Senegal vs Canada
So far, the tournament has not been pretty for Senegal. They got blasted by Lithuania in the opening game of group play, and after hanging tough with the Australians in their second game, they also lost that one by double figures.
Things likely won’t get easier for the Senegalese team on Thursday morning against the Canadians, however, it also might be a lot higher scoring than the sportsbooks are giving either team credit for.
So far both have played some very fast paces, and almost more importantly, have played very little defense,
The pace factor for both these teams will likely be in the mid to upper 90s for this one. Canada has already played the two powerhouses in the division and given up an average of 100 points in those two.
They also held their own offensively and with a lot of good pro talent on their roster, 85 to 90 points is not out of the question for Canada in this one.
I think Senegal will be able to score as well. Their team total at 5Dimes right now is 72, so if Canada is pushing towards or over 90, the over in this one is a fine value in the final days of group play.
My Pick: OVER 158.5 @ 5Dimes
Australia vs Lithuania
The marquee matchup in Group H is set for Thursday morning as the Lithuanians and Australians meet for a battle of unbeatens.
Both have played well so far in this tournament, but this will be the biggest test to date for Lithuania, who may be a dark horse for the entire tournament as well.
Led by their dynamic frontcourt of Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas, this team can bully ball you to death with those two in the paint. It’s going to be very hard for the Australians to score down low, even with their size.
If that’s the case, the Australians will have to get their points from outside. They are very capable of doing this, but in my eyes if Lithuania can slow down Joe Ingles, they have a pathway to victory.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas had a cup of coffee in the NBA, but he is no slouch at small forward at 6’9. Combined with Valanciunas and Sabonis, it’s going to be very hard for Ingles and Patty Mills to probe the paint with the ball to find open shots for themselves of their teammates.
I think this will be especially true early in the ball game. Lithuania has been stifling on defense early in their games, while the Australians have relied on two big second halves to put away their first two opponents. I think the play is Lithuania on the half and possibly the first quarter as well.
My Pick: Lithuania -2 1H @ 5Dimes
Jordan’s FIBA Picks: 5-7