The semi-finals of the 2023 FIBA World Cup are here as Canada battles Serbia for the right to book a ticket in the championship round. Check out our FIBA World Cup odds series for our Serbia-Canada prediction and pick.
Serbia spoiled Lithuania's undefeated record and advanced to the semi-final round with an impressive 87-68 win over the team that just took down Team USA this past weekend. Bogdan Bogdanovic led Serbia with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting, while Filip Petrusev added 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting off the bench.
Canada booked its ticket to the semi-final round with a resounding 100-89 win over Slovenia on Wednesday. As he has done all tournament long, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way for the Canadians with an efficient 31 points on 8-of-12 shooting. A good chunk of his points came from the foul line, where he went 14-of-16 for the second straight game.
Here are the 2023 FIBA World Cup odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
2023 FIBA World Cup Odds: Serbia-Canada Odds
Serbia: +5.5 (-115)
Canada: -5.5 (-111)
Over: 176.5 (-108)
Under: 176.5 (-118)
How to Watch Serbia vs. Canada
TV: ESPN2, Sportsnet (in Canada)
Stream: ESPN+, Courtside 1891
Time: 4:45 AM ET/ 1:45 AM PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why Serbia Will Cover The Spread
Serbia enters this game as underdog simply because they have less talent compared to Canada. The case would certainly be different if two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic is busting out the Sombor Shuffle in Manila instead of his home country.
But instead, it's Bogdan Bogdanovic leading the way for this team. Nonetheless, the Atlanta Hawks guard has done a remarkable job in leading Serbia all the way to the semi-final round. Bogey is averaging 18.8 points per game on over 49 percent field goal shooting to go along with 4.8 assists and 2.2 steals.
Nikola Milutinov has also been one of Serbia's more steady contributors and has stepped up as the primary big option in Jokic's absence. On the tournament, he is averaging 13.2 points and 8.8 rebounds. Nikola Jovic has also shown the capability to pop off and have a high-scoring game. Against South Sudan, Jovic went 9-of-9 from the field and made all of his five three-pointers to score 25 points.
Serbia should also be feeling good heading into this game, considering they shot 55 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from long distance against Lithuania.
The Serbians have also received tons of support from other sources. Apart from Bogdanovic, Milutinov, and Jovic, six players are averaging at least seven points in the tournament so far.
Why Canada Will Cover The Spread
Canada is simply on a heater right now and it seems like the team was given a giant awakening following their loss to Brazil last weekend. Though they've already made history by securing their first Olympic berth since 2000, this Canadian team isn't satisfied. They still feel like they have a lot to prove on the international stage. As such, look for them to play with a lot more hunger with a shot at the Finals on the line.
Canada's biggest advantage for this game is the fact that they have the best player on the floor — which was arguably also the case on Wednesday against Slovenia. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's 31 points on 8-of-12 shooting outdueled Luka Doncic's 26-point performance as Canada dropped Slovenia 100-89. SGA has been on an absolute tear in this tournament with averages of 25.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists while shooting nearly 55 percent from the field. The Oklahoma City Thunder star looks more motivated than ever to carry his country all the way to the top.
But aside from Gilgeous-Alexander, the Canadians also have a lot more talent overall. They have seven current NBA players to Serbia's three. Five players are averaging double-digit points for Canada, which shows how they're more than just an SGA team.
Dillon Brooks, in particular, is also playing on another level over the last two games and it seems like the hot Manila crowd has lit a fire under his belly. Since the game against Spain, Brooks has been averaging 18.0 points on a blistering 68.4 percent field goal shooting and has gone 6-of-8 from beyond the arc in those two contests. Brooks' irrational confidence is exactly what this Canada squad needs and is going to help them advance to the championship round.
Final Serbia-Canada Prediction & Pick
Canada will book its ticket to the championship round in this one. This seems inevitable unless they suffer another stinker like the one they had against Brazil. But it seems like the Canadians have learned their lesson from that game and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander seems poised to lead his country to heights it has never seen before in the basketball world.
Final Canada-Slovenia Prediction & Pick: Canada: -5.5 (-111)