- The Serbian National Team is favored slightly in the men’s 3×3 basketball event with Latvia a rather close second
- Team USA is a strong favorite in the women’s tournament with their inside-outside game. Can anyone slow them down?
- Check out the odds, analysis, and betting predictions below
The men’s 3×3 basketball semifinals start at 4:30am ET with Serbia facing Russia. At 5:40am ET, Latvia clashes against Belgium. Those winners advance to the final later Wednesday morning at approximately 9:25am ET. The bronze medal game will begin sometime close to 8:15am ET.
As for the women, their semifinals are at 4am and 5:10am ET, respectively, with France facing Team USA and China going up against Russia. The winning teams clash at around 8:55am ET, with the bronze medal contest expected to tip off around 7:45am ET.
All games are played at the Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo.
Here are the odds for the men’s 3×3 basketball.
Men’s 3×3 Basketball Odds
Odds as of July 27 at DraftKings
Inside the Matchups
The Serbians draw a favorable matchup against Russia (ROC). Russia did bounce back in the quarterfinal against the Netherlands winning 21-19. The Dutch expected to be the biggest challenge to Serbia but Russia pulled off the upset. They held off the Dutch after the Netherlands nearly erased a six-point deficit.
— Dusan Domovic Bulut (@MrBullutproof) July 27, 2021
Russia got throttled in the prelims by Serbia 21-10, as the Serbians were too forceful inside for the Russians to contain them. When the ROC collapsed down low, Serbia made them pay from the perimeter often. They were just too fast. That very well could happen again in the semifinal and is likely to.
The other matchup features Latvia going up against Belgium. All the games Wednesday morning will be on USA Network. Latvia is favored slightly over Belgium. The Latvians closed out Japan in the quarterfinals. It has been a tournament where Latvia has played better as it has gone on. Their chemistry from high to low is a little better than Belgium’s.
This is one game that can go either way but Belgium may be a little rusty as they did get a bye. The Latvians should be able to take advantage of this, hit a few more perimeter shots, and outlast Belgium to advance.
The Serbians Look Dominant
Team Serbia is a formidable opponent and has beaten all three semifinal opponents in round-robin play. They almost broke a sweat against Russia in the first meeting and cruised to a six-point win over Latvia earlier in the tournament. There is little reason to believe that much will change.
Some will argue that this is almost unfair but this team looks like they are on cruise control to win the gold medal.
Dusan Bulut is arguably the best player in the world at 3×3. Rankings may say otherwise but in this tournament, Bulut along with Aleksander Ratkov and the shot blocker in Vasic. When one adds in Dejan Mastorovic in the mix, the Serbians are a machine. Latvia has Nauris Miezis (the best-ranked player in the world) but Serbia is undefeated and playing the best right now.
The Pick: Serbia (-135)
Women’s 3×3 Basketball Odds
Odds as of July 27 at DraftKings
Can the Americans pull this off?
What Team USA has done in this tournament has been impressive. They did lose to Japan in the final game of pool play but they had clinched a bye by then and coasted through that game. France edged Japan 16-14 in a hotly contested affair.
In the first meeting, Team USA had too much speed and defense for France holding them to just 10 points in an easy 17-10 win. Stefanie Dolson and Jackie Young were amazing in the first meeting slowing down the French attack late. It was 9-8 at one point then the defense took over.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 24, 2021
If that is not enough Kelsey Plum can shoot from anywhere and Allisha Gray is capable of slashing inside and out. That is part of what makes Team USA so difficult to contain. The Americans should be able to handle France in the semifinals again.
Who Can Slow Down Team USA?
There is not as much value for Team USA but the feeling is Russia does not quite have the interior penetration that Team USA has. China, however, does. It was the Chinese that provided the Americans their stiffest test. Expect that again if China can get by Russia.
Our pick is the WNBA-led women from Team USA in a close, tight gold medal game.
The Pick: Team USA (-200), Longshot: Team China (+900)