who may have added some magic to the squad was Evan Fournier but he has decided to sit out the Olympic Games in Rio. With a slightly uncertain future for the season ahead, Fournier decided it was best that he avoided the Olympics and got himself ready for a new challenge in the NBA season in the year that lies ahead.
With no value to be had by backing the favourites in the Futures market, it may be that Spain or France will provide the drama and basketball betting aims for fans in the build up to the 2016 Olympic Games basketball tournament.