EuroBasket Odds, Picks, Previews, Predictions: Bets for Outright Winner, Top Scorer, More
Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic of Slovenia.
We’re about one month away from the start of NBA training camp. However, the good folks at FIBA are bringing hoop fans the high-level basketball they crave.
EuroBasket tips off Thursday with six games on its opening slate. Before the tournament starts, I took a look at some of the bets that have value entering the group stage.
I’m focused on three specific markets entering the tournament: Group stage winner, top scorer and outright winner.
Group Stage Winner
Turkey to win Group A (+145 Bet365 / +110 DraftKings)
This group is very weak — four of the teams have odds greater than 50-1 to win the EuroBasket and the two best teams in terms of pedigree are considered long shots to take home the title at 14-1 (Spain — DraftKings) and 24-1 (Turkey — FanDuel).
What this does is create value within the bracket. Spain has the pedigree, but this team is a shell of the squad that locked down a Gold Medal at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Bronze in the 2016 Olympics, Silver in 2012 and 2008, Bronze in the 2017 Turkey EuroBasket and Gold in 2015, 2011 and 2009.
In the 2020 Olympics (2021*), Spain was ousted by the United States in the Quarterfinals and lost to both the US and Slovenia.
That Olympic team has now lost Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Victor Vlaver and Marc Gasol. It will rely on Rudy Fernandez, Willy Hernangomez, Juancho Hernangomez (Bo Cruz!) and Usman Garuba. The Spanish National Team is losing significant minutes from its long-term core.
On the flip side, Turkey has played incredibly well of late, pushing Nikola Jokic and Serbia behind an incredible performance from Rockets youngster Alperen Sengun.
He is shaping up to be an excellent NBA performer and with an expanded role he should thrive and could very well be the best player in this entire Group. Besides Sengun, Turkey has Cedi Osman and Furkan Korkmaz, two NBA-level scorers who can get buckets in this format.
The offense will be fluid and I expect to see Turkey thrive in Group play.
Turkey National Team 🤝 Golden State Warriors
Turkey ran a variant of the Warriors' favorite end-of-quarter "Fist" set (Ram screen action) + post staggered split ("Bilbao" action).
They made their own tweaks to it, but ended up with the same shot and same result. pic.twitter.com/1Hcucffxhu
— Joe Viray (@JoeVirayNBA) August 29, 2022
This type of offensive attack and nuance will give Turkey a significant advantage as it faces its initial competition. They have real plays, strong coaching and can execute.
Spain and Turkey face off on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 7:30 a.m. ET in what would be the final game each team plays in the Group Stage.
Turkey to win Group A (+110 DK)
Turkey's team is centered around Furkan Korkmaz, Cedi Osman, and Alperen Sengun. HC is Ergin Ataman (2021, 2022 2x Euroleague Champion, 2021 Euroleague Coach of the Year). pic.twitter.com/TSd1fNY2nI
— Joe Dellera (@JoeDellera) August 29, 2022
I tweeted this play immediately and I prefer this to waiting on the Moneyline for what may be a winner-take-all Game 6. If Spain is truly over the hill while Turkey is flourishing, I can very much see this line flipping to Turkey being a favorite. I’ll grab the value now.
Top Points Scorer
This is always a fun one and it’s a way to back the best of the best even if the team may not emerge victorious. As long as the team finishes in the Final 4, they will have the opportunity to play the maximum amount of games — 9 (5 in Group, 4 in Elimination).
One player with the ability to do that while also playing in close games is Luka Doncic. He is the favorite (+220), but this is appropriately priced. Doncic has dominated in international play, averaging 23.8 points per game with massive performances in the 2020 Olympics.
I think Doncic is a fair player to back here, but if I’m betting the +220, I’m asking for a lot of things to go right. A bet on their title future or To Win a Medal (+100) or even Doncic to be the EuroBasket MVP (+350 BetRivers) may be more prudent.
Another player to consider is Giannis Antetokounmpo (+300) as he’s the clear top scorer on his team and their Group should ensure a couple of close games, but a likely outcome of Greece as the No. 1 seed. Antetokounmpo just dropped 40 points against Serbia and they should make a push deep into the tournament.
My favorite play based on the value is Vasilije Micic of Serbia (+2000 BetRivers). As I mentioned before, I like Serbia to bring home the Championship and Micic was the top scorer in the EuroLeague in 2022.
Micic should, in theory, get less defensive pressure with Nikola Jokic as the centerpiece of the offense, but he thrives under pressure as the back-to-back EuroLeague Final Four MVP and EuroLeague MVP. This is a total points scored bet and I expect Serbia to play the maximum amount of games.
When Micic won those MVPs he averaged over 18 points per game, which would translate to roughly 21 points per 36 mins. At 20/1 there’s tremendous value in Micic.
If you want to play it safe, go with Antetokounmpo, but if you want a big ticket I think Micic is worth at least a sprinkle.
Serbia (+380 DK)
The overall winner for the tournament can be narrowed down from the field of 24 to just a handful of teams. Based on the current roster construction, the teams that have a chance to secure the Gold are Serbia (+380 DraftKings), Greece (+430 FanDuel), Slovenia (+430 FanDuel), France (+550 FanDuel) and Lithuania (+1200 FanDuel).
All of these teams are headlined by legitimate NBA stars and although they are not “necessary” to win in this format because of all of the native European talent, there’s a reason these teams have the lowest odds to take home the title.
One wrinkle here is that France, Slovenia and Lithuania are all in the same Group — Group B.
This sets them all up to have a tougher road out of the Group Stage (plus Germany is no slouch in that group either as evidenced by its 90-71 victory over Slovenia on Aug. 27) and there’s at least the possibility that one of these teams could fail to emerge from the Group. Even if they do emerge from the Group stage, potentially having a lower seed means a tougher path to the Final 4 and a medal opportunity.
This leaves Serbia (Group D) and Greece (Group C). Serbia is led by Nikola Jokic while Greece has Giannis Antetokounmpo. Both are perennial MVP candidates and can elevate any team into title contention. Additionally, both have relatively easy paths to secure top seeds in the Elimination Rounds.
Greece’s road is slightly more difficult with matches against Italy and Croatia — both teams that have multiple NBA talents weaved in amongst European League MVPs in Italy’s Stefano Tonut (LBA MVP – 2020/21) and Croatia’s Jaleen Smith (Bundesliga MVP – 2020/21).
Despite this, Dimitrious Itoudis is an excellent head coach, and by adding in great defenders Georgios Papagiannis and Kostas Papanikolaou, there is some talent to absorb some of the fouls that traditionally needed to be taken by Antetokounmpo. Tyler Dorsey (Mavericks) and Kostas Sloukas should also help with the scoring. They are a favorite for a reason.
Despite all of this, the team I trust the most in this tournament is the betting favorite — Serbia. Jokic is at his absolute peak and his uncanny ability to not only score, but to elevate his teammates will go far in this format.
Serbia will flank Jokic with Micic at guard (2021, 2022 EuroLeague Final Four MVP, 2021 EuroLeague MVP, 2021, 2022 Top Scorer), Vladimir Lucic (2021 All EuroLeague First Team, 2022 Second Team, 2021 German Cup Final 4 MVP), and excellent perimeter shooting from Marko Guduric.
Jokic is a player who can be trusted to exploit opponents’ weaknesses and is unselfish enough to open up and optimize his teammates’ talent. They are easily in the weakest group and I expect them to be the top seed in the elimination rounds. Serbia is, rightfully, the team to beat.