Eurobasket-2011 Qualification: Day 8 Picks

eurobasket-2011Finland – Italy
Latvia – Israel

Two very similar matches. Host sides has no realistic chances to promote from this group while Italy and Israel are fighting for best 2nd position in group and also they have to get there with best possible points margin to have advantage against group B and C opponents in case of tie-situation. So on one side handicaps set a bit higher than they should be in normal match but on other side Italy & Israel for sure will try to win with higher margin.

Latvia is more dangerous opponent than injury-depleted Finland but I think that away sides will win their matches here. Maybe both favorites will cover handicap but I don’t see any value in backing it. The best option for me to try small combo of these 2 outcomes.

Pick: Italy ML @ 1.25 + Israel ML @ 1.36 @ 1.70 3/10 William Hill

Belgium – Portugal

Belgium is not a team capable of covering such big handicaps. Belgium is 63-70 points team on defensive end and offensively they quite limited usually scoring below 80 points. Considering that Portugal defensively usually allows 77-85 points we might expect both teams to score in the 63-86 points where it is very hard to cover 19.5 points handicap for favorite.

I expect Belgium to get another win here but handicap should lower than it is currently set. Unfortunately this is only for low stakes because Portugal does not impress me during this qualification tournament but this time I expect them to lose by 11-20 points so my handicap is around 15 points. Small advantage exist but only for low stakes.

Pick: Portugal +19 @ 1.85 2/10 188bet

Poland – Bulgaria

Very important match for both teams. Poland is favorite but line movement to -8 make them a bit overestimated again. Bulgaria is dangerous team which is going to secure +4 points advantage but in Poland I can’t realistic chances for the away victory so handicap don’t have any interest for me. Poland has M.Lample questionable but stomach problem is not a type of injury that he leave player out of the court in such important game. Nobet.

Bosnia – Hungary

Nobet game for me.

Macedonia – Great Britain

Bet of the day comes from Macedonia in this 8th edition of Eurobasket-2011 qualies campaign. Many people support Great Britain because there were so impressive in their wins over Hungary, Ukraine, Bosnia and Luol Deng person attracts so many votes.. Ok, I have nothing against this Great Britain was really ok in their matches. But what about first away game with weak Hungary where they won only in the 4th quarter? What about just +2 against the same Hungary at home? What about Ukraine which was leading until 32 minute in England? What about winning over Bosnia which was leading against almost whole game but played their first game without their leading scorer N.Gordic? And finally what about Macedonia lead 83-76 just few minutes before the end in England? Ok, Great Britain managed to win that match in OT but during whole qualification campaign they were close to losing a game almost in every game. And now it is time to get a first loss I think.

Macedonia on other side now almost in win-or-die situation. If they lose it will be very difficult to be a best 2nd team from 3 groups. Israel has very good chances to finish with 5 victories and home game with Finland where they can get so needed points margin. In group C 2nd team is also most probably finish with 5 wins. And Macedonia in case must get their 5th win in Bosnia and also to care about points difference.. Hard job to do. But everything looks much better if they win today against Great Britain. First they will have 5 wins, they points difference is currently the best one against 2nd teams and it will be better before last game day. If they win by 9 points and more they also have head to head advantage over the Great Britain and in case GB team will lose to Bosnia or Ukraine they will be first in group.

With their defense and fans support Macedonia in my eyes is clear favorite in this game. They have best defense in this qualies and I expect finally to stop Deng with some special defensive tricks, while Mensa Bonsu will have a difficult day against physical macedonian forwards and centers. Bo McCalebb superb form, strong efense, hot 3 points shooting, and home crowd should lead to confident Macedonia victory by 8-15 points. I expect something around 84-72 for hosts.

Pick: Macedonia (-5) @ 1.85 Pinnacle 5/10

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