Australia vs. France - 8/6/16 Men's Basketball 2016 Olympic Games Pick, Odds, and Prediction
France vs. Australia
Olympic Basketball: Saturday August 6, 2016
The Line -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Australia and France meet Saturday in the opening match of the men’s basketball tournament in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Australia has finished no better than seventh in the last three Olympic Games and hopes it has enough this season to be a surprise team. Australia actually has a pretty solid starting five led by Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova and Andrew Bogut. Throw in Utah Jazz shooting guard Joe Ingles and Detroit Pistons center Aron Baynes, and Australia is one of the few teams that has some above-average NBA talent. Australia is an experienced group of guys with six players who are at least 28 years old, including 36-year-old David Andersen, who is a three-time Euroleague champion. Australia is simply a tough minded team that’s going to make a living defensively and try to own the paint whenever it can.
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France hasn’t done much in recent Olympic appearances but is coming off a bronze medal in the 2015 EuroBasket and is loaded with NBA talent. Tony Parker will lead the way once again at point guard, and he’ll have help from players such as Nicolas Batum, Boris Diaw and Rudy Gobert. Those four guys make France a very dangerous team in this tournament, especially with the potential inside-outside game those guys create. France could have been a serious dark horse if Evan Fournier didn’t back out due to him figuring out ongoing contract negotiations. Still, France has a lot of experience and talent to go around as it looks to win its first Olympic medal since 2000.
Both of these clubs have the potential to be a sneaky contender in terms of pushing the favorites and putting a scare in the rest of the field. You have to like Australia's defense and aggressiveness, while France is never a team to overlook given its NBA experience and outside shooting.
While we’re way too early for a line, I like France by double digits. France has been here before and has to be looking at this as the last run with some of these guys with Parker and others getting older.
Give me France by 10-plus points.