The last quarter-finalist at EuroBasket is decided on Monday in Slovenia and for one of the group of pre-tournament favourites, it will be goodnight and farewell.
Either reigning champions Spain or powerhouse Greece are heading home – with the winner of their private duel advancing from Group F alongside already-qualified Croatia, Italy and Slovenia. And the permutation is this: for the Greeks to survive, they must beat Croatia in the day’s first game and then have the Spanish lose to Italy. Otherwise, it is all over.
But with Greece down to ten fit players, it’s a tough ask, especially when the Croats have a chance to top the standings and set up what looks to be the best last-eight pairing available, against Ukraine. Expect Vassilis Spanoulis to throw everything at this, and he’s 1.85 to score over 16.5 points. But everything points to their elimination so back Croatia to win at 2.25.
Of course, that result will impact heavily on the Spaniard’s approach to Italy. If victory is a necessity, it’s hard not to see them stepping up and throwing Marc Gasol at full tilt, with the NBA All Star at 1.85 to score over 13.5 points. But, there is a very generous punt available on Spain to miss out on a medal at 3.25.
If Spain are already qualified for the knockout phase, then it becomes even more intriguing. Both teams can influence the identity of their quarter-final opponent by choosing where they finish in the standings. In that situation, look at Italy on the handicap of +10.5 at 1.95 and the total points line to stay under 145.5.
The other game sees Finland take their leave against Slovenia. For a flutter, go with Bostan Nachbar to grab over nine points at 1.85.
Take Croatia to beat Greece at 2.25
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