Australia continue their 2019 FIBA World Cup campaign on Thursday at 9.30pm (AEST) when they take on Lithuania. Both teams are 2-0 in China and will be looking to win this match and secure top position in Group H.
We will be bringing you a brief preview and betting tips for all of the Australian games in the World Cup. Check out our prediction for Australia vs Lithuania below and good luck to everyone following!
There’s so much on the line in the final Group H game for Australia and Lithuania.
While both teams may have already qualified for the second phase of the tournament, this clash could prove to be vital in their chances of getting out of the next phase. Let’s talk about why.
Current standings in Group H (phase one).
Current standings in Group L (phase two).
The most important thing to note is that a team’s points from phase one carries over into phase two, meaning Australia will either be taking two or three wins into the second phase, depending on whether they win or lose vs Lithuania.
So… If France beats Dominican Republic in their final Group G clash - which is most likely - and Australia lose to Lithuania in their final Group H clash, then Australia will be a win behind both France and Lithuania when they cross over to Group L (second phase). Considering just two teams will qualify from Group L, you can see why Thursday nights Australia vs Lithuania clash is almost a must win for both nations.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s have a look at how each country is shaping up.
The Boomers have won both their World Cup games so far, albeit without being totally convincing. First up they dispatched a determined but undermanned Canadian outfit by 16 points (108-92), led by Matthew Dellavedova (24 points, 6/10 3pt) and Joe Ingles (13 points, nine assists). Then, in their second game, Australia saw off a gritty Senegalese team by 13 points (81-68). Joe Ingles led from the front again and almost recorded the first triple double of the World Cup, finishing one rebound shy. The Aussies will be looking to improve on their shaky start in China when they take on a genuine medal contender in Lithuania.
The Lithuanian basketball team has been a dominant force on the world stage since around the early 90s. Three times they’ve medalled at the Olympic Games, all of which have been bronze (1992, 1996, 2000), and they also picked up a bronze at the 2010 FIBA World Cup in Turkey. They aren’t quite as strong now as they have been in the past, but they’re still ranked 6thin the world by FIBA. So far in this World Cup they’ve thumped Senegal by 54 points (101-47) and took care of Canada by 23 points (92-69). Led by an NBA front court pairing of Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania are a huge danger to any team in the world when they’re locked in.
We’ve already seen some nail-biting finishes in the group stages and the bookies believe this could be another one. This game has been priced at pretty much even money, with Lithuania edging out Australia for favouritism by a couple of cents.
While Lithuania have had more success on the world stage by a long way, we believe the current crop of Australians edges them out for talent. The Aussies will be hungry to improve on their recent performance against Senegal and boast the required defence in the frontcourt to stop their guns, as well as the firepower in the backcourt to blow Lithuania away.
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