Slovenia vs. Germany Men’s Olympic Basketball Odds, Preview, Prediction: Luka Doncic & Co. Heavily Favored (August 2)
Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic.
Slovenia vs. Germany Odds
|Moneyline||-1600 / +750|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
After a week of group play, the knockout round for men’s basketball at the Tokyo Olympics is set with Slovenia taking on Germany in the opening matchup of the quarterfinals.
In their first appearance in the Olympics, the Slovenians have been the biggest surprise of the tournament. Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic led them to a 3-0 record and the top spot in Group C over the likes of Spain and Argentina, both of whom were seen as the top two teams in their group given their pedigree in international basketball.
Meanwhile, Germany finished the group stage with a 1-2 record but earned a spot in the quarterfinals as one of the two best third-place finishers because of a better point differential (-16) than Czech Republic (-49), which also finished 1-2.
Nevertheless, Oddsmakers have installed Slovenia, which has the best point differential in the tournament (+61) as a heavy favorite. While the line says that we should expect Slovenia to continue their dominance, in this business the spread is the great equalizer.
As the saying goes, "good teams win, great teams cover". Slovenia is 3-0 straight-up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) in the Olympics, but the quarterfinals are a step up from group play.
Can Germany keep it within the number or will Slovenia move to 4-0 ATS on their way to playing the winner of France-Italy?
Let's analyze both sides and find out!
In their first ever appearance in the Olympics, expectations for Slovenia were rather tepid.
Oddsmakers and the betting markets had Slovenia third behind both Spain and Argentina to win Group C, and there were question marks around them making it out of the group stage altogether. Doncic and Slovenia removed any doubts about their ability to compete in their first Olympic appearance from the door.
Slovenia defeated Argentina by 18 points behind Doncic's 48 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, then it followed that up with a 35-point blowout win over Japan. In their toughest test of the tournament, the Slovenians knocked off Spain in a thrilling 95-87 win in which they overcame a 12-point second half deficit behind a 19-5 run over the final 6:23 minutes of the game.
If there's any doubt about the impact of Doncic, Slovenia is now 16-0 when he is representing the country dating back to them winning the EuroBasket 2017 title and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Doncic is the leading scorer in the Olympics, averaging 28.3 points on 54.9% shooting while grabbing 10.7 rebounds and dishing seven assists.
It's no coincidence Slovenia found itself in trouble against Spain when Doncic picked up three fouls in the first quarter. Still, the cupboard on this Slovenian team isn't completely bare, with five players finishing with double-digit points, including Vlatko Cancar, who finished with 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting along with Mike Tobey’s 16 points, 14 rebounds and three assists.
Slovenia has been able to shut teams down defensively throughout this tournament, holding opponents to just 37.7% shooting from the field. Given the shooting on this roster around Doncic and Tobey's dominance inside, this is a tough group to stop and they could find themselves in the gold-medal game if things break their way.
Germany finished with a 1-2 record in group play, with its only win coming against Nigeria, but the Germans have been competitive throughout this tournament. They held a fourth-quarter lead over Italy before being outscored 24-10 to close the game and a lead over Australia before the Boomers eventually took control to win 89-76.
As a whole, this team has shown they can compete, but holding it together for four quarters has been a problem for this team. A big part of that is the Germans’ defense, which is allowing opposing teams to shoot 50% from the field.
Starting guard Maodo Lo is the team's leading scorer at 14.3 points and six assists per game, but his six turnovers per game have been a problem.
Germany does have NBA talent on their roster with Orlando Magic forward Moritz Wagner, who is averaging 11.7 points and 3.3 rebounds, along with Washington Wizards forward Isaac Bonga’s strong defense down low.
Germany is one of the better 3-point shooting teams in this tournament at 41%, so if shots are falling they can hang with anyone. However, the Germans aren't great at scoring inside or grabbing rebounds.
If shots from the perimeter aren't falling, we could see this team lose by double digits as it did against Italy and Australia. How well they defend against Doncic will obviously determine that.
Slovenia has been downright dominant during these Olympics. At what point does their power rating and perception not match reality?
I think that point is here against a Germany team that has been competitive in every single game of this tournament and can hit the 3-ball at a high percentage.
I'll grab the 14 points with Germany and look for them to keep it inside the number against a Slovenian team that has been dominant but hasn't truly been tested on this stage.
Slovenia should win but look for Germany to cover.
Pick: Germany +14 (-110)