FIBA World Cup Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Puerto Rico vs. Serbia (August 28)
Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jovic #5 of Serbia celebrates after the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The FIBA World Cup has already seen a massive shake-up with France being eliminated in Round 1. Now the tournament rolls on with Monday's eight-game schedule.
Our Action Network analysts — Brandon Anderson, Joe Dellera and Bryan Fonseca — are betting multiple matchups for Monday's morning slate, including the spread in Georgia vs. Slovenia and player props for Puerto Rico vs. Serbia .
Read on for their FIBA World Cup best bets below.
Brandon Anderson: Georgia – the country, not the state — had an impressive opening win in its debut game at the World Cup. It won by 25 points and controlled the paint with ease, going up 48-22 at the half and coasting to an easy win over Cape Verde, who shot under 30% for the game.
It’s all fun and games beating up on Edy Tavares and a bunch of dudes you’ve never heard of from, frankly, a country you’ve barely heard of, but Georgia is about to be welcomed to the big leagues. Now it’s Luka Doncic and 2017 EuroBasket champion Slovenia.
I think we’re getting a discount on this line because of Georgia’s big victory in the opener, but this is a team that lost its last competitive game to Iceland – Iceland!! – and had lost seven of 10 competitive games over the past calendar year. Georgia is big and tough on the interior so that should push Slovenia, but I’ll trust Doncic and his teammates as the far superior team.
Georgia is the likely runner up in this group, so margin of victory would matter here since it carries over into the next set of group games. That gives Luka and Slovenia plenty of incentive to win by as much as it can to set itself up well for the next round.
Pick: Slovenia -6.5 (up to -7.5)
Bryan Fonseca: Nikola Jovic had 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a friendly against Puerto Rico about two weeks ago, and all of his props are under (10.5, 3.5 and 1.5, respectively).
He had 9-3-2 in the win over China, and I’d expect a better performance against my Boricuas, given the limited amount of athletic wings they could attempt to bother him with.
Jovic sees the floor really well at his size both in the half court and in transition, and I was surprised to see this at plus odds, frankly. I think he has a performance similar to what he showed in the friendly, one that’s all around effective in what should be a comfortable victory. Puerto Rico is tough, but they had a turnover problem that nearly did them in against South Sudan, and Jovic may get additional opportunities to handle on fast breaks if the ball finds him.
Pick: Nikola Jovic Over 1.5 Assists (+110)
Joe Dellera: In Serbia’s first game of the World Cup we did not have an opportunity to bet on Stefan Jovic’s assists but we were able to back him pre-tournament to lead the Serbians in Assists at +400. In their first game against China he was tied with Marko Guduric for the team high with six dimes.
Jovic is the only true point guard on Serbia and this should be another match where they dominate from start to finish against Puerto Rico. I expect him to continue dishing in this matchup and he’s exceeded this 4.5 line in four straight International contests while averaging 6.5 per game. If you have alternate lines, I’d consider 7+ assists (+450) at Bet365 or 5 points and 5 assists in a SGP there at (+240).