Latvia – Finland
The injury bug is biting again as Finland prepare to head to Latvia for Saturday’s EuroBasket qualifier. Finland will be without Kopponen (did not play single game at this qualification campaign), Mottola & Saanpaa (long term injuries – but both have started this qual. campaign), plus highly doubtful Raneku (15.5 ppg per 26 min) and Kotti is questionable (will play most probably with injury).
“For Tuukka, the prospects are better,” said coach Henrik Dettman. “For Teemu, if I were gambling, I’d bet on him not playing.” Both players were forced to leave Wednesday’s game against Israel, which The Fins managed to win 84-83 in a thrilling finish.
Latvia is not a top material for sure but at home they are usually play with confidence and now after Israel loss in Finland they have chances to qualify as best 2nd team (especially if Israel will lose to Montenegro tonight). I still think that Latvian head coach is the weakest point of the team but it is still a team with 2 players on each position. All latvian players has some international experience in eurocups with their clubs and now it is time to use it in their advantage.
Handicap (-4.5) is fair for healthy Finland but not for injury dupleted. With these missings Latvia is heavy favorite to win here.
Pick: Finland (-4.5) @ 1.80 5/10 Betfair or Expekt
Poland – Belgium
Poland have suffered a double injury blow to their EuroBasket qualifying campaign with Krzystof Szubarga ruled out for the long-term with ruptured ligaments in his knee, while Adam Lapeta has a twisted ankle. Poland left with only one slow-paced playmaker L. Koszarek and will play against opponent with great defensive line to stop Gortat & Lampe under the boards. Belgium has Van Den Spiegel, Fason, Driesen, Herville, Beghin to make life difficult for Poland center-oriented offense. Also Belgium is slowest team in this Eurocampaign with just 153 possessions per game.
Can’t see this game to be high scoring because both teams have enougn defensive skills and also game pace should not be hight. I see this game 134-145 points game and under 147.5 looks very promising for me.
Pick: Under 147.5 @ 1.95 4/10 Pinnacle
Israel – Montenegro
Israel has no other choice than to win against direct competitor for qualification. At Nokia arena jewish team always is hard to beat but offensively they are looking very good this year and their all-around game should help them in this tough game. Their biggest problem is how to defend against Pekovic but with home crowd support and some referees whistles they must find way to survice during those 22-28 minutes when Nikola is on court.
Israel also has deeper bench and better offense which can trouble Montenegro superb defense. I can’t say that this line has a lot of value but for low-medium stake Israel ML looks pretty tempting.
Pick: Israel @ 1.70 3/10 Pinnacle