FIBA World Cup Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Canada vs. USA, Serbia vs Germany (September 10)
Pictured: Germany’s Franz Wagner. (Photo by Matthias Stickel/picture alliance via Getty Images)
The star-filled FIBA World Cup matchup between Team USA and Canada, the pre-tournament favorites, will happen, but it won't be for gold. Serbia and Germany will go head-to-head for the chance to be the FIBA World Cup champion Sunday, while the two North American teams will battle for bronze.
Our Action Network analysts — Matt Moore, Brandon Anderson, Joe Dellera and Bryan Fonseca — have a bevy of picks for both matchups with player props and spread picks for Canada vs. USA and Serbia vs Germany.
Continue reading for their FIBA World Cup best bets for Sunday's semifinals.
Brandon Anderson: Well, we got that USA-Canada matchup everyone wanted, but it’s not the game we expected it in. Still, you have to think both teams get up for this game.
In a way, this game is a blessing in disguise because both teams can still leave the tourney on a very positive note with a win. Canada has never won a medal and beating USA to bring home a bronze isn’t quite as good as a gold, but it might be celebrated like one. The Americans were expected to win gold, but lost twice instead. However, ending on a win and beating the Canadians to keep them in their place is a satisfying conclusion, too. For both teams, losing is a disaster.
The American defense has struggled mightily in both losses, but I’m not sure I’m worried about them here. I never believed in Canada, in part because the team has such miserable spacing and shooting. Team USA has struggled to defend against these put-together international teams because it’s a different brand of basketball, but you know what fixes that problem? Playing another team of NBA players.
Canada probably has the best player in this game in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but how many Americans would you pick next before you considered another Canadian, presumably R.J. Barrett? Probably most of the team. That sort of logic doesn’t work against international teams with great chemistry and design, but in an NBA schoolyard pick-em type game, I’ll ride with the talent and trust the Americans to end their tourney with a win.
If you dare to get up in the middle of the night, I’d prefer waiting and playing a live line since USA continues to have tough starts and the line is a touch high, but if you’re sleeping like me, I’ll just trust the Americans to find a way.
Pick: USA -6.5
Joe Dellera: USA vs Canada is not the medal matchup most of us were expecting. One of the overarching issues for both Team USA and Team Canada has been that they are significantly undersized and neither plays a true center. As a result, the wings have been the leading rebounders.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should see extended run for Canada. He’s averaging 5.7 rebounds per game between the Preparation and World Cup games, but in the games he has played 20+ minutes, he's averaging seven per game and has recorded six or more in five of eight. I like Gilgeous-Alexander to crash the glass and build upon his strong World Cup play in this North American rivalry.
Pick: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander over 5.5 Rebounds (-118 BetRivers)
Matt Moore: Serbia has outperformed all expectations and deserves credit. That said, this line currently sits at Germany -1.5.
That's Germany, the only undefeated team in the tournament, with three NBA players on its roster, who just knocked out Team USA and led by double digits, laying 1.5.
I bet Germany +4200 before the tournament and was looking forward to hedging. Instead, I'm probably just doubling down.
Pick: Germany -1.5
Brandon Anderson: Orlando Magic fans, you made it — Franz Wagner is the best player in a FIBA World Cup gold medal game. The younger Wagner hasn't been the reason Germany got to this stage, but I’m counting on him to be the top talent on the court in the final.
Franz was a star in the upset win over the Americans, leading the team with 22 points and adding five boards and two assists. More importantly for this bet, he played 34 minutes. That shows he’s healthy enough to play as many minutes as he can handle. He also had a poor shooting night, going 7-of-18.
If part of your prop angle is expecting heavy volume and minutes, it’s usually a good idea to play something like PRA, so you can take advantage of every edge. Sure enough, I was looking at Wagner’s over in all three categories, but the biggest edge is in points if you can play only one. You can go over 16.5, and I might actually play Wagner to score 25+ at +550 (FanDuel) as an escalator since I think he has a chance to go over this PRA line on scoring alone if the shots fall.
Wagner is one of the NBA’s rising stars, and it’s time for him to make his mark.
Pick: Franz Wagner o25.5 PRA (DraftKings)
Bryan Fonseca: Bigs have been effective against Team USA in this World Cup. We saw it with Daniel Theis this week, and in earlier contests against the likes of Jonas Valanciunas and Nikola Vucevic.
Kelly Olynyk has a few things in common with all of those guys. He's an NBA player, so he's familiar with how to score against Jaren Jackson Jr., Bobby Portis and others. And he can score in a multitude of ways.
He's can stretch the floor, rebound and pass like all of those guys, and has a size advantage over much of the American roster.
Olynyk went over this prop in three straight games to begin the Cup, including against Rudy Gobert and France in the opener. He hasn't in four straight, though he's gotten to at least 16 in three of those.
USA's soft interior poses a favorable opponent, and if Olnynk can shake his 7-of-28 shooting slump, this should hit. We're buying into a guy breaking out of an uncharacteristic shooting slump, who generally would hit this over otherwise.
Pick: Kelly Olnynk over 17.5 Pts + Rebs + Ast (-125 DraftKings)
Bryan Fonseca: Nikola Jović has been effective for most of this World Cup, and a steady staple in the Serbian offense.
Jovic has gone over 7.5 points in five of his seven contests, and has hit exactly eight in back-to-back games.
Against Germany, Jovic will have opportunities to stretch the floor against Daniel Theis, Johannes Theimann, Johannes Voigtmann and others.
Pick: – Nikola Jovic over 7.5 pts (-110)
Joe Dellera: I’m in lockstep with Brandon here on Wagner’s impact. He’s the best player on the court and should play as many minutes as he can handle in this Gold Medal Game.
Considering he played 34 minutes in the semifinals, he should have no issue playing 30+ against Serbia. When he’s played 30+ minutes, he has exceeded this line in all three international games. Last NBA season, he played 30+ minutes in 68 games and averaged 19.4 ppg while exceeding 16.5 points in 53/68 (77.9%) games and 20+ in 35/68 (51.5%).
Although he will be the primary focus of this defense, Serbia has allowed a few higher scoring games to wings.
I’d play the 16.5, but I’m also grabbing a bit of 20+ (+174 FD), 25+ (+550 FD), and a tiny sprinkle on 30+ (+1500 Bet365).