Slovenia vs Japan
July 29, 2021 12:40 am EDT
The Line: Slovenia -21
(Click here for latest betting odds)
Slovenia and Japan meet Thursday morning in the 2020 Olympics in a basketball meeting at the Saitama Super Arena. Slovenia beat Argentina in its opener with an 18-point victory. Japan look for a bounce back showing after losing its season opener to Spain.
Slovenia has now won seven straight games and looked extremely impressive in its opening contest. In the winning effort, Slovenia shot 50 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from three. Luka Doncic led Slovenia with 48 points and 11 rebounds while Klemen Prepelic had 22 points and four rebounds. Vlatko Cancar was the third double-digit scorer and Mike Tobey grabbed 14 rebounds. Defensively, Slovenia allowed 44.6 percent shooting from the field and 16.1 percent shooting from three. Slovenia is going to be a problem if Doncic plays at the level he played in the opening contest. Slovenia also got solid scoring depth while also crashing the glass with 59 rebounds. It’s just one game, but the stock for Slovenia and a chance of winning a medal is improving.
Japan hung around in the opening contest but just couldn’t find consistent offense in the first half. In the losing effort, Japan shot 40.6 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from three. Rui Hachimura led Japan with 20 points and two rebounds while Yuta Watanabe had 19 points and eight rebounds. Gavin Edwards dished four assists and Kosuke Kanamaru grabbed one rebound. Defensively, Japan allowed 51.4 percent shooting from the field and 28.6 percent shooting from three. Japan has to find somebody outside of Hachimura and Watanabe to give them offense if these Olympics are going to be a success. Japan didn’t have a third double-digit scorer in its opening game and scored just 28 points in the first half. It’s simply not good enough from the host country.
There’s no previous meetings between these two teams.
We cashed on Japan as big underdogs in its opener, but this opponent is a different beast and I’m afraid the Japanese don’t have enough firepower to counter. Slovenia is led by an absolute animal who is way too comfortable in this setting and he’s getting help from the rest of the team as well. If Japan can’t find a third scorer, it’s going to be tough to crack triple digits, and that will be needed here to hang with Slovenia.
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It’s a healthy number, but I’m laying it with Slovenia.