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U.S. Olympic Basketball Wins the Games, Not The Point Spread

Deron Williams of USA and Yao Ming of China (l-r) compete during Men's preliminary basketball game, 2008 Beijing Olympics
AP
Deron Williams of USA and Yao Ming of China (l-r) compete during Men's preliminary basketball game, 2008 Beijing Olympics

So the U.S. men's basketball team beats China by a healthy 31 points. So when they make the odds for the Angola game, they put the Angolans as 44-point underdogs. I can understand the rationale, but that's a lot of points.

I'm not a betting man, but in my head, I thought 50-point victory. (Recall, the "Dream Team" whipped these guys by 68 points 16 years ago.

For the record, the American team won by 21 points and didn't come close to covering.

Just for fun, I e-mailed R.J. Bell of Pregame.com, who has the best gambling stats around. I asked him if he could find any higher spread than 44 for a basketball game. He said he couldn't, either NBA or college. But the last time a humongous favorite covered was when Kansas, a 36-point favorite, beat Dartmouth 83-32 on Nov. 28.

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UPDATE: We just heard from our friend Jacob at Vegas Watch, who informed us that the Angola-U.S. men's spread is not the highest spread. The U.S. women play Mali later today. The spread is 60.5, Jacob tells us.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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