2020 Tokyo Olympics men's basketball Day 8 best bets: USA closes out the group

USA forwards Draymond Green and Kevin Durant
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Germantas Kneita


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Like most Lithuanians, I started watching basketball from the age of six. I'm based out in London and played basketball at the University of Lincoln here in the UK. I had always had an interest in the NBA but things really took off in the summer of 2010. That year Linas Kleiza led Lithuania to 3rd place at the World Championships and signed with the Toronto Raptors to replace the departing Chris Bosh. I've been a Raptors fan since that day and I've not missed a game since. I've been handicapping games for more than a decade, specializing in player props. For Germantas Kneita media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.
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The group stages of the men’s basketball tournament are wrapping up, with qualification to the quarter finals still a possibility for the majority of teams in action. With Pickswise currently boasting an 8-2 record with our basketball selections,  let’s get right into it and keep it going with my favorite selection for each game.

USA vs Czech Republic Olympic men’s basketball prediction: USA -23.5 (-108)

With France all but expected to comfortably beat Iran and secure top spot in the group, the USA needs a big win to ensure they secure a spot in the same pot as the group winners for the quarter-final draw. Luckily the Czech Republic have failed to impress at this tournament having lost by 20 to France and only beating Iran by 6. Tomas Satoransky can be a dangerous opponent but the burden should be too big for him here against a much deeper USA squad. There is a real lack of scoring threat from the Czech bench which should lead to drop offs in production every quarter, something the USA should not suffer from to the same extent.

The USA has much more formidable shooters and so far this tournament have failed to score at least 20 points in a quarter just once. As mentioned in our public money update, the public are backing the USA to get a comfortable win here. Considering their fire power and Czech struggles, that is the smart pick here. USA should take this by at least 25.

Team USA player Zach Lavine (5) drives against Iran during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Saitama Super Arena

CREDIT – Kyle Terada (USA Today)

Iran vs France Olympic men’s basketball prediction: Over 157.5 (-112)

While public money is going on France to comfortably beat Iran, the safer bet here seems the over on the game total. Iran has simply not been a good defensive team so far in this tournament, allowing 102 points per game, including the 120 they allowed to the USA. France is coming off a strong offensive showing too, having scored 97 against the Czech Republic in their last game. The French boast a lot more size, especially off their bench, and considering Iran’s struggles, they should be able to put up 95 points or so here tonight.

Looking at Iran, they have been surprising offensively so far. They managed to score 66 against the USA despite being overwhelmingly outmatched. They also managed to score 78 against the Czechs and have shot above 30 percent from deep in both of their games. France is undoubtedly the strongest defensively on the interior with Rudy Gobert in the paint. However, Iran managed to score their 66 against the USA despite shooting 39 percent from two-point range so they are versatile enough to put up similar numbers here. All things considered, back the over on this one.

Don’t forget to read our picks for the Olympics tennis women’s gold medal game!

Italy vs Nigeria Olympic men’s basketball prediction: Over 174.5 (-106)

Whilst Nigeria had promise early in the tournament with their defensive talent, that has not come to fruition. They gave up 84 points against Australia and 99 points to Germany, holding their opponents to below 20 points in a quarter just once over those games. Whilst they struggled to score against Australia, the team showed their offensive potential by dropping 92 points against Germany. This is a team oozing with athleticism and hustle, and if they can make at least 35 percent of shots from deep, expect at least 85 points from this squad.

Italy on the other hand showed their offensive potential by scoring 83 points against a defensively stout Australian side. They have done so despite struggling from deep. Nico Mannion is someone that can really push the tempo for them whilst Nicolo Melli and Danilo Gallinari can really space the floor for them. The two big men struggled against the Australians, but with neither playing more than 25 minutes, they should be set to be aggressive from the get-go. Gallinari in particular should be expected to score more than 5 points here. Kirolbet Baskonia forward Simone Fontecchio has picked up the slack and is averaging 21 points per game, but if both of the Italian forwards get going, they could get to 100 here. Back the over.

Nigeria player Jordan Nwora (33) shoots while play Australia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Saitama Super Arena.

CREDIT – Kyle Terada (USA Today)

Australia vs Germany Olympic men’s basketball prediction: Germany +9.5 (-120)

With the best third-placed team making it to the quarter finals, the Germans cannot afford to get blown out here. Their point difference after two games is just -3 which is considerably better than that of the other 3rd placed teams. They did suffer a 10-point loss to the Italians but that was partly due to a major 4th quarter collapse. Outside of this the team has been consistent throughout both games. They have also gotten great production on the interior from Johannes Voigtmann and Moritz Wagner. Pounding the ball inside here could help them slow down the tempo of the game, which could help them stay competitive.

Australia have not been mined blowing offensively, having managed 84 and 86 in their two games so far. However, they do have quality defenders that they can rely on. Dante Exum and Matisse Thybulle offer great length on the perimeter whilst Matthew Dellavedova and Aron Baynes bring grit to their team, despite their athletic shortcomings. This team is build to win games with their defense which should slow the tempo of this game down, suiting the Germans. This one should stay competitive.

Make sure you check the rest of our picks for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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