The group stage has been fun and profitable. Hopefully you put the small amount of information I provided last time around to good use:
- Underrated – Croatia & Lithuania
- Overrated – Brazil
It was clear after the first day that Australia were another underrated team. Their starters are all NBA players, in fact they’ve got 4 NBA champions! Their bench isn’t good though, but I think they can get pass Lithuania. They’ve opened up at -3.5.
Serbia v Croatia should be interesting. Serbia should come through. Croatia’s big problem is they don’t have any centers, but do have relatively good wings.
Spain should beat France. There’s often some bad blood between these two sides, highlighted by Batum getting medieval on Navarro’s nuts in 2012 and Rudy Fernandez’s high tackle on Tony Parker in 2011:
The last quarterfinal is Team USA v Argentina, for which I’ll recommend a bet. The team with the fastest pace in the group stage is Argentina (!), and the team with the 2nd fastest pace in the group stage is the USA. The total has opened up at 190.5, which is the highest of the games so far and I’ll be taking the under.
Argentina surely won’t be stupid enough to be jacking up shots early in the clock v USA like they have so far. Their only chance is to minimise possessions, drastically slow the pace and make it a halfcourt game. Three of their four best players are old and slow anyway, so they won’t be scoring any fast break points. I expect them to struggle to score anyway. They don’t have any decent centers let alone anyone to match up against Boogie and DAJ.
The USA haven’t played well so far, but as it’s the knock out stages I’d at least hope they would give better effort on D. They’ve opened up a 24 point favourite and given the matchups I wouldn’t be surprised to see them cover that and the under to land.