Four more games in EuroBasket land tip off tonight with two games each in the Additional Qualifying Round and Relegation Round to be played. By now, the punter should have accumulated enough short-term data to bet tonight’s games with a little wisdom and confidence. Hopefully. Below run some sample odds on tonight’s games posted by BallinEurope.com sponsors Sporting Bet and BetonBet.com together with some lessons learned through the course of these tournaments.
Finland (33/10 at Sporting Bet) vs. France (1/4 at BetonBet.com)
The lesson: France is as good as advertised.
As predicted here at Ball in Europe, bookmakers at SportingBet.com today have odds of 13/10 on “Any Other Team” to win the Group B pool at EuroBasket 2009, thereby making Mystery Team X the favorite when the big tournament tips off. Though the Additional Qualifying Round, Les Bleus have emphatically shown that it wants to be that Other Team. While Finland has been a revelation in the AQRs, staying well competitive in games that should be blowouts (and looking a hell of a lot better than Portugal right now, one might add), France simply has too much talent here. Covering Finland with plus-7 or plus-7.5 points on the pointspread is thinkable, but it’ll take bigger cajones than i have to make that wager.
Hungary (4/9) vs. Czech Republic (17/10)
The lesson: Never take a handicap bet involving Team Hungary.
Against Estonia, BallinEurope backed favorites Hungary, but went with Estonia plus-7 on the handicap; Hungary won by 11. Against the Czech Republic, i had Hungary covering with plus-5.5 points; Hungary lost by six. And who was deathly certain that Hungary would win by 15 points in Finland on an 11-point spread? Sure, Hungary wins this one at home, but don’t touch that pointspread, i’m telling ya.
Estonia (8/15) vs. Ukraine (7/5).
The lesson: Ukraine playing away? No way.
Whoever can figure out Team Ukraine, raise your hand! You’re lying. A month and a half ago, these guys were beating France. About a month ago, they were drubbed by Belarus at home. Three days ago, they played a proper inside power game and remained unflappable in the face of Hungary’s speedy run-and-gun style in direct opposition to the 91-67 beatdown the Magyars delivered two weeks ago. Tell you this though: Ukraine hasn’t won an away game against comparable competition going back to July.
Belgium (11/20 at Sporting Bet) vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina (4/3)
The lesson: Team Bosnia & Herzegovina is for real.
Gotta admit that i’m a bit baffled by these odds, as Bosnia & Herzegovina has looked simply amazing in this tournament even without Mirza Teletovic. And B&H is getting a plus-3 in the handicap as well? I’m riding this horse at least as far as France; these guys haven’t even lost an away game in a month. Take ‘em outright, take ‘em with the points.