As closer Eurobasket-2011 qualification campaign to its end the less value positions we get because more and more matches has less importance for teams. Today I think we have 2 matches with value bets so I will provide more analysis for these games.
Italy – Latvia
Italy got its rhytm on offensive end and now it’s time finally show what they really can to their fans in Bari. Latvia is the weakest defensive team in this tournament especially when they are playing away from home. Against this defense I expect Italy to score 86-90 points and this going to be a revenge for lost match in Riga. I am not sure about Latvia total in this game but I think that they should be able to score around 68-73 points because of high pace they usually bring to the game. 87-70 is fair line here. Nobet.
Montenegro – Finland
I expected that bookies will do a huge handicap for this match because they did not have another option. Montenegro won in Finland by 14 and covering 9.5 handicap, they won in Latvia where Finland was demolished by 20 so logical that Montenegro should have huge handicap at home against Finland. But 22.5 points handicap is too much I think. Such big handicaps are normal when div A team playing against div B team but not inside the div A. And don’t forget than Montenegro last year was playing in div B while Finland was in final qualification round for Eurobasket-2009.
Finland on other side is not so bad as public see them. They lost at home to Montenegro by 14 not because Montenegro was so better team but because Finland shot only 28% from game. Than they cut the 17 points Italy lead to 2 points in Italy and were fighting for the victory outside of Finland, next day they won at home against Israel without Mottola and Saanpaa.. and than they heavily lost in Latvia because they were missing T.Ranneko but what like in fins is their character. They always fight until the end (and I can’t say this about Montenegro especially when they lead with double digits).
For this game Finland will have well rested T.Ranekko back into the roster and looks that fins are not going to end their campaign. It will be hard to fight for a victory in Montenegro this evening but I am sure that fair handicap here should be between 12.5 and 16.5 points in best case. I expect fins to score 67-73 points while hosts are going to use their advantage under the rims and will score 80-86 points.
Prediction: Finland 68 – 83 Montenegro
Pick: Finland +22.5 @ 1.85 3/10 Expekt
Georgia – Belgium
At home Belgium was a 2.5 points favorite and they won by 10 points. I can’t understand why are they 9 points outsider now? But why? Is Georgia a new european power? I don’t think so. Poland showed where is their place in european basketball. Maybe public is missing latest news from Belgium team that Mbenga from LA Lakers will play today for Belgium and this is a huge boost at least defensively for them. Also both teams landed in Tbilisi yesterday in the morning so the legs of Belgium players should be fresher because they had a day off when Georgia played in Poland.
Another important factor here is motivation. Belgium has 3-1 record in this group and it is very important for them to defend +10 points advantage in case of loss. But I think that Belgium is coming to Georgia to fight for the victory. Because defensively they are very solid and offensively they are very dangerous especially now with Mbenga in the roster.
I expect a thriller here with possible Georgian upset because Belgium has enough bodies to defend well against Pachulia and if they again will score 10+ 3-pointers they can win this game.
Pick: Belgium +8.5 @ 1.85 5/10 Unibet