Olympic Basketball 2021: Women's Quarters TV Schedule, Live Stream and Odds

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 3, 2021

United States' Breanna Stewart (10) drives to the basket between France's Gabrielle Williams (15), left, and Sandrine Gruda (7), right, during women's basketball preliminary round game at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The United States women's basketball team has turned in three solid results to top its group and back up its favorite status at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Dawn Staley's team won each of its three group games by nine points or more and qualified for the knockout round as the second-best squad behind China. 

China put up a larger point differential and is on the same side of the knockout bracket as the Americans. 

First up for the USA in the knockout round is Australia. The Americans are the only double-digit favorite in the quarterfinals with a 15.5-point line in their favor. 

The other three matchups in the final eight are projected to be close with spreads of three points or fewer, including China's clash with Serbia. 


Olympic Women's Basketball QF Schedule

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Tuesday, August 2

China (-2.5) vs. Serbia (9 p.m. ET)


Wednesday, August 3

United States (-15.5) vs. Australia (12:40 a.m. ET. USA Network) 

Japan (-2.5) vs. Belgium (4:20 a.m. ET)

Spain vs. France (-1.5) (8 a.m, ET)

All games can be live-streamed on NBCOlympics.com or the NBC Sports app.


United States vs. Australia

The United States should have a relatively easy time against Australia, who finished third in Group C and had only one victory against last-place finisher Puerto Rico.

The Aussies produced a scare against China, as it lost by just two points, but it also has a 15-point defeat to Belgium on its resume. In the two losses, the team failed to reach the 80-point threshold that the Americans eclipsed in each of their group-stage contests. 

The U.S. should receive an abundance of scoring opportunities once again, but Staley and her team know they will be facing Australia's best shot, per ESPN's Mechelle Voepel.

"Here's the thing: We take everybody's best effort," she said. "A marathon isn't won in the first mile, and the first quarter is the first mile to us. We get everybody's best shot; the adrenaline is flowing on both sides. It's hard to create separation." 

The United States should use Wednesday's clash to fine tune its play on both sides of the court before the tougher matchups in the next two rounds. 

Defensively, the Americans should have the edge and they can use some of the principles utilized by China and Belgium to slow down Australia. 

Ezi Magbegor of the Seattle Storm was the leading scorer in Australia's first two games, but she was held to a total of 35 points. 

If the Americans keep Australia's top players in check and again produce a well-rounded approach on offense, they should cruise into the semifinal round.


China vs. Serbia

China deserves its title as a small favorite versus Serbia because of how the two teams have played against the best teams in the competition.

China won all three of its matchups and took down Belgium by 12 points. It also proved it could win a close game by beating Australia by two. 

Serbia eked out wins over Canada and South Korea but fell to Spain by 15 points in Group A. 

If Serbia is unable to match China's all-around quality, like it did in the loss to Spain, the Chinese should be able to set up a semifinal meeting with the United States without too much difficulty. 

Of course, you could make the case that Serbia winning two close games in Group A makes it battle-tested for the knockout round. 

But the counter to that would be it did not have the pull-away speed needed to get past some of the weaker sides in the competition and that may lead to a struggle against the Chinese team. 

However, neither team can afford to look ahead to a potential meeting with the United States because that could affect how it plays in the quarterfinal round. 


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