Brazil vs. Lithuania - 8/7/16 Men's Basketball 2016 Olympic Games Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Lithuania vs. Brazil
Olympic Basketball: Sunday August 7, 2016
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Brazil and Lithuania meet Sunday in the opening match of the men’s basketball tournament in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Brazil hopes to turn some heads again after finishing a solid fifth place in the 2012 Olympics and will of course have the help from their home crowd. Brazil is also coming off a gold medal performance in the 2015 Pan American Games. Brazil is also a very experienced team with some NBA talent scattered around including Leandro Barbosa, Nene, Anderson Varejao and Marcelinho Huertas. However, the x-factor for Brazil to make a serious run these Olympics will be Utah Jazz point guard Raulzinho Neto, who can set teammates up nicely but al stroke it from deep at a high percentage. Brazil is a team with a lot of talent and shouldn’t be overlooked, especially with the crowd on its side giving it an extra boost of energy.
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Lithuania has had Olympic success in the past but hopes to redeem itself after an eighth place finish in 2012. On the bright side, Lithuania was the runner-up in the 2015 EuroBasket. Lithuania has one true NBA player on its roster, which is Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, who is coming off probably his best season of his career. Domantas Sabonis was drafted by the Magic in the first round of the 2016 draft and Mindaugas Kuzminskas did sign with the New York Knicks a couple of weeks ago. Overall, Lithuania is a big team with six players at least 6’9”, and is likely going to work the paint as much as possible. Paulius Jankūnas will be the difference maker for Lithuania, as he’s a double-double waiting to happen and shoots a high percentage.
This should be a good matchup between two teams with under-the-radar potential. However, Brazil is the better team and has the home court advantage. I’m not sure Lithuania has enough outside shooting to keep up with a team like Brazil.
I expect Brazil to pull away in the second half and win this game by double digits.