We are back with another prediction and pick for the final slate of games in the group stage of the 2023 FIBA World Cup. With that, it is time for some Group G action as Spain (2-0) looks to stay undefeated against Iran (0-2) in their final game of group play. Check out our FIBA World Cup odds series for our Iran-Spain prediction and pick.
As expected, Spain has dominated its group through their first two games of the 2023 FIBA World Cup. They blew out Cote d'Ivoire by 30 points to open the tournament, then beat Brazil 96-78 to book their spot in the second round of the group stage. This may no longer be the Spain squad most of us have grown accustomed to, with none of the Gasol brothers or even Ricky Rubio representing the country for this tournament. Nonetheless, this version is still as consistent as ever, with the likes of Willy Hernangomez, Juancho Hernangomez, and Santi Aldama leading the way.
Meanwhile, Iran has yet to notch a win in the 2023 FIBA World Cup and is essentially out of the tournament. They opened the World Cup with an embarrassing 100-59 loss to Brazil, as only two players scored in double-figures. The Iranians fared much better against Cote d'Ivoire on Monday. But ultimately, they lost a heartbreaker to the African team, falling 71-69 as Cote d'Ivoire fended off a late rally by Iran to take the thriller.
Here are the 2023 FIBA World Cup odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
2023 FIBA World Cup Odds: Iran-Spain Odds
Iran: +33.5 (-115)
Spain: -33.5 (-111)
Over: 155.5 (-115)
Under: 155.5 (-111)
How to Watch Iran vs. Spain
Stream: ESPN+, Courtside 1891
Time: 9:30 AM ET/ 6:30 AM PT
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Why Iran Will Cover The Spread
Iran has nothing to play for entering this game, so look for them to play a lot more loosely against Spain. Bettors backing Iran in this game essentially just have to hope they don't lose by 34 points, which is easier said than done considering the talent discrepancy between both teams. Nonetheless, the Iranians probably don't want to go down the way they did against Brazil, where they lost by 31 points.
Benham Yakchali has led Iran in scoring through two games. After scoring just seven points in the brutal loss to Brazil, Yakchali tallied a team-high 19 points in the heartbreaker versus Cote d'Ivoire. Veteran big man Hamed EHaddadi is still going strong and remains a key piece for this Iranian team. The 38-year-old is averaging 9.5 points and his 6.0 rebounds still leads the team.
Iran hasn't had a consistent offensive threat through two games so far. Four different players have scored in double-figures (two in each game) and none of them repeated in both contests. This could be viewed as a negative in the sense that they lack consistent scoring options. But it could also be seen as a positive with how anyone can contribute on any given night. If Iran somehow gets more than two guys going, they could make this a competitive game and avoid losing by 34 points.
Why Spain Will Cover The Spread
As for Spain, this game is essentially no-bearing for them as they have already booked their ticket to the second round of group action. The Spaniards will need to win by at least 34 points to cover this particular spread, which can be a tall task in any basketball game.
Nonetheless, the Spaniards still have naysayers to prove wrong, with other teams such as Germany, Australia, and even Slovenia getting more love than them. But Spain's consistency and culture, even with the absence of the mainstays of the past such as Marc Gasol and Ricky Rubio, keeps them in the running for a podium finish in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Willy Hernangomez has emerged as the de facto leader of this team. Through two games, the FC Barcelona center has tallied 36 points while connecting on 59.1 percent of his shots from the field thus far. Santi Aldama of the Memphis Grizzlies has also performed well in his first taste of the FIBA World Cup. Through two games, the 22-year-old is averaging 11.5 points and is leading the team in blocks with 1.5 swats per contest. Apart from those two, five other players are averaging over 8.0 points for Spain, which shows just how complete and loaded this team is despite lacking the star power it had before.
Final Iran-Spain Prediction & Pick
A 33.5-point spread may be risky to take, but if there is a team who can blow inferior teams out of the park, it's Spain. Iran already lost by 31 points in this tournament and it was against a 13th-ranked Brazil team. Just imagine how much more the No. 1 ranked Spain could dominate them.
Final Iran-Spain Prediction & Pick: Spain: -33.5 (-111)