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

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 5, 2021

United States's Breanna Stewart (10) celebrates a score with teammates during a women's basketball quarterfinal game against Australia at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The United States women's basketball team delivered the most dominant performance in the four quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics.

That should be a promising sign for Friday's semifinal clash with Serbia. The Americans are listed as a 17.5-point favorite for that matchup. 

Dawn Staley's team was the only one of the four victors to win by double figures and hold its opponent under 60 points. 

Serbia, Japan and France all had to eke out single-digit victories to move one win away from a guaranteed medal. 

Serbia and France came up short in the semifinal round at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Serbia then beat France for the bronze medal. 

Japan is after its first-ever women's basketball medal, but to reach the final, it has to deal with a tough France squad.


Women's Basketball Semifinal Schedule

Friday, August 6

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Serbia vs. United States (-17.5) (12:40 a.m. ET, USA Network)

Japan vs. France (-3.5) (7 a.m. ET)

Games can be live-streamed on NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports app



Serbia vs. United States

The United States cruised into the semifinal round with a 24-point win over Australia that was powered by a fantastic first-half performance out of Breanna Stewart. 

Stewart finished the contest with 23 points and went 8-for-10 from the field to finish off the Aussies. 

Stewart, A'Ja Wilson and Brittney Griner combined to put up 48 of the 79 points scored by the United States. 

The Americans now have three consecutive double-digit wins and seem to be hitting their stride at the right time in Japan. 

The frontcourt strength will once again be key on Friday to move on to the gold-medal game. The Americans have won the last six gold medals in women's basketball. 

Serbia needs to find consistency early on from the field to avoid the Americans opening up a large advantage by halftime. 

The United States held Australia to 30 percent from the field, and it did not allow its quarterfinal foe to score more than 15 points in a single quarter.

Serbia managed 35 points in the first two quarters against China before it broke away in the second half with 52 points. 

Serbia needs more production from the jump. It has some difficult players to guard in Sonja Vasic and Ana Dabovic. They were two of three scorers in double figures versus China. 

If Serbia plays a near-perfect first half, it will put some pressure on the Americans and could stay competitive in the second half. 

In 2016, Serbia fell by 14 points to Spain in the semifinal round. A similar result could happen on Friday if a fast start does not happen.


Japan vs. France

Japan and France will face off for the second time in the competition. 

In the Group B opener, the host nation defeated the 2016 fourth-place finisher by four points. 

Japan shot 40.7 percent from three-point range in that contest, while France made only four of its 19 attempts from deep. 

France was not much better from three-point range in its quarterfinal win over Spain, but its perimeter defense improved. France went 6-for-22 from downtown, while Spain was 5-for-22.

France's defense needs to play at a similar level on Friday to contain a Japanese offense that put up 86 points in a one-point victory over Belgium.

Yuki Miyazawa led Japan with 21 points, and four other players found their way into the double-digit threshold. 

If Japan comes close to replicating that performance, it will become a surprise participant in the gold-medal game. 

France qualified for the gold-medal game in 2012 and fell short against the Americans in the semifinal round in 2016.

If France plays better defense and banks off its experience at this stage, it could avenge its group-stage loss to the home side. 


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