The United States men's basketball team is out to set some unusual history, the kind they didn't want any part of.
Team USA had never won gold in an Olympics after losing a game. When Team USA lost a game in 1972, 1988 and 2004, it failed to win gold.
It's safe to say now that this American team has rebounded. After a loss to France to start the Olympics, which came after two exhibition losses, Team USA has won three in a row and covered the spread each time. Team USA is 12.5-point favorites at BetMGM against Australia in a semifinal game that tips off Thursday at 12:15 a.m. ET.
Team USA is back to -400 to win the gold medal. While a revival in Tokyo wasn't guaranteed, and things could still go sideways over the last two games, it shouldn't be too big of a surprise.
Team USA might not be perfect, but they still have a Hall of Fame coach in Gregg Popovich and some of the best players in the world. Some of them have to come off the bench. Nobody can match Team USA's talent, even if it took some time to figure it out all out.
“We’re in a good spot right now,” Kevin Durant said after the win over Spain, via NBA.com. “Guys are starting to understand their roles and just get more comfortable within the team. In this setting, it’s always hard to get your footing as an individual player, because you don’t want to step on toes."
That's not to say anything has come easy. Team USA trailed Spain by 10 in the quarterfinal, but Durant was the biggest reason the Americans came all the way back to win 95-81. Durant scored 29, leading a second-half comeback.
Maybe the Australians can pull off a big upset. Or the winner of Slovenia-France can knock off Team USA in the gold medal round. But it seems like Team USA is back on track, and it might not be the best idea to bet against them the rest of the way.
Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Wednesday:
What about the other Olympic hoops game?
It's a good one. Slovenia is being carried by the phenomenal Luka Doncic, and they'll face a deep France team at 7 a.m. ET Thursday. Slovenia is 2.5-point favorites. France seems like the better overall team. Even though it's hard to bet against Doncic.
There's still plenty of other action at the Olympics on Wednesday, like skateboarding and water polo.
Who cashed tickets on Tuesday?
Let's just say we hope you read yesterday's Daily Sweat.
The Houston Astros weren't fazed by the Dodger Stadium crowd and got a nice 3-0 win behind starter Lance McCullers Jr. The Detroit Tigers, a +125 underdog, knocked off the suddenly slumping Boston Red Sox. The Colorado Rockies continued to play better, knocking off the skeleton of what used to be the Chicago Cubs.
Can the Astros take two from the Dodgers?
If Houston can sweep, they'll do so as big underdogs. The Astros are +185 at BetMGM for Wednesday's game. Jake Odorizzi goes for Houston in Max Scherzer's Dodgers debut. Los Angeles won't want to be swept and Scherzer is going to be locked in, but I'll take Houston at those odds. The Astros are as good as anyone in baseball and +185 is too high.
The Seattle Mariners will be looking for a very unlikely sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays. Seattle is +135 underdogs. The Rays dropping a couple to Seattle and Boston's continued slump has opened up the AL East race just a little for the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays.
What's the best bet?
Let's try to go 3-0 for the week in this space. Betting baseball gets harder after the trade deadline because the gap between the good and bad teams gets a lot wider. You'll see a lot of favorites at -200 or more, and underdogs you want no part of. Let's take the San Diego Padres at -115 over the Oakland A's. The Padres won 8-1 in the opening game of the series and they've done very well against American League teams the past couple years.