It took two overtimes, but Spain was able to hold off Australia and advance to the finals of the FIBA World Cup. They will be met there by upstart Argentina, which pulled off a big upset of France in the semis to make the championship game. This tournament has been topsy-turvy throughout and it will be interesting to see if Argentina can surprise Spain and come away with the victory.
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The United States and Serbia were both bounced from the FIBA World Cup in previous rounds, allowing for some of the underdogs to make a run. Spain will be the favorite to win this game but with the way things have been going, it would not be a shock to see Argentina come away with the title.
Spain has been listed as the 4.5-point favorite to knock off Argentina and claim the crown. However, the spread is close enough that an upset is not out of the realm of possibility. France was the team that knocked Team USA from the tournament but Argentina was able to pull that upset and will look for another in the final matchup of the FIBA World Cup.
FIBA Odds Analysis
Spain made it here with a 95-88 win over Australia in the semifinals, which took a pair of overtimes to be decided. Pau Gasol had a huge hand in the victory, finishing with 33 points. Guard Ricky Rubio is the team’s best player and will be counted on to have a strong outing in the finals. Rubio had 19 points and 12 assists in the win over Australia and has shown his ability in the NBA over the past several years. Patty Mills had a chance to win the semifinal game for Australia but was unable to connect on both free throws at the end of regulation, which pushed the game to overtime. A second extra session was needed before Spain finally pulled away.
There was not as much drama in the other semifinal, as Argentina steadily pulled away for the 80-66 victory over France. Luis Scola had a really impressive performance, finishing with 28 points to lead his team to victory. France had the bigger names in the contest and was the favorite, but Argentina did a nice job of playing well together and coming away with the win. Gabriel Deck added 13 points as Argentina has advanced to the finals without the benefit of an NBA household name leading the way.
FIBA Betting Odds
Argentina has been a nice story but the dream is going to stop here in the finals. Spain has the stronger cast, led by the duo of Rubio and Gasol. Scola is playing some really good ball but he will need to light things up in order to keep his team close.
Spain has looked like one of the best teams throughout the FIBA World Cup and was able to escape with a win in the semifinals. It is the pick to not only win this matchup but also cover the spread. The recent losses by the United States and Serbia has opened up the tournament for a new champion and Spain will take advantage with the victory over Australia for the championship.