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Argentina – France

Argentina France basketball betting preview

Argentina and France will square off on Friday with a place in the FIBA Basketball World Cup Final up for grabs.

Argentina has been one of the pleasant surprises of the tournament so far. Although traditionally a basketball powerhouse with championship pedigree, the Argentinians were not rated among the top favorites at the start of the competition. And that was fair, because their roster is not what it used to be. However, with no NBA players and only two recognizable names on the world stage (Scola from Shanghai and Campazzo from Real Madrid), Argentina managed to win all games so far. While they had an easy draw in the group stages, beating Serbia in the quarterfinals was definitely a massive statement.

France is on the back of a marvelous 10 point win over Team USA in the quarters, so now the French will definitely be full of confidence that they can go for Gold in this competition. With arguably the best roster left in the tournament and with Rudy Gobert playing like an absolute beast, France is now considered the favorite to lift the title. So far the French have played some great basketball and they had to do it, as they had a very difficult schedule. They got past good teams like USA, Lithuania and Germany, their sole loss coming in the main group stage – a two point defeat against a red hot Australian side.

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The French will do well not to underestimate Argentina. They can`t allow themselves to be hung over after the win over Team USA. That would be a disaster waiting to happen, but surely the experienced players in the squad will have made sure that is not the case. And France has plenty of seasoned, big time veterans, like Gobert, Fournier, Batum and De Colo.

There`s no doubt France has the (much) better team here, and they have also proved themselves more than Argentina during the course of this tournament. Despite losing a game against Australia, France had a much tougher draw, with many more meaningful tests.

Argentina cruised through an easy group stage with the only real opponent, Russia, being in shambles. Indeed, the win against Serbia in the quarters was very impressive, but it has to be said that Argentina shot some crazy percentages which are unlikely to be repeated. Also, Serbia missed quite a few open threes and shot just 28% from deep – it would have been hard for Serbia to beat any good teams when such a big part of their game was functioning so poorly.

One thing which sticks out in regards to the matchup is how Argentina’s best player will be able to perform against France. In a surprising turn of events, Argentina relied heavily on the 39 year old Luis Scola in this tournament. The former 10 year old NBA veteran, now in his 25th (!!!) professional season, has carried a huge load – leading the team in scoring (4 more ppg than any other teammate) and rebounds (2.3 more rpg than any other teammate). Nobody really thought that Scola still has it in him to perform this way at his age.

But this time Scola will have to go H2H against the two time reigning NBA defensive player of the year, Rudy Gobert. It is hard to believe the old Scola can replicate his effective post moves against the best player left in the tournament. And, while Argentina plays great team basketball, it will be very hard for them to win if Scola is kept in check, as he has been the barometer for the team’s performance so far.

I think the -6 point handicap on France is a little bit risky, as the French played some close games in this tournament, and Argentina will be a resilient opponent. But it definitely seems that France should have enough to win this, whether it will be harder or easier. My tip will be France to win. Prediction: France – Argentina 85 – 78.

Pick: France
Odds: 1.44 @ William Hill
Stake: 8
Possible profit: 3.52
Event date: 13 September

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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