Slovenia vs France Prediction: Olympic Basketball Betting Picks
August 4, 2021
Slovenia vs France is the second semifinal of the Tokyo Olympic men’s basketball tournament. Slovenia have been the darlings of the men’s basketball event in Tokyo, while France has only continued to build off of their opening game victory against the United States. In this contest, two very different styles of play will clash and the side that can impose their style of play on the other should have a huge leg up in reaching the gold medal game to face the USA vs Australia winner.
Slovenia vs France Men’s Basketball Betting Pick
Slovenia has been the most exciting team in the Olympic basketball tournament, even more so than the United States. They are averaging a tournament-best 105.8 points per game thus far, winning all four games they have played to this point. They are led by the incomparable Luka Doncic, but Slovenia has proven that they are so much more than what Doncic is able to provide.
After their blowout wins over Argentina and Japan, where Doncic led the team in scoring in both games, the Slovenians have had two different scoring leaders. Against Spain, it was Vlatko Cancar leading Slovenia with 22 points, before Zoran Dragic’s 27 points led the team in the quarterfinals against Germany. And with Mike Tobey averaging a double-double so far in the tournament, it is clear that slowing down Doncic might not be enough for Slovenia’s opponents.
While Slovenia has been winning their games with a high-powered offense, the French national team has been winning their Olympic games with their defense. France is also 4-0 so far in the Olympics, scoring wins over Team USA, Iran, Czech Republic and italy. In those four games, France has yet to allow 80 points in a game, a streak they will look to extend against the explosive Slovenians.
The scoring numbers for France haven’t been as impressive as those from Slovenia, with France averaging 85.8 points per game, a full 20 points per game less than their semifinal opponent. But that can be attributed to France playing a more methodical style, as France has shot a very efficient 50% from the field. If they can keep the number of possessions down in this game, they have a great shot to minimize Slovenia’s production and get to the final.
In this matchup, the French will not have anyone who can slow down Luka Doncic, as such a player doesn’t exist in basketball today. But the shooting from Doncic has been unimpressive since his 48-point performance against the abysmal Argentina squad. He has averaged just 19 points per game since that contest, and likely won’t get as many shots up in a slower paced game thanks to France’s tempo preferences.
While Slovenia is the sentimental favorite in this tournament, the defense of France has proven that it can slow down the best offense in the world already. Expect France to try and draw offensive fouls from Doncic the way Spain did in Slovenia’s final group stage game, and for the French to take the pace out of the game whenever possible. It won’t be pretty, but France will strategize their way to a rematch with the United States for the gold.
Olympic Basketball Betting FAQ
Who is the favorite to win the gold medal?
The favorite to win the gold medal entering the semifinals is the United States. The Americans are at -280 to win the gold in men’s basketball with just four teams left in the hunt. But they will have to beat Australia and then either France or Slovenia to get the job done, which will be no easy task.
Who will win USA vs Australia?
The United States should get the better of Australia in their semifinal matchup. Australia may well cover the 12-point spread, but the scoring punch of the United States should be enough to finish the job and get to the gold medal game at the end of the day.
Who would be the toughest matchup for Team USA?
The toughest matchup in the United States in the gold medal game would be France. Slovenia can score the ball effectively, but their defense would get torn to shreds against the Americans. France’s defense would be the toughest matchup for the United States, and has already proven it can beat the United States.