The 2022 Women's Volleyball Nations League quarterfinals continue on Thursday with a pair of matches on the schedule as berths in the semifinals are on the line. In the first one, Italy and China will meet for the second time in the prestigious tournament, with the Chinese coming out victorious in the first encounter in the preliminaries. In the final quarterfinal, it's Turkey vs Thailand. These two teams have yet to face one another in the competition. Read on for the Women’s Volleyball Nations League picks.
Italy vs China Odds & Prediction
|Italy||-11.5 (-125)||-525||Ov 175.5 (-120)|
|China||+11.5 (-115)||+325||Un 175.5 (-120)|
The Italians enjoyed a rather impressive preliminary round, finishing tied for second spot with Brazil, compiling a 10-2 record. In the process, they won 31 games and lost just 13. Italy started off the tournament with a bad loss to Turkey, but instantly bounced back and just dropped one match in their next 11 and that was against China. But Italy did finish the opening round in an extremely promising fashion, beating Bulgaria and Thailand in straight sets while also defeating Korea in four sets. They really dominated Thailand in their most recent match, outscoring them 75-48 and collecting seven aces and six blocks. Egonu Paola Ogechi had 19 attack points in the victory as she wreaked havoc for all three sets.
China is currently No. 3 in the FVB rankings but has never placed better than third place in the Nations League since it was introduced in 2018. They ended up just behind Italy in the preliminary phase with an 8-4 record. Five of their victories came in four sets, while the other three were in straight sets. Just like Italy, the Chinese rounded out the last round on a high note, notching three wins in a row, also dropping just one set during that span. China took care of Korea on July 3rd, with outside hitter Li Yingying collecting 23 block assists and 18 attack points. She played a massive part in the outcome and will be an important factor on Thursday.
China did beat Italy already and they're honestly a massive underdog here, which is why I like the value. Take the Chinese to repeat and move into the semis.
Women's Nations League picks: China to beat Italy.
Turkey vs Thailand Odds & Prediction
|Turkey||-17.5 (-115)||-2000||Ov 138.5 (-120)|
|Thailand||+17.5 (-125)||+750||Un 138.5 (-120)|
Turkey is a massive favorite for Thursday's quarterfinal even though they just barely finished ahead of Thailand in the preliminary round with a 7-5 record. Turkey started off the tourney with a big win over the Italians and in their 12th match before qualifying for the final phase, lost to the United States in a five-set thriller. Turkey won sets two and four but didn't have enough to beat the dominant Americans in the final one. Karakurt Ebrar kept her team in the match as she posted a stat line of 27 block assists and 24 attack points, imposing her will on the US frontline. She also blocked three shots. Ebrar will need to step up in a big way again against Thailand and lead by example.
Thailand just squeezed into the final round as the eighth seed, despite going 5-7. That's exactly why they're a notable underdog even though Turkey only had a slightly better record. In fairness, Thailand did play three of the toughest teams in the competition in Brazil, the US, and Italy, losing all of these matchups. But, along the way, they did beat the likes of Serbia, Canada, and China, among others. Thailand aren't exactly in the greatest form right though, losing their final three matches coming into the quarters on Thursday. They lost in three sets to the Italians, four sets to the Brazilians, and four to the Dominicans. That's certainly not a good sign ahead of this Turkey clash. Thailand has never finished above 12th place in the Nations League however so even if they lose here, it will be their best result in the tournament to date. It would certainly be a drastic improvement from their 16th place finish in Italy in 2021. As of June 6th, Thailand is ranked 14th in the FIVB and continue to trend upwards.
I honestly don't give Thailand much hope here. Turkey is a lot better than their record says. The moneyline offers little value, though. That's why I'm thinking Turkey is a good bet to win in four sets. Thailand will pull out one set, but ultimately, the better team will move through to the last four.
Women's Nations League picks: Turkey to beat Thailand in four sets.
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