Spain vs. Japan – Olympic Basketball (July 26, 2021)
Talk about a couple of teams on the opposite end of the spectrum; welcome to the July 26th contest between Spain and Japan on the hardwood.
The Spanish team surges into Tokyo as the United States’ most sincere challengers, at least according to the top sportsbooks. They’re looking to secure a podium finish in the fourth consecutive Summer Olympics and sit #2 (behind the US) in the FIBA rankings.
On the other hand, Japan is here by default as the host nation and is ranked 42nd in FIBA.
All signs are pointing toward “La Roja” winning this game with ease, which brings us to a Spain vs. Japan betting pick.
Spain vs. Japan Odds
Are 21 points enough? How lopsided of a matchup is this?
Valid questions for sure, so let’s dive in.
Spain throttled Iran by 27 points on July 3rd. Two days later, Spain embarrassed Iran by 43 points. The best Olympic betting apps have Iran listed at +50000 to win a gold medal, while Japan’s odds to win gold are even longer at +100000.
That should tell you a lot about making a Spain vs. Japan pick.
A Case for Betting on Spain
After easily dispatching Iran in a couple of friendlies in Valencia and Madrid, respectively, Spain squared off with France on July 8th and 10th. The first game was played in Malaga, Spain, the second in Paris, France.
Led by the Gasol brothers and Nikola Mirotic in the post, Ricky Rubio is the perfect floor general to steer this team toward execution. Juancho Hernangomez is out of the Olympics after sustaining injuries to his shoulder, a significant loss after the Timberwolves PF was counted on to be a contributor.
The good news is this team is deep, and swingmen Alex Abrines and Rudy Fernandez will be there to pick up the slack.
How About Betting on Japan?
Japan went 0-5 in the 2019 FIBA World Cup and hasn’t qualified for the Summer Olympics (for basketball) since 1976. However, this is a new roster with a budding NBA star.
Averaging more than 13.5 points during each of his first two seasons with the Wizards, Rui Hachimura is one of the Olympic basketball players to watch in Tokyo. As in, he’s potent enough to single-handedly keep Japan within shouting distance of Spain.
Hachimura is joined by Raptors forward Yuta Watanabe, a 6’9” southpaw who shot 40% from beyond the arc last season in Toronto. Slashing guard Yudai Baba of Melbourne United (Australia’s NBL) wreaks havoc on both ends of the court.
Last but not least, playing on their home soil has to count for something.
Spain vs. Japan Betting Pick
Bet $100 on Spain to win and collect the $103.80 ticket when the game ends. Kidding!
My Spain vs. Japan prediction is that the Spanish team flexes its muscles early and often at Saitama Super Arena. Japan will be riding high during the Opening Ceremony, but they don’t have enough tools in the shed to combat what Spain has at their disposal.
Spain’s arsenal is sharp, fast, and experienced, plus all of the players understand their roles.
Not a good opening draw for the home team.
More Betting Picks for Olympic Basketball
The group stage gets underway on July 25th. Odds will get sharper as the date approaches – the sooner you bet on the basketball games in Tokyo, the more likely you are to latch onto a considerable edge.
Don’t you want to beat that closing line?
Here’s what I’m thinking for the other opening games.