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Spain vs Japan Olympic Basketball Picks, Odds, Predictions 7/26/21

Japan vs Spain
July 26, 2021 8:00 am EDT
The Line: Spain -19
(Get latest betting odds)

Japan and Spain meet Monday morning in the 2020 Olympics in a basketball meeting at the Saitama Super Arena. Japan is in the Olympics for the first time since 1976 and is the lowest ranked team in the field. Spain is in its sixth straight Olympics and has produced a medal in its last three trips.

Japan lacks experience in big time tournaments and did go winless in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Being the hosts and actually having fans in the stands would have probably been wonderful for Japan in terms of a confidence boost. As for the team itself, Japan will be led by Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura and Toronto Raptors Yuta Watanbe. Hachimura has established himself as a legit role player with upside and Watanbe is a quality defensive player who can knockdown the outside shot. Those two will be expected to do the heavy lifting for Japan, who also has two B.League MVPs in Yuki Togashi and Makoto Hiejima. Overall, Japan is a young roster with seven players 27 years old or younger. And no matter the results, just Japan being here in the Olympics is a big boost to its growth in the sport of basketball. 

Spain is considered the second best team in the field and is no stranger to bringing home hardware, which includes a gold medal in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Spain has never won gold in the Olympics, which is about the only thing left to accomplish on the basketball side. As for the roster, Spain has three active NBA players in Willy Hernangomez, Ricky Rubio and Marc Gasol. There’s also five former NBA players on Team Span in Rudy Fernandez, Victor Claver, Sergio Rodriguez, Alex Abrines and Pau Gasol. Sergio Llull is a quality defensive player who was EuroLeague MVP in 2017 and Usman Garuba is considered to be the future at just 19 years old and recently named the ACB Best Young Player. Spain has a good mixture of experience and youth, and there’s no real shortage of talent on this roster. Spain should like its chances to leave Tokyo with a medal.

Spain won the only meeting against Japan, which was a 2006 word cup contest. Spain won the game by 49 points, winning every single quarter.

Spain has the edge across the board in this matchup with talent and experience. Japan lacks the depth and the big match experience to be taken too seriously in this tournament. However, we are seeing sluggish play early in this event and this could be a look ahead game for Spain with Argentina on deck. Japan will have one of the best players on the court in Hachimura. Maybe the home rims are kind as well.

This is a lot of points. I’ll take a stab with Japan.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick: Japan +19

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Randy Chambers

Randy has covered sports betting since 2014 and writes about everything from NFL to WNBA. Follow Randy Chambers on Twitter.

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