Italy vs France odds
|Moneyline||+300 / -400|
|Time||4:20 am ET|
|Odds from Monday evening and via BetMGM.|
We’ve reached the knockout stage of Olympic men’s basketball, so we’re down to just eight teams in a knockout tournament. One of these teams goes home, while the other is guaranteed to have two chances to win a medal.
France are the favorites, entering this unbeaten group match at 3-0. The French beat the United States team in the opener, then came out on top with easy wins over the Czech Republic and Iran. Italy, meanwhile, are 2-1 but could be a bit underestimated. The Italians beat Germany and Nigeria by 19 points combined and lost to undefeated Australia by just one bucket.
Either way, everyone is 0-0 now and anything can happen in a knockout game. Can Italy snatch the surprise?
The Italians will have the best attacking player on the pitch in Danilo Gallinari. Anything can happen if Gallinari gets hot, and the shot that the great Italian men bring with him and Nicolo Melli can cause problems for opponents when he spaces the opponent. It could be a real weapon against Rudy Gobert in the painting.
What’s crazy is that Gallinari and Melli aren’t even among Italy’s top three scorers so far. Simone Fontecchio has led the team in scoring in two of the three games so far. He’s a young and talented wing who can get hot beyond the arc, although he’ll have to face Nic Batum in this one. Nico Mannion and Stefano Tonut complete the top three.
Italians know exactly what they are. This team does not defend the punishment of being licked. Their perimeter defense is akin to an award-winning bullfighter and there is little valuable rim protection. But what Italy lacks in defense, it makes up for in firepower and offensive shooting. Italy occupies third place offensively behind only the United States and Slovenia, par John Schuhmann.
Italians also prefer to slow things down in slow motion. They played at the slowest pace in the entire tournament. It helps Italy keep the game tight, and that slow, tight pace and the good, timely shot could give them a chance to surprise.
France are undefeated and have a lot of winning experience in international tournaments.
It’s another team that knows what it is. France are built to play defense, and it makes sense when Rudy Gobert is your only legitimate superstar. Gobert and France were the best defense of the tournament so far by a mile. The United States is actually second, if you need a benchmark of how far France is ahead of the rest of the field.
It’s not all defense, however. Evan Fournier was one of the tournament’s top scorers until he disappeared in an almost insignificant group stage final. Fournier collected 49 points in his first two games, and Nando de Colo was also one of France’s top scorers.
This team has been very strong so far. According to Schuhmann, France currently ranks third in the net rankings behind the United States and Slovenia – and remember that the US team’s ranking is significantly inflated by an Iranian blowout. France beats the USA!
It’s a very good team. Batum is one of the best international wings, while players like Thomas Heurtel, Vincent Poirier, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Guerschon Yabusele add serious depth and versatility.
This team could be a real gold medal threat. France have won medals in five of their six non-Olympic international tournaments over the past decade, but have finished sixth at both Olympics in that streak, blazing in this round.
France have a habit of looking good early on but choking when it matters most, so this team has that story. Are the French good enough to overcome the past?
This game has the lowest spread of all the men’s basketball quarterfinals. The books know this one will be close, and it is likely to be slow and low scoring. Close matches in a knockout tournament are dangerous for the favorite, so be careful not to be overconfident with France here.
I cannot be spoken to in a coverage of France. This gap is a tough task in a tight game, and Italy have shown that they will fight to the end and those shots will fall at some point. Italy is at +300 on the silver line to cause surprise. It’s just a 25% chance of winning, and I think that underestimates the Italians. If the game is close, the underdog has a better chance of winning than one in four.
I could sprinkle this line with silver, but I actually prefer the underside here. Italy are playing at the slowest pace in the tournament, and France ranks ninth out of 12 teams in this tournament, with only a few possessions above being No.11, just above Italy – and all three. France’s opponents ranked in the first half of the pace of play, so France could be even slower than Italy.
This game should be super slow and France have the best defense in the tournament. Either of those teams could get cold, or it could just be a tense and heavy game.
These teams have a combined average of 171.3 points per game so far, so don’t get carried away by the low line at 167.5. Take the underside, and if you like the underside and think it’s going to be close, you might want to sprinkle the Italian silver line and see if the underdogs can pull off the upheaval.
To take: Less than 167.5 (up to 165.5)