Tokyo Olympics: Men's 3-on-3 basketball preview

AFP Contributor / AFP / Getty

The 3-on-3 basketball format will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo. Both the men's and women's divisions will feature eight nations.

The pickup-style event will be played on a shorter court and feature 10-minute contests in a first-to-21 format.

Here's how the field stacks up.

Odds to win gold

Nation Odds
Serbia +130
Latvia +200
ROC +700
Netherlands +750
Poland +1300
Belgium +1600
China +3500
Japan +4000

Competition breakdown

Serbia's the favorite, supported by Dusan Bulut, the world's top-ranked 3-on-3 player. Bulut has won four FIBA World Tour 3-on-3 titles (2014, '15, '18, and '19) and earned two World Tour MVP nods.

The 2019 Serbian 3-on-3 Player of the Year plies his trade in the BIG3 league. He was selected 24th overall in 2019 (Ball Hogs) and then No. 3 in June's draft (Power).

Overall, Serbia has racked up nine medals - six gold, two silver, one bronze - across the 3-on-3 World Cup, 3-on-3 Europe Cup, European Games, and Mediterranean Games.

The top three teams in the rankings (Serbia, Russian Olympic Committee, and China) received automatic bids, along with host Japan.

Latvia is considered Serbia's likeliest challengers despite losing to Poland in the qualification tournament semifinals and needing to beat France in the third-place match to secure a spot in Tokyo. However, Latvia did finish a perfect 4-0 in its group and claimed silver at the 2019 World Cup, losing to the United States in the final.

The U.S. failed to qualify after losing in the qualification tournament to the Netherlands, which went on to beat France en route to an Olympic berth. The Dutch will be represented by Arvin Slagter, Dimeo van der Horst, and Jessey Voorn.

Poland is a long shot to take note of, as it beat Latvia in the qualification tournament earlier this year and won bronze at the 2019 World Cup after losing to the U.S. in the semifinal.

July 23 spreads and totals

Poland vs. Latvia (-2.5), O/U 34

China vs. Serbia (-7.5), O/U 32.5

China vs. ROC (-4.5), O/U 33.5

Netherlands vs. Serbia (-3), O/U 33.5

July 24 spreads and totals

Belgium vs. Latvia (-2.5), O/U 33.5

Japan vs. Belgium (-3), O/U 33.5

Poland vs. Japan (NA), O/U 33.5

Netherlands vs. ROC (NA), O/U 33.5

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. Find him on Twitter @Ugglas4arms.

Tokyo Olympics: Men's 3-on-3 basketball preview
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