Argentina vs Japan
August 1, 2021 12:40 am EDT
The Line: Argentina -10.5
(Get latest betting odds)
Argentina and Japan meet Sunday morning in the 2020 Olympics in a basketball meeting at the Saitama Super Arena. Argentina could use a win here after losing its first two games. Japan also needs a win after losing its first two contests.
Argentina lost to Slovenia and Spain, and it’s actually lost each of its last six games overall. In the losing effort, Argentina shot 42.6 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three. Nicolas Laprovittola led Argentina with 27 points and two rebounds while Luis Scola had 13 points and two rebounds. Facundo Campazzo was the third double-digit scorer and Nicolas Brussino grabbed two rebounds. Defensively, Argentina allowed 52.6 percent shooting from the field and 38.5 percent shooting from three. Argentina just can’t get its act together and play a complete game, and it’s now 0-5 when you throw in three friendly contests. At this point you have to wonder if Argentina just wants to pack up and go home, as confidence can’t be too high at the moment.
Japan is also 0-2 after losing to Slovenia and Spain. In the losing effort, Japan shot 41.6 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from three. Rui Hachimura led Japan with 34 points and seven rebounds while Yuta Watanabe had 17 points and seven rebounds. Makoto Hiejima was the third double-digit scorer and Yuki Togashi grabbed one rebound. Defensively, Japan allowed 53.8 percent shooting from the field and 38.5 percent shooting from three. Japan just doesn’t have the offensive firepower to survive in these games and it runs out of gas in the second half. With that said, Hachimura and Watanabe have played as best as you can expect and give Japan a punchers chance to compete. If only there was a consistent third option to put Japan over the top.
Argentina won the only meeting against Japan, which came in a 2019 friendly. Argentina won the game by 15 points, winning three of the four quarters.
On paper, Argentina is the better team and should win here, but who is laying these sort of numbers with the way it’s looked? Not me. Japan has had as much success in these games as Argentina and could very well have two of the top three players on the floor. Throw in home pride, and Japan has a shot to pull off the upset.
Either way, give me Japan and the points.