Italy vs France: who is staying?
On the Olympic Qualifying tournament Italy barely went past the group stage and then beat Serbia in the final (102:95). That success sparked their great performance in the group stage, where the nominal hosts beat Germany (92:82) and Nigeria (80:71), but were defeated by Australia (83:86).
Eventually Italians finished on the second position in the group and got a ticket to the playoffs. Worth noting that in all matches NBA players were the best ones on the floor, especially the team's capitan, Nicolo Melli, who is playing for Dallas.
France national team has four NBA players in the squad and they have proved their worth in the first match, where they managed to beat team USA (83:76), not many teams are able to do that. Second match ended with a confident victory over the Czech team (97:77), who failed to live up to the expectations.
Closing match of the group stage was not contested at all. French team won the game against Iran with the fewest points conceded on the tournament (79:62), ASVEL player Thomas Heurtel was the best one in this match, he put up 16 points and 3 rebounds.
Italy never scored less than 80 points on that tournament
France lost the first quarter on 2 out of 3 matches on the current tournament
Three victories of the Frenchmen in Tokyo were recorded with a total over 165,5
France is a clear favourite of this match, but their squad is not significantly stronger than Italy's. Without a doubt, Italians will be highly motivated for a play-off match. We are expecting a victory from the Tricolors, but we are not expecting a blowout.
Our prediction - Asian handicap (+9.5) for Italy
Prediction: Handicap (+9.5) for Italy
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Both teams were extremely high-scoring during the group stage, but now it is a different game, so we are expecting more accurate defensive performance from both teams.
Our second bet is on total under 169,5 points