Italy vs France Olympic Basketball Betting Preview
Two European heavyweights will battle it out during the Olympic basketball men’s quarterfinals when France and Italy collide Tuesday morning.
HISTORY: These two prominent nations have met over 80 times on the pitch, but they’ve only met once in the Olympics, with Italia picking up the 67-57 win over France in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Italy: Fontecchio Has to Play Big
Italy yielded positive results during the group stages. They opened with a 92-82 victory over Mo Wagner and Germany before falling to Patty Mills and Australia, 86-83. They responded by eliminating Nigeria from the field in their third game and advancing to the quarterfinal.
Through three games, Baskonia forward Simone Fontecchio leads the Italians in scoring with 18.3 ppg. The 6’8 sniper hit five threes in the win over Germany and led all scorers in the loss to Australia with 22 points. Golden State Warriors guard Nico Mannion scored 15.2 ppg during group stages and led the team in assists (5.3). Venezia guard Stefano Trout is adding 12 points per game.
Milano forward Nicolo Melli leads Italia in rebounding (6.3), while Fenerbahce big Achille Polonara is grabbing 5.3 rpg. Italy is missing the marksmanship from Marco Bellinelli, but Atlanta Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari should have a big role in this high-stakes battle. The 12-year NBA vet scored 18 off the bench in the opening win over Germany.
France: Fournier Continues to Splash
France entered the Olympics with one of the deeper squads in the tournament, and despite being grouped up with Team USA, the Frenchmen pulled off a historic upset.
Alors, c'est toujours de la chance comme en 2019 ? 🥵
— Equipes de France de Basket (@FRABasketball) July 25, 2021
The dramatic comeback win over the United States led to France cruising through their final two group stage games with victories over Tomas Satoransky and Czech Republic and Hamed Haddadi and Iran.
France is led by the NBA trio of Evan Fournier, Nic Batum, and Rudy Gobert again this summer. Fournier stars in international play, and he leads the French in scoring with 17.3 ppg. Gobert, a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, patrols the middle. The Stifle Tower is averaging 8.7 ppg and 7.7 rpg, and he’s also recorded six blocks. Batum continues to be a well-rounded asset to his country, and he’s averaging 7.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, and 2.7 apg.
Fenerbahce guard Nando de Colo and Real Madrid guard Thomas Heurtel bring experience to the French backcourt. De Colo leads the team with 6.3 apg, while Heurtel led the team in scoring in the win over Nigeria with 16 points. Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot added 12 points in the win as well.
Italy vs. France Prediction
It’s been quite a successful summer for Italy so far. Winning Euro 2020 after failing to make the 2018 World Cup was the ultimate redemption. It’d be nice if some of that magic sprinkled onto their basketball team, but this will be quite the rest. Outside of Spain, no other nation left in the field has the continuity and chemistry the French have. Italy also lacks a player with the firepower Evan Fournier can bring.
France is strong on both sides of the ball, and their length and physicality could overwhelm the Italians. Bet on France to win and potentially cover the -8.5 spread. First quarter moneylines and spreads have been winners during this tournament as well, so take the French there too.