We have another two-game Olympic basketball slate on tap for Wednesday night/Thursday morning. The action gets underway with Slovenia vs. Japan at 12:40 a.m. ET and wraps up with Argentina vs. Spain at 8:00 a.m. ET.
DraftKings Sportsbook is loaded with wagers for these contests, so let’s break down some of my favorites.
Japan @ Slovenia:
Doncic is coming off a record-setting performance in his Olympic debut. He racked up 48 points – the second-highest total in the history of men’s basketball at the Olympics – including 31 points in the first half. Argentina’s head coach Sergio Hernandez called Doncic the “best player in the world,” and there’s no reason to disagree with him at the moment.
Doncic’s success against Argentina has put Slovenia in the medal conversation in Tokyo, and he should have no problems dicing up Japan. Slovenia is currently implied for 101.5 points, which is an insane number for a 40-minute contest. Doncic is likely due for some shooting regression following an 18-29 performance vs. Argentina, but he can survive some regression and still hit the over on his current scoring prop.
As much as I love Doncic, I do think this is a good time to sell Slovenia as a team. Their stock is at an all-time high, which has resulted in a 20.5-point spread vs. Japan.
That feels like too much for the host nation. In addition to having home-court advantage, Japan has some talent. Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe give the team two legit scoring threats, and Gavin Edwards held his own against Spain. They ultimately covered the spread in that matchup, losing by 11 points, and Spain is arguably a better team than Slovenia. Spain entered the Olympics ranked second in the world in the FIBA World Rankings, while Slovenia was 16th. Slovenia will undoubtedly move up in the future, but if Japan can hang with Spain, they should be able to hang with Doncic and co.
Argentina @ Spain:
Rubio has served as Spain’s primary scorer recently, but there are reasons to take the under on his scoring prop vs. Argentina. He’s coming off 20 points in his last game, but he shot an unsustainable 8-13 from the field. Rubio has never been a particularly efficient scorer – he shot 38.8% from the field and 30.8% from 3-point range during the 2020-21 NBA season – so that looks like an outlier. He also averaged just 15.0 points during Spain’s exhibition contests, so this number has become a bit inflated.
Finally, Spain will face a steep step up in competition. Argentina entered the Olympics as the No. 4 ranked team in the world, and while they were embarrassed by Luka Doncic, Spain has no one of that caliber on their roster. Japan entered the Olympics ranked No. 42, so Argentina will pose a much larger threat. Facundo Campazzo was a solid defender in the NBA this season – he ranked 28th out of 91 qualified point guards in terms of ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus/Minus – so Rubio will have his work cut out for him.
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