In the 7th round of action of the Americas 2019 Basketball World Championship Qualifiers, we have a battle between two teams with almost identical records sitting among the middle places of Group E, when the third Puerto Rico (4-2), are hosting the fifth Panama (3-3). The game takes place at the Palacio de los Deportes Arena of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Friday, September 14th 2018.
Date/Time: 09-14-2018, 19:30 EDT
Spread: Puerto Rico -17.5
Puerto Rico have a 4-2 record so far in the tournament and are currently tied with Uruguay in the third place of Group E. They have back-to-back wins and in their last game they won at home against Mexico with an 84-79 score. They are led in scoring by Angel Vassallo with 15 ppg, followed by JJ Barea with 13.5 ppg, adding team highs both in rebounding with 5.5 per game and in assists made, with 7 per game. David Huertas adds 13 ppg and 3 boards per game.
Panama have a 3-3 record so far in the tournament and are currently tied with Mexico in the last place of Group E. They have won three of their last four matches and in their last game they won on the road against Paraguay with a 67-74 score. They are led in scoring by Trevor Gaskins with 13.2 ppg, adding a team high 5.5 dimes per game. He is followed by Michael Hicks with 10.8 ppg, while Tony Bishop Jr adds 10.5 ppg and a team high 7.5 boards per game.
In their previous meeting in the CentroBasket Championship of 2016, Panama won with a 64-86 score. Puerto Rico are better offensively, scoring 86 ppg to Panama’s 72.7, while Panama are better defensively, allowing 77.2 ppg to Puerto Rico’s 79.8. Puerto Rico have better percentages both in 2-pointers (54.8% to 49.2%) and in 3-pointers (35.3% to 29.8%). They are also better in assists made (20 to 16) and in turnovers committed (11 to 19), while Panama are better in rebounding, grabbing 40 to Puerto Rico’s 35. Puerto Rico are the absolute favorite and Vegas odds give them a -17.5 spread but don’t expect them to beat the odds as the spread is too high and Panama will definitely force a closer game than that.
Panama vs Puerto Rico Prediction: Panama +17.5 (-112)
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