Lille gets ready to rock on Sunday night and we now know the two teams who will be making up the 2015 EuroBasket final. Spain clinched their spot on Thursday when they knocked out the host nation France in a thrilling game. It certainly wasn’t the way that the home crowd wanted things to pan out on Thursday evening and the fact that the match went to overtime meant that there was plenty of gripping drama in store. With Spain having had an additional day’s rest, the exertions shown by the Spanish side shouldn’t have too much of an impact on this one.
Lithuania were also involved in a nail-biter on Friday night as they overcame Serbia to book their spot in the grand final.
The score on Friday 18th September was:
Serbia 64 – Lithuania 67
This will be the second consecutive EuroBasket final for Lithuania and given that they have developed a habit of taking these games to the wire, we could be in for a tense affair on Sunday. At one point in the game, Mindaugas Kuzminskas made his way on to the scoreboard to make the game a 28-17 match, which meant that Lithuania held an 11 point lead. At this stage, plenty of folk were thinking that the semi-final was all but over but Serbia have been excellent this tournament. They battled back and with 15 seconds left on the clock, Milos Teodosic grabbed a three point shot and there was only one point in the game.
Jonas Valančiūnas offered up 15 points for the winners while Teodosic provided 16 points and 3 assists for the losing side.
Lithuania held a 4-1 record in the group stages (losing to Belgium) and then defeating Georgia, Italy and Serbia to arrive at the final with a 7-1 record. Barring a 68-49 mauling of Latvia in the second game, Lithuania have been involved in very tight matches in the tournament and while they always look in with a shout of winning games, they very rarely dominate their opponents.
Spain held a 3-2 record in the group stages (losing to Serbia and Italy) before defeating Poland, Greece and France en route to the final. The two most recent wins in the tournament have been big games and big wins. The slightly sticky form in the group stages led many to believe that Spain were a shadow of their former selves but the quarter-final and semi-final have forced many to reappraise what they thought about the Spaniards.
Both teams can call on players with NBA experience
Both teams have players with NBA experience, and both of these players have been at the heart of the team’s passage to the final.
With 40 points in the semi-final, it is apparent that Pau Gasol is still very much on top form these days. He may be 35 but he can impact on the big games, and he will be the player that the entire Spanish nation looks towards to make something happen in this game. Gasol has two gold medals at the EuroBasket (from 2009 and 2011) and he also has a gold medal from the 2006 FIBA World Cup. With 983 regular season games in the NBA, 4 All-Star games and 115 career play-off games, Pau Gasol is the leading player for the 2015 EuroBasket final. When you are a two times NBA Champion, you have seen and done it all in the game but Gasol is still as hungry as ever to win, especially when it comes to playing for his country.
Spain can also call on Nikola Mirotić who has clocked up over 80 regular season games with the Chicago Bulls and 11 play-off games. With five years’ worth of Euroleague experience with Real Madrid under his belt as well, Mirotić has plenty of big game experience which could help the Spanish side to come through this game.
Lithuania will want to go further this time around
Jonas Valančiūnas has been with the Toronto Raptors since 2012 clocking up over 200 games. Valančiūnas has also featured in 11 play-off games in the NBA so he knows what it feels like to be at the business end of the season. With a silver medal at the last EuroBasket and a fourth place finish at the FIBA World Cup last year, Valančiūnas will be looking to add some gold to his career and this weekend may be the best way to do so.
When it comes to the basketball betting options for the 2015 EuroBasket final, the bookmakers are making Spain the favourites for this game and you can find them available at 1.38 to win the tournament while Lithuania are available at a price of 3.15. When it comes to the spread, Spain should still be handy enough and taking Spain with a -6 handicap, at odds of 1.90, is likely to be a decent bet for the big showcase game at the 2015 EuroBasket event. When it comes to the Over/Under market, you will find that going OVER 146.5, available at odds of 1.90, should be enough to keep you interested in this one. Bet Now!
|Tipster||Tip-off||Home Team||Away Team||O/U||Odds||Free Tip||Sportsbook|
|FIBA EuroBasket - Men tip locked in at 19/09 23:10 (Spread Result: 74-63, Totals: 143)|
|giorgio||20/09 18:00||Spain||Lithuania||146.5||1.90||Over 146.5|
The third and fourth game will get us all warmed up but it is the 2015 EuroBasket final between Spain and Lithuania that we are all waiting on. Make sure you don’t miss the last basketball betting opportunities for this tournament.