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Serbia – USA

serbia usa fiba world cup betting preview

The match which was expected by many to be the grand final of the FIBA Basketball World Cup will see USA and Serbia square off on Thursday in a playoff for places 5th – 8th, as both teams suffered disappointing quarterfinal exits.

Serbia came to China with an exceptional team and, despite missing Milos Teodosic, many were dubbing them to win gold – myself included. The Serbs started the tournament in magnificent form, winning their first four matches by an average margin of 40.75 points per game (!!!), including a 15 point win over Italy. However, something broke for Serbia in their last two outings. They lost the last group game by 12 points against Spain, and proceeded to lose by 10 points to Argentina in the quarterfinals – a match they were heavily favored to win. The defense simply collapsed in these last two games, and the abysmal three point shooting did not allow Serbia to make up for it on the offensive end.

USA was still the big favorite to win the title despite bringing a weakened team to China, with only two NBA All Stars in the squad. But teams knew the Americans were vulnerable, and it showed during the tournament. USA won all 5 group games, but did not particularly impress, and suffered a big scare against Turkey – a match which they won only due to Turkey suffering a historic choke. Eventually, USA’s weaknesses cost them in the quarters against France, with the French pulling away at the end for a 10 point win.

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This will for sure be an anti climatic and disappointing matchup for both teams, as playing for the 5th-8th places is definitely not what they (or anybody) expected. But you have to feel Serbia will have a bit more to fight for.

This truly is a golden generation for Serbian basketball, and they have an amazing roster with solid NBA players like Jokic, Bogdanovic, Marjanovic, Bjelica or Guduric, supported by a cast of top Euroleague guys. Serbia will have the best player on the court in Nikola Jokic, who was in discussion for NBA MVP this Summer, their starting 5 is as good as USA’s, and beating the Americans will still be a big objective for them. A win would be a big success despite the disappointing QF exit.

As for USA, the tournament has been a complete disaster. It will be only the second time USA does not get a medal since 1978, and playing for the 5th – 8th places will definitely be a chore. The guys now will focus on avoiding injuries and getting back to their clubs as soon as possible.

Even though Serbia’s game short-circuited in the last two matches, they still have the talent to beat the USA, they have superior team chemistry and have the extra motivation to get the W. Even not being at their best against Spain and Argentina, Serbia could have possibly won those games if not for their atrocious three point shooting. That tells you how good the team is.

You can`t expect Serbia to shoot 15% or 28% from three for a third straight game considering the elite shooters they have, so I`ll back them to upset the USA here. My tip will be Serbia to win. Prediction: Serbia – USA 88 – 84.

Pick: Serbia
Odds: 2.43 @ 1xBet
Stake: 7
Possible profit: 10.01
Event date: 12 September

About Rostick

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