Team France will look to close out the preliminary round in strong fashion against Team Iran on Saturday in Tokyo. France has nothing to prove in this final matchup. They are advancing to the next round regardless of what happens against Iran. France could bench their starters and allow their backups to play and likely still get out of this one with a win.
It’s not wise to take any team lightly, but France won’t need a top effort for a win here. The Iranians have been the worst team in this Olympic men’s basketball tournament. They are just looking to go back home with a win for pride. A massive upset against France would be enough for them to feel like winners.
Iran looked fine in their first game with a 84-78 loss against the Czech Republic. Well, at least the final score looked respectable. This was a case of the Czech squad stopping playing in the final quarter. They had a convincing 21-point lead going into the 4th frame. However, the Czech Republic shut things down and almost blew the game. Iran outscored the Czech by a score of 32-17 in the 4th. That’s a case of their opponent getting lazy believing it’s in the bag.
Against the powerhouse Team USA, Iran held around in the first 2 minutes of that matchup. People were thinking, uh oh, the US can’t possibly struggle against Iran, right? They ended up blowing the Iranians out of the water for a final score of 120-66. It wasn’t remotely close in the end. That’s what happens when a team takes Iran seriously for a full match. How serious is France going to take Iran? This is nothing more than a tune-up for the French. Head below for our free Iran vs. France pick for July 30, 2021.
Team Iran vs. Team France Tokyo 2020 Olympics Men’s Basketball Betting Odds:
Iran vs. France Prediction:
The only quarter that Iran has looked good in at the Olympics was the 4th against the Czech Republic. They’ve been severely outplayed, and haven’t been able to shoot in seven out of eight quarters in the Olympics. In the quarter that Iran played well in, it was a case of their opponent laying down and playing no defense. Through two games, the Iranians have averaged 72 points per game.
Let’s take out the 4th quarter against the Czech and Iran has averaged 16 points per quarter. The Iran team just struggles to shoot the ball. It doesn’t really matter if there’s intense defense or not. Against the US, Iran shot just 62% from the free throw line. I point out the free throw line because no one is playing defense there, obviously. From the field, Iran shot 45% and just 33% from deep. The US knows all about how strong the France defense can be.
France held the Americans to 40% shooting in the first game of this tournament. Sure it was a bad performance for the US from the field, but the France defense was putting in work in that game. Are they going to be as aggressive against Iran tonight? Hardly, but against an Iran team that struggles to score, France probably won’t have to do much. Rudy Gobert will have the paint covered, so Iran is going to have to fire away and hope for the best.
France should have a large lead established going into the 4th quarter. They will likely pull their starters and have Evan Fournier sitting on the bench. I can’t see them going all out looking to score the ball. Expect France to kill the clock and look to get out of this one healthy. Then on the other side, you have to depend on an Iran team that has averaged 16 points in seven of eight quarters in the Olympics. I see this one staying UNDER the total.