FIBA World Cup Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Canada vs. France, More August 25
GAIZKA IROZ/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: France’s Yves Pons.
Friday morning brings Day 1 of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, featuring eight matchups to open the tournament. Action Network writers Bryan Fonseca and Brandon Anderson have multiple bets tied to the opening games. They give their analysis and picks for those matchups below.
Dominican Republic vs. Philippines
- Friday, Aug. 25
- 8 a.m. ET
Bryan Fonseca: Angel Delgado has been a high-level rebounder for pretty much his entire basketball life, and is expected to start next to Karl-Anthony Towns on the interior.
If his European tape is any indication, he should hit this over, even against 7-foot- 2 Kai Sotto, who will have his hands full in this match-up.
Delgado pulled down 8.3 rebounds per game for Pinar Karsiyaka in Turkey last season through 26.8 minutes per game. That is slightly over what I'd expect him to play in the World Cup, but he should hit at least the low 20s. Eloy Vargas started at center for DR in 2019 and averaged 20.2 minutes per contest. Delgado is better and younger than Vargas was.
Victor Liz, Gelvis Solano and Eulis Baez all averaged between 24 to 26 minutes per game in 2019 — Delgado is clearly good enough to be in this range of minutes, and if so, he should regularly get to 7-8 boards, as he does in Europe.
Pick: Angel Delgado over 6.5 rebounds -115, DraftKings
Canada vs. France
- Friday, Aug. 25
- 9:30 a.m. ET
Brandon Anderson: I’m backing France in this tournament, and I’ll look to back them on Day 1.
The best game on Opening Day, and probably in the whole opening round of group play, is France vs Canada. That one tips Friday at 9:30am ET and you should be watching.
Canada is team hype as the tournament opens. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads the way, and this team is legit with R.J. Barrett, Lu Dort, Dillon Brooks, and others – though Jamal Murray was a notable late miss. Canada should be a fun watch, but the team has a pretty terrible history in international play. They finished 21st and 22nd in two of the last four World Cups and didn’t even qualify in the other two.
It hasn’t been great in Canada’s run up to the tournament either. The Canadians lost to Germany and Dominican Republic, and they survived Germany and Spain but took overtime in both. That’s tough competition but it shows that this team still has a long way to go.
France is a battle-tested team built around Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, and Nic Batum. This team has played together a ton and knows who they are, and I think they could shock Canada’s system with this young Canadian team getting a rude introduction to World Cup play in the opener. Canada also badly lacks shooting and spacing – look at that list of guys above again – which means they’ll be forced to go at the rim where Gobert is a beast, especially in international play.
Whoever wins this game is very likely winning the group. If France gets the win, even a surprise loss to Latvia would still leave them beating Lebanon and topping the group with a head-to-head tiebreaker. I’m playing France to win the group as a proxy for a French moneyline.
But I’ll take it a step further. If Canada does fall to France, the pressure is suddenly on. Their game against Latvia becomes an elimination game at that point. Latvia won’t have Kristaps Porzingis, but the Bertans brothers play well together and that team will be competitive.
My main bet here is France to win the group with this win over Canada, but I’ll also play Canada to make a shock group play exit as France-Latvia go 1-2 in the group at +2100, with Canada disappointing once again.