Japan vs. Nigeria
August 1, 2021 9:00 pm EDT
The Line: Japan -9.5 / Total: 148.5
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Nigeria and Japan face off on Sunday night in a women’s Olympic basketball showdown. Nigeria comes into this game with an 0-2 record, while Japan has won a game and lost a game.
Nigeria has had a disappointing Olympics so far losing each of their first two games. In the first game, Nigeria was defeated 87-62 at the hands of France, and in the last game, it didn’t get any better as they were defeated 81-72 at the hands of the United States. The offense was a little better in the last game, but it still got out to a slow start and will need to be a lot better in this game if they want to come away with the victory. In that last game against the USA, it was a balanced attack with four of the five starters scoring in double figures. Ezinne Kalu was the best player in the last game finishing with 16 points, and they need that type of production from her and maybe even more in this game.
On the other side of this matchup is Japan who lost their opening game against the United States, but bounced back in the last beating France 74-70. Japan got out to a slow start in that last game scoring only 13 points in the first quarter, but they found more success as the game went on, and that led to the victory. One big difference for Japan compared to a lot of teams competing in the Olympics is they do get a lot of bench production. Saki Hayashi has come off the bench, but in the last game she was the team’s leading scorer finishing with 12 points and three made three-pointers. Japan likes to shoot three-pointers and in the last game they hit 11 of their 27 shots from deep.
I expect the pace of this game is going to be quick and there is going to be very little defense played by either side. There isn’t a good play on the side, but the over is going to cash with ease.