All playoff participants travelled to Lille yesterday, where Eurobasket final stage will be played now. Flights from Riga, Zagreb and Berlin, new arena (24.000 spectators), new hotels and just one 45-minute training on Friday. It’s quite difficult to predict how these factors will affect teams, but that can bring some surprises for sure. We have 3 bets for tonight games and two of them are free today (tomorrow will be less).
Slovenia – Latvia
Afternoon game. These teams did not have time to make morning session, so at the start of game it will be important to feel the basket and new arena. It’s impossible to predict who will do it better, so let’s concentrate on teams only.
Slovenia is no so much better team than Latvia. And Latvia won against them in friendly 72:65. But that was a friendly game in Riga. Now it’s neutral ground and deciding battle for chance to appear in Rio-2016. The key difference between team is that Slovenia has a true leader – Zoran Dragic. He scores, rebounds, assists, push the pace, while others keep doing their job well. Latvia doesn’t have such player and it makes difference, which is fairly set by bookmakers.
Slovenia is right favorite status, but I don’t see much value in taking them at such odds. We always should seek for games, where our chances is different from bookmakers estimation and here I have the same opinion as bookies.
As for the total line I expect to see average-to-slow pace. Latvia should have some troubles with early offense here, and Slovenia by default play half-court basketball. It all wil depend on shooting percentage, but I expect Slovenia to score 70-75 and keep Latvia under 71 points. Under 144.5 looks like best betting choice here, but value is quite low and almost not-existing.
Spain – Poland
Spain is still getting too much respect in the lines in my eyes. Yes, they have powerful roster, which is much better & exprienced than Polish team, but I can’t find reason why they should be -13 points favorite here. Poland played close game against France in Monpelie and France is same calibre team as today opponent. Poland did not impress at first games, but they are improving game by game and getting better together. They have long bench, which works much better than Germany bench worked against Spain and that should help them to stay in the game.
Spain scores points easily, but Germany, Iceland and Italy are weak in defense this year and against Germany Spain failed to overcome 1 pts/poss. effeciency, which is normal for them. They scored 0.94 pts/poss. and it shows that against normal defense they might not be so good offensively as they were against tired and not-motivated Turkey, Iceland and Italy.
So here how I see this game. 1) Spain should get -9.5 line here. 2) Poland might score more than line expect from them. Thanks to relaxed Spain offense, which believes that they score as much as they can 3) Poland defense is quite physical one and they can deliver troubles to spanish offense. I expect 79-86 for Spain here, but Poland may score up to 79 by stats here, but 70-74 looks more realistic. So Poland +13 looks very good bet here for me.
PICK: POLAND +13 @ 1.92 PINNACLE
France – Turkey
This is more like a system bet, but it is supported by 4 points value too. Turkey had 4 overs in a row in group stage and it automatically becomes an under bet choice, when teams are doing such streak at this competition format. Line is overreacting to Turkey numbers right now, which were much below in preparations tournament. Just look at Turkey schedule, motivation and opponents in group stage. They started with defense-less Italy and won 89:87. Next day they are playin relaxed game with Spain (77:104), that important and key game against Germany 80:75 (29 points in first qt squared). That again relax with Serbia 72:91 and friendly game with Iceland 91:91.
This game will be a completely different. France defense is one of the best in Europe and in such important it will be 100% concentrated. Turkey also playing good defense normally, when they need it and they know that defense is their only hope to reach Rio next year. Also both teams are forcing opponents to slow pace and that should lead to low pace game.
I see France in 75-86 points range (but 75-81 looks more probable), while turks will have big problems against French defense on 40-minute distance and will finish in 63-71. Still there is a small chance for over, but most logical score here is 78:65 or smth close to these numbers.
PICK: UNDER 146 @ 1.90 PINNACLE
PAID SUBSCRIPTION PICKS
Greece – Belgium