The men’s basketball tournament finally gave us the first upset win in knockout play. A game-saving block from Nicolas Batum sent Luka Dončić and the Slovenians to the bronze-medal game, where they’ll face a frustrated Australian squad.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) August 5, 2021
France’s victory sets up a rematch with the United States in men’s basketball. We could see the same thing happen in the women’s tournament, too, as France will play Japan for a spot in the gold-medal match. I expect them to win that game, and they’re featured in two of my recommended bets below.
Olympic Lock of the Day: France 1Q -1.5 | Women’s Basketball | +110 at DK Sportsbook
Olympic Lock YTD: 3-5 -2.18u
Rough. Yesterday’s “lock” busted in frustrating fashion — Australia forward Nick Kay only nabbed half of his rebound total after his teammate, Jock Landale, did most of the work on the glass in the first half. Meanwhile, Bam Adebayo and Kevin Durant both posted rebounding numbers well above their averages. It’s a frustrating beat, but I’ve done much better on women’s basketball at these Olympics, so I’m not shying away from those markets today.
The French women’s team consistently starts games strong. In the quarterfinals, they built a five-point lead over Spain in the first quarter. They started with similar advantages in all their of their preliminary games, too — they went up by four against Japan, six against Nigeria, and three against the United States.
I prefer this line to the full-game spread for a few reasons. First, France actually lost to Japan in group play despite their early lead. The Japanese surged back with accurate three-point shooting to overcome a slow start and secure the win. That’s exactly what they did in the quarterfinals against Belgium, too. Second, it sits in the plus money, and I’m all about value this late in the Olympics. France has a slightly better chance of starting this game off with a two-point lead than the implied odds (47.6) indicate, so I’m targeting it as my top play on a thin betting slate.
I’m generally fading Japan because they’re overperforming their efficiency metrics. They rank sixth in efficiency rating through four games, the third-worst number among teams that qualified for knockout play. In contrast, the French rank fourth. The Japanese got lucky against France in group play and against Belgium in the quarterfinals, and that luck has to catch up with them sometime.
Other Olympic Betting Picks
Other Picks YTD: 11-11 -.03u
#1. France -3 | Women’s Basketball | -115 at DK Sportsbook
Just because I don’t like the full-game spread doesn’t mean it’s not a smart play. As I mentioned above, Japan has outperformed their advanced stats because of accurate three-point shooting. Teams have to be catching on that perimeter defense is all you need to stop them, right? Fortunately for France, they have been solid on the perimeter recently. They allowed Spain to shoot 22.7% from beyond the arc in the quarterfinals, well below their tournament average (28.8%). They also did something similar against the United States, as the Americans shot just 29.2% despite their impressive tournament average (37.5%). Japan needed to go 40.7% from three-point range to beat France the first time, above their overall average (39.4%), and I’m betting on some regression tonight.
#1. Netherlands -1.5 | Women’s Field Hockey | -130 (1.3u) at DK Sportsbook
The Dutch have dominated the women’s field hockey tournament in Tokyo. They’re a perfect 7-0, and six of those seven wins came by at least two goals. They have surrendered just three goals all tournament. Now they’ve advanced to the gold medal game, where they’ll face Argentina, who went 3-2 in group play. Although the Argentinians sit in second in the International Hockey Federation rankings, the Dutch have a massive 567.6-point lead. That renders Argentina closer to seventh-ranked India than the first-ranked Dutch. An examination of the goal differential at this tournament reveals how huge of an advantage the Dutch have — they’re +24 through the semifinals, more than twice the next-best Australians (+11), and far ahead of Argentina (+4). The juice isn’t your friend here, but you should feel comfortable with laying enough units to secure a one-unit return.
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