Argentina vs. Slovenia Olympics Men’s Basketball Odds, Preview, Prediction: Do Luka Dončić, Slovenia Deserve to Be Favorites? (July 26)
Alfredas Pliadis/Xinhua via Getty Images. Pictured: Slovenia star Luka Dončić.
- Argentina and Slovenia get Group C action started with Slovenia as 6.5-point favorites.
- Argentina has medaled in two of the last four Olympics, but Slovenia has NBA superstar Luka Doncic.
- Raheem Palmer breaks down below whether or not he sees value with the veteran Argentine side.
Argentina vs. Slovenia Odds
|Moneyline||+210 / -280|
|Day | Time||Monday | 12:40 a.m. ET|
If you were feeling withdrawal from lack of basketball following the NBA Finals, you didn’t have to wait too long for your fix.
Just days after the conclusion of the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, the Olympics are here and we can’t be anymore excited. Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić makes his Olympic debut, as Slovenia takes on Argentina. The Argentinians, who are the fourth-ranked FIBA team, will be appearing in their fifth consecutive Olympics.
Although Argentina is the more experienced nation, attaining a medal in two of their last four appearances, Slovenia is the new kid on the block appearing in its first Olympics. Despite the lack of Olympic pedigree, oddsmakers have installed Slovenia as a six-point favorite, with a total of 177.5 in this Group C matchup.
So, where does the betting value sit? Let’s analyze both sides and find out.
Argentina Struggling Entering Summer Games
Argentina comes into the Olympics is coming off a silver-medal finish at the at the 2019 FIBA World Cup. This team has top-tier pedigree given its success since winning gold in the 2004 Olympics and becoming the last non-American team to do so.
Unfortunately for Argentina, this doesn’t appear to be the same team it was in years past. The Argentinians didn’t win a game in exhibition play in Las Vegas, losing to Australia by three points and getting blown out by Nigeria and the United States.
The lack of athleticism is glaring on the roster, and it doesn’t help it has former 10-year NBA veteran and 41-year old Luis Scola playing a key role. He’ll be playing in his fifth Olympics, the most ever by an Argentinian basketball player.
The rest of the roster does features NBA players like Facundo Campazzo, Leandro Bolmaro, Gabriel Deck and Lucas Vildoza, so the cupboard isn’t completely bare.
Despite the lack of athleticism, this is a fundamentally sound team with a dedicated roster that has years of experience playing together. It has the experience, leadership and toughness you want from a team playing on this stage, but there’s question marks surrounding the talent. There’s no Manu Ginóbili on this year’s roster, so this is a team that could find the end to its recent success in the international basketball landscape.
Things Looking Up for Dončić, Slovenia
Slovenia appears to be on its way to becoming the next powerhouse in international basketball. The nation is the reigning 2017 European basketball champion and earned its first Olympic basketball berth with a 96-85 win over Lithuania in the final of a last-chance qualifying tournament.
Dončić is a big reason for that, following his triple double that included 31 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists. Given how Dončić almost led an upset victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA playoffs and helped Slovenia win the Euro title as an 18-year-old, it’s clear his presence might be enough give Slovenia a puncher’s chance against anyone.
Dončić aside, Slovenia does have another NBA player on its roster in Denver Nuggets forward Vlatko Cancar. Former Charlotte Hornets center Mike Tobey should be a key piece for this team as well after averaging 15 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 0.8 blocks in the Olympic qualifiers.
Unfortunately for Slovenia, it’ll be without Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragić, but it does have his brother, Zoran, who last played in the NBA in 2015. This isn’t the most talented roster, but with the best player on the floor in Dončić, this is team that wouldn’t surprise anyone if they finished first, second, third or fourth in Group C.
Oddsmakers have installed Slovenia as a 6-point favorite for a reason. Although Argentina has the pedigree that would make it an intriguing underdog play, it struggled in its exhibitions and it’s clear these are two teams headed in completely different directions.
Slovenia is the young hungry upstart looking to make noise in its first Olympics, while Argentina’s best days are behind it.
Lay the points with Slovenia.
Pick: Slovenia -6 (-110)