Another Thursday night, another round in the EuroBasket additional qualifiers and relegation games. And more lines and odds from Ball in Europe sponsors BetonBet.com and SportingBet.com. Tidbits, samples and information follows for a slate of excellent games this evening.
In the Addition Qualifying Round tonight, it’ll be Ukraine vs. Hungary and Czech Republic vs. Estonia – all must-wins for the four teams involved. A nice little monkey wrench gets thrown into the works with Ukraine and Estonia victories, a scenario which would put all four teams at 2-2 with two each to play.
Those looking for a risky (yet somewhat viable) underdog on which to bet might give Team Hungary (6/4) a glance. The Magyars are firing on all cylinders right now, atop the table with a 2-1 record and a nice +29 differential, mostly having come at the expense of Team Ukraine in Szolnok. Punters taking Hungary against 9/20 favorites Ukraine will be hoping the home team succumbs to what amounts to double the pressure; after all, Ukraine is expected to win, must win, and must win big so that the first loss doesn’t come back to haunt them in a tiebreaker.
As Estonia goes to Prague to face Team Czech Republic, seemingly the best squad in this tournament, they’re the longest of longshots this evening at 9/2. (I’m taking about still-living teams here; Portugal therefore is excluded.) It would be tough if not impossible to justify betting against Jiri Welsch, Jan Vesely and the 2/15 favorites right now. The Asian handicap is at Estonia plus-9.5, which is not extremely tempting, while taking the over on the 140.5 BetonBet.com line is marginally more so: If the Czechs improve even slightly their marks in one of two areas – An all-two-low 44.9% from the floor or the 70.4% at the charity stripe – this final score between two fair-quality defensive teams should be high.
In the evening’s marquee matchup, it’s France (1/4) hosting Italy (5/2). This one should be one heck of a barnburner, even if Les Bleus are on a roll with solid interior defense and a sweet passing game. I’ve got France to win, but Team Italy may be desperate enough (they’re certainly talented enough on paper) to keep it closer than the pointspread of France minus-7 or minus-7.5 on the half-point handicap at Sporting Bet.
As for 13/2 Portugal’s chances against 1/16 Bosnia & Herzegovina tonight? Forget it. These teams have been the biggest surprises in this tournament; the former has plummeted in an unexpected graveyard spiral, while the unheralded latter honestly looks poised to make The Leap. Don’t bet anything here, but do watch this one. Here’s to thinking Team France might just be shocked by these heretofore unknowns before it’s over…
SportingBet.com and BetOnBet.com are offering other bets on all four games tonight; Sporting Bet will also be offering in-game betting for the Italy-France match. Click on the links at right or above for more information. Good luck, everyone!