We have another four-game Olympic basketball slate on tap for Friday night/Saturday morning. The action gets underway with France vs. Iran at 9 p.m. ET and wraps up with the Czech Republic vs. the USA at 8 a.m. ET.
DraftKings Sportsbook is loaded with wagers for these contests, so let’s break down some of my favorites.
France at Iran
Iran has put up a valiant effort during the Olympic season. They won a qualifying tournament to get invited to Tokyo, and they lost by just six points in their opening matchup vs. the Czech Republic. That said, they were simply no match for the USA in their last outing. The Americans put up a whopping 120 points, and they ultimately won by 54.
France is not the USA, but they’re pretty darn close. They actually beat the USA in their first matchup, and they followed that up with a 20-point win over the Czech Republic. They’re currently No. 7 in the FIBA World Rankings, but that undersells how good this team is. They should be able to cruise to a comfortable victory in this matchup.
Nigeria at Italy
I’m going to continue to back this Nigeria squad. They were unable to get the job done in their last game, losing by seven points to Germany, but they are still loaded with NBA talent. They have seven NBA players on the roster, including Bucks’ reserve Jordan Nwora. He went absolutely bonkers in Nigeria’s last game, finishing with 33 points thanks to seven three-pointers.
Italy is a strong, veteran squad, but Nigeria has enough firepower to hang with them. Remember that they pulled off upsets against the USA and Argentina during the exhibition season, both of whom are ranked higher than Italy in the FIBA rankings.
Czech Republic at USA
Is the USA back? That remains to be seen, but they were clearly firing on all cylinders vs. Iran. They racked up 120 points in just 40 minutes — an extremely impressive figure — and they did it in a complete team effort. Damian Lillard led the way with 21 points, while eight players scored at least eight points.
That win doesn’t fundamentally change anything about the United States’ ability to win the gold medal, but it does give this team a much-needed shot of confidence. They remain the most talented team in the field by a wide margin, and they will have a massive advantage against the Czech Republic, who only managed to beat Iran by six points and lost to France by 20. They will be significantly overmatched vs. the USA.
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