Slovenia vs Australia
August 7, 2021 7:00 am EDT
The Line: Slovenia -2
(Get latest betting odds)
Slovenia and Australia meet Saturday morning in the 2020 Olympics Basketball Bronze Medal Game at the Saitama Super Arena. Slovenia look to win its first Olympic medal in basketball and is coming off a loss to France. Australia is fresh off a loss to Team USA and has a chance to win its first Olympic medal in basketball.
Slovenia watched its 10-game winning streak come to an end in heartbreaking fashion. In the losing effort, Slovenia shot 45.9 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three. Mike Tobey led Slovenia with 23 points and eight rebounds while Klemen Prepelic had 17 points and one rebound. Luka Doncic was the third double-digit scorer and Jaka Blazic grabbed five rebounds. Defensively, Slovenia allowed 41.3 percent shooting from the field and 48 percent shooting from three. Slovenia was inconsistent with its effort defensively and just couldn’t find a clutch bucket down the stretch to seal the deal. It was Slovenia’s first loss since EuroBasket qualifying back in February.
Australia got badly outplayed in the second half and suffered its first loss in the tournament. In the losing effort, Australia shot 41 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from three. Patty Mills led Australia with 15 points and five rebounds while Dante Exum had 14 points and four rebounds. Jock Landale was the third double-digit scorer and Joe Ingles grabbed two rebounds. Defensively, Australia allowed 51.4 percent shooting from the field and 32.1 percent shooting from three. Australia was taking control of the game early and had a pep in its step, but the Americans buckled down in the second half and pulled away easily. It was Australia’s first loss since Asia Cup qualifying back in February. Australia is 0-4 in Olympic Bronze medal games.
Slovenia has won four of the six meetings against Australia, but this will be the first match in the Olympics. Also, it was the Aussies who won the most recent match against Slovenia in a 2015 friendly.
You can make a case for either of these teams, as they’ve both been widely consistent and have shown flashes of brilliance. Australia is probably the better team from top to bottom, but Slovenia has the best player on the floor and has been sharper offensively. We’re not being asked to lay anything crazy.
I lean toward Slovenia getting the job done here.