- France and Slovenia meet on Thursday morning in the Men’s Basketball Semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics
- The winner will face either the US or Australia in the gold medal game
- Find the odds, preview, and pick below
Olympic newcomers Slovenia continues their Cinderella run in men’s basketball when they face France in the semifinals on Thursday morning, with tip-off scheduled for 7 AM EST from Tokyo.
Luka Doncic and Co. made quick work of Germany in the quarters, beating them 94-70. Les Bleus also cruised to victory, eliminating the Italians in an 84-75 victory.
The winner of this contest will advance to the final for a matchup with either the star-studded Team USA or Australia.
France vs Slovenia Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total Points at FanDuel|
|France||+2 (-110)||+102||Ov 174.5 (-108)|
|Slovenia||-2 (-110)||-130||Un 174.5 (-112)|
Odds as of August 3rd
With both of these teams going undefeated so far, it’s expected to be a very close game, with Slovenia a slim 2-point favorite.
France Rolling Along
The French have looked very impressive in the Tokyo Olympics and they finally got over that quarterfinal hump. France finished in 6th place in the last two games but now, the team will have a chance to compete for a medal.
The whole rotation came to play against Italy, with Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier dropping 22, and 21 points, respectively. Nicolas Batum also added 15 points in the win. France completely dominated the Italians on the boards, outrebounding them 49-33, with Gobert being his usual physical self inside. Points in the paint were also key in the victory, outscoring Italy 36-18.
Slovenia will pose a serious threat though. They like to generate offense off the pick and roll a lot with Doncic and Zoran Dragic. That means Gobert could be forced to drift his way out to defend the perimeter, which isn’t a recipe for success.
Doncic usually thrives when playing against the Jazz big man too, averaging almost 30 points per game during the regular season with Utah as an opponent. The French will need to find a way to stop the Mavs guard from exposing Gobert, but it’s going to be a very tough task.
Rudy Gobert: 22 PTS, 9 REB
Evan Fournier: 21 PTS
Nicolas Batum: 15 PTS, 14 REB pic.twitter.com/1oQv5SrZxq
— NBA (@NBA) August 3, 2021
France hasn’t won a medal in the Olympics since 2000 though when they finished as runners-up. With that being said, there is definitely some extra motivation here after a solid tournament.
Can Anyone Stop Luka?
Doncic is growing his legacy even more this summer on the international stage. The former Euroleague phenom has been terrific in the Olympics, averaging 26.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game. He’s been unstoppable in every department, which had made Slovenia a serious dark horse to even win this competition.
While the Slovenians are making their first appearance in the summer games, you wouldn’t have guessed it. They outscored their oppositions by an average of 20.3 points in the preliminary rounds, the highest point differential of any team.
— NBA (@NBA) August 3, 2021
The quarterfinals were no breeze either, as Slovenia came up against Germany. However, despite Doncic only having 12 points, he dished out 11 dimes and made sure to get everyone involved and generate offense. Zoran Dragic, the brother of NBA guard Goran Dragic, was the leading catalyst offensively, draining a team-high 27 points.
While France has played well, Slovenia has been a standout performer in Tokyo. They were in a very tough group with Spain and Argentina, yet Doncic still managed to push his team past the FIBA powerhouses. It’s also important to note that since the Dallas Mavericks superstar has joined the Slovenian national team, they haven’t lost a game, going a perfect 17-0.
Slovenia has beaten Germany 94-70 to advance to the semifinals of the Olympics Men's Basketball.
— Italo Santana (@BulletClubIta) August 3, 2021
Doncic even erupted for 48 points against the Argentines in the tournament opener, the second-most in a single game in Olympic history. That’s right, not even Kevin Durant, LeBron James, or Kobe Bryant have pulled off such a feat.
France vs Slovenia Prediction
I expect this to be a back and forth contest that will come down to the wire. While there is more NBA talent on France’s roster with the likes of Gobert, Batum, and Fournier, when Luka is on the floor, anything is possible.
Slovenia managed to blow out Germany with Doncic struggling to score and after a cold night, he’s going to come back with a vengeance and fully expose the French defense here. Take the Slovenians on the moneyline to continue their historic run to the gold medal game.
- Pick: Slovenia -130