DATA DEPENDENT: A quick guide to Tokyo Olympics basketball.

The Tokyo Summer Olympics is a week away and if the COVID-19 run-up to the event is any indicator, it will be a dramatic and surreal event. With Japan entering a COVID-19 state of emergency, there will not be any spectators allowed in stadiums. How this will affect athletes’ performances is anyone’s guess, though Team Japan seems most likely to suffer from the loss of fans. Still, simply holding the event is an accomplishment, especially with all events moving forward. What that means is that there will be tons of opportunities to open up those online betting apps. It will be fourteen days worth of madness.

On July 1, sports betting in VA got the green light to begin accepting wagers online. This is a massive opportunity for the citizens of the Old Dominion to have some safe fun at home or among a handful of friends. (Maybe steer clear from the massive crowds until the Delta variant is finished doing it’s thing?) The Tokyo Olympics will also be a massive chance for Virginia’s nascent online sports betting industry that has been the envy of governors across the country. With less than a year under its belt, VA sports betting has pulled in over $1 billion forth of taxable income for the state. 

It’s great time to be joining any one of the online sportsbooks on offer in Virginia. They’re all offering significant sign-up bonuses. 

  • Draft Kings: $1,050.
  • FanDuel: $1000.
  • BetMGM: $600.
  • William Hill: $500.
  • Unibet: $500.
  • BetRivers: $250.

Pretty good eh? Now, let’s make believe we were putting it all down on an event. We’ll go with DraftKings since they pipped FanDuel by $50 since we’re all about the extra dollars. For the sake of convenience, we’ll keep it to sports we cover regularly in DATA DEPENDENT. We’ll do basketball first. Who are your picks to medal?


It’s no secret Team USA has struggled during its past few games. They’ve lost two of their last three exhibition games to Nigeria and Australia but have won their last game against Argentina. Interestingly, both Nigeria and Australia have good number of NBA players (former or current) on their squads. This matters in two significant ways. Firstly, they’re obviously pretty good since the NBA remains the premier location for ballers to play. Secondly, their players will be familiar with the American squad and any intimidation factor should be pretty much nil (if that even happens anymore).

For your reference, here are the official FIBA rankings followed by a quick introduction to the teams playing in Tokyo.

WORLD
RANK
COUNTRYZONE
RANK
IOCCURRENT POINTS+/- RANK *
1.USAUSA1.USA781.80
2.ESPSpain1.ESP721.30
3.AUSAustralia1.AUS667.00
4.ARGArgentina2.ARG662.40
5.SRBSerbia2.SRB662.00
6.GREGreece3.GRE658.4+1
7.FRAFrance4.FRA656.0-1
8.LTULithuania5.LTU634.60
9.RUSRussia6.RUS613.30
10.ITAItaly7.ITA596.4+2

(NOTE: Slovenia, Japan, Germany, Nigeria, Italy, and Iran are all outside of the Top 10. Their ranking are included in the team summaries below.)


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AUSTRALIA

(FIBA: 3; MONEY: +1200)

Australia have shown what they’re capable of during their victory of Team USA. They’ve got a number of NBA players led by Joe Ingles. They play fellow giant-slayers Nigeria in their first first game in what should be a juicy match-up. They’re in a tough group with Italy, Nigeria, and Germany.

PLAYERPOSITIONLAST TEAM
Aron BaynesCToronto
Matthew DellavedovaPGCleveland
Dante ExumPGHouston
Chris GouldingSGMelbourne
Josh GreenSGDallas
Joe InglesSFUtah
Nick KayPFBetis
Jock LandaleCMelbourne
Patrick MillsPGSan Antonio
Duop ReathCCrvena Zvezda
Nathan SobeyPGBrisbane
Matisse ThybulleSGPhiladelphia

JAPAN

(FIBA: 42; MONEY: +30000)

If Japan wasn’t the host nation, they probably wouldn’t have made it into the tournament. Washington Wizards’ Rui Hachimura leads the team and will be the focus of most teams’ defensive efforts. They take on a very strong Spanish side for their first game. Spain’s -3000 line suggests nobody expects anything from Japan’s effors. Their best chances of picking off a win is against Luka Doncic and Slovenia. Spain and Argentina are untouchable here.

PLAYERPOSLAST TEAM
Yudai BabaSFMelbourne
Gavin EdwardsPFChiba Jets
Rui HachimuraPFWashington
Tenketsu HarimotoSFNagoya DD
Makoto HiejimaSGTochigi Brex
Kosuke KanamaruSGSeaHorses Mikawa
Avi Koki SchaferCShiga Lakestars
Daiki TanakaSGAlvark Tokyo
Yuki TogashiPGChiba Jets
Leo VendramePGSun Rockers Shibuya
Hugh WatanabePFUC Davis
Yuta WatanabeSFToronto

ARGENTINA

(FIBA: 4; MONEY: +400)

The strongest side to come out of South America. They’re grouped with Spain, Slovenia, and Japan. Should finish second in their group. Argentina plays Slovenia for their first game. Surprisingly, smart money has them as underdogs due to the Luka Effect.

PLAYERPOSITIONLAST TEAM
Lautaro BerraCObras Sanitarias
Leandro BolmaroSFBarcelona
Nicolas BrussinoSGZaragoza
Francisco CaffaroCVirginia
Facundo CampazzoPGDenver
Gabriel DeckSFOklahoma City
Marcos DeliaCTrieste
Patricio GarinoSFZalgiris
Juan FernandezPGFuenlabrada
Maximo FjellerupSGSan Lorenzo
Tayavek GallizziCRegatas
Nicolas LaprovittolaPGReal Madrid
Luis ScolaPFVarese
Juan Pablo VauletSFManresa
Luca VildozaPGNew York

CZECH REPUBLIC

(FIBA: 12; MONEY: +10000)

The Czechs face-off against TEAM USA in their first match. On paper, they shouldn’t win. They probably won’t.

PLAYERPOSITIONLAST TEAM
Patrik AudaCYokohama B-Corsairs
Ondrej BalvinCBilbao
Jaromir BohacikSFStrasbourg
Lukas PalyzaSFNymburk
Martin PeterkaCBraunschweig
Patrick SamouraSGCochise College
Tomas SatoranskyPGChicago
Blake SchilbSF
Ondrej SehnalPG
Jakub SirinaPG
Jan VeselyC
Tomas VyoralPG

FRANCE

(FIBA: 7; MONEY: +1600)

France have a solid team with a number of NBA players. Defensive juggernaut Rudy Gobert should ensure the rim is adequately protected. Frank Ntilikina is another solid defender. Question is, who’ll be hitting shots on the other end?

PLAYERPOSITIONLAST TEAM
Andrew AlbicyPGGran Canaria
Nicolas BatumSFLA Clippers
Isaia CordinierSGNanterre
Petr CorneliePFPau Orthez
Nando De ColoSGFenerbahce
Moustapha FallCASVEL
Evan FournierSGBoston
Rudy GobertCUtah
Timothe LuwawuSFBrooklyn
Frank NtilikinaPGNew York
Vincent PoirierCReal Madrid
Guerschon YabuselePFASVEL

GERMANY

(FIBA: 17; MONEY: +10000)

Germany are neither here nor there. They don’t suck but they’re not great either. The moneyline tells you everything you need to know. They’re paired with Australia for their first game. Should be a loss.

PLAYERPOSITIONLAST TEAM
Danilo BarthelPFFenerbahce
Robin BenzingPFZaragoza
Isaac BongaSFWashington
Niels GiffeySFALBA Berlin
Maodo LoPGALBA Berlin
Andreas ObstSGUlm
Joshiko SaibouSGChalons-Reims
Johannes ThiemannPFALBA Berlin
Johannes VoigtmannCCSKA Moscow
Moritz WagnerCOrlando
Lukas WankSFBraunschweig
Jan Niklas WimbergPFChemitz

IRAN

(FIBA: 23; MONEY: +50000)

Not expected to do much. Maybe the lack of expectations can work in their favor though. That said, for a potentially offensively challenged team, playing a good French defensive side isn’t the best way to start a run.

PLAYERPOSITIONLAST TEAM
Rouzbeh ArghavanCGorgan
Saeid DavarpanahSGNaft Abadan
Aaron GeramipoorCManchester Giants
Hamed HaddadiCSichuan
Mohammad HassazadehPFNaft Abadan
Phillip JalalpoorPGBayreuth
Arsalan KazemiSFChemidor
Samad Nikkhah BahramiSFMahram
Navid RezaeifarSGGorgan
Michael RostampourPFGorgan
Mohammadsina VahediPGGorgan
Benham YakhhaliSGRostock

ITALY

(FIBA: 10; MONEY: +4500)

Italy is always a solid basketball country and they have a few NBA players. They have a tricky matchup against Nigeria for their first game. The country has had a good run in other sports this year. Spain won the Euros and had a finalist at Wimbledon. Can they add the Olympics to their list?

PLAYERPOSITIONLAST TEAM
Simone FontecchioSFALBA Berlin
Danilo GallinariSFAtlanta
Nico MannionPGGolden State
Nicolo MelliPFDallas
Riccardo MoraschiniSGOlimpia Milano
Alessandro PajolaPGVirtus Bologna
Achille PolonaraCBaskonia
Giampaolo RicciSFVirtus Bologna
Marco SpissuPGSassari
Amedeo TessitoriCVirtus Bologna
Stefano TonutSGVenezia
Michele VitaliSGBamberg

NIGERIA

(FIBA: 22; MONEY: +3000)

Could Nigeria be the Olympic dark horse? If they keep playing like they did against Team USA and rain down 3’s, it’s hard to see why not. Will they win the entire thing? Probably not. Will they make a run into the Knock-out stages? Probably

PLAYERPOSITIONLAST TEAM
Precious AchiuwaCMiami
Caleb AgadaSGHapoel Beer Sheva
Obi EmeganoSGFuenlabrada
Michael GbinijeSFNevezis
Ike IroegbuPGChalon
Chimezie MetuPFSacramento
Chima MonekePFOrleans
Jordan NworaSFMilwaukee
Jahlil OkaforCDetroit
Josh OkogieSGMinnesota
Stan OkoyeSFGran Canaria
KZ OkpalaSFMiami
Miye OniSGUtah
Ekpe UdohCBeijing RF
Gabe VincentPGMiami

SLOVENIA

(FIBA: 16; MONEY: +2000)

Luka Doncic. That’s all we have to say.

PLAYERPOSITIONLAST TEAM
Jaka BlazicSGUnion Olimpija
Vlatko CancarSFDenver
Jakob CebasekSFDinamo Bucuresti
Ziga DimecCUnion Olimpija
Luka DoncicPGDallas
Zoran DragicSFBaskonia
Gregor HrovatSFCholet
Edo MuricSFUnion Olimpija
Aleksej NikolicPGGravelines
Klemen PrepelicSGValencia
Luka RupnikPGUnion Olimpija
Mike TobeyCValencia

SPAIN

(FIBA: 2; MONEY: +1100)

If there’s a team ready to make a gold medal run against Team USA, it’s Spain. They’ve got a number of NBA players and also players in one of Europe’s top leagues.

PLAYERPOSITIONLAST TEAM
Alberto AbaldeSFReal Madrid
Alex AbrinesSGBarcelona
Carlos AlocenPGReal Madrid
Dario BrizuelaSGUnicaja
Victor ClaverSFBarcelona
Rudy FernandezSFReal Madrid
Usman GarubaPFReal Madrid
Marc GasolCLA Lakers
Pau GasolCBarcelona
Juan HernangomezPFMinnesota
Willy HernangomezCNew Orleans
Sergio LlullPGReal Madrid
Xabi Lopez-ArosteguiSGJoventut
Pierre OriolaPFBarcelona
Sergio RodriguezPGOlimpia Milano
Ricky RubioPGMinnesota

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

(FIBA: 1; MONEY: -550)

Team USA is the odds on favorite to win gold but as their recent losses show, they can be beat. If this current squad continues to struggle on the defensive end, it could be a long Olympics for them. At the time of this article, Kevin Love has pulled out due to injury. It would be wise to replace him with a defensive enforcer.

PLAYERPOSITIONLAST TEAM
Bam AdebayoCMiami
Devin BookerSGPhoenix
Kevin DurantSFBrooklyn
Jerami GrantPFDetroit
Draymond GreenPFGolden State
Jrue HolidayPGMilwaukee
Zach LaVineSGChicago
Damian LillardPGPortland
Kevin LovePFCleveland
Khris MiddletonSFMilwaukee
Jayson TatumSFBoston

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