- For the first time in 2002, the United States will not win a gold medal in an international basketball tournament.
- France is now favored to win the tournament.
- The United States will have a tough game with Serbia up next.
The 2019 FIBA Basketball tournament did not turn out as the United States has hoped. Their long-running dominance in international basketball came to an end when the U.S. team lost to France in the quarterfinal round of the tournament in China.
Now the United States will play for fifth in the classification round while France is now favored to win it all at +175 with Spain on their heels at +200. Who’s the best bet in each spot?
Odds to Win 2019 FIBA World Cup
|Team||Odds at Bovada|
*Odds taken 09/11/2019.
Team USA Falters
It just never felt right for Team USA right off the bat. This is a team that had plenty of talent on their roster for the FIBA 2019 tournament but it definitely wasn’t the ‘A’ team. So many elite NBA stars decided to pass on this tournament – even many of the B-listers too – that the roster just wasn’t that great.
On top of that, team chemistry was a problem. Many of the other international teams have been playing together for a while while the U.S. kept seeing more and more dropouts each day and they ended up with a decent but not outstanding team.
In the end, they couldn’t get it together.
We saw some early chinks in the armor when the United States needed a miracle to beat Turkey 93-92 in overtime. After playing a few cupcakes and winning handily, the U.S. lost to France 89-79 in the quarters and now can’t finish better than fifth.
France Now Favored
France didn’t get past the United States with luck or by any type of fluke; they won comfortably. Rudy Gobert was a monster with 21 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks. Supposed draft bust Frank Ntilikina was fantastic too, along with Evan Fournier and Nicolas Batum who always play better in uniform for their country.
While this team is confident, I don’t think they should be favored to win it all. They barely beat Lithuania 78-75 and lost to Australia 100-98. Spain and Australia are slightly better but those two teams will go head-to-head in the semis. France will play Argentina, who is undefeated too, but has no current NBA players on the roster.
From this group, I like Spain to win this tournament. France probably has the best individual player in Gobert, but Spain has great team chemistry. They also have Marc Gasol, who’ll probably matchup well against him – much better than the Americans could. Spain also has Ricky Rubio, Rudy Fernandez and the Hernangomez brothers.
Can The United States Claim Fifth?
It’s been 17 years since the U.S. finished with anything less than gold. Now the best they can do is fifth. It still won’t be easy, as they have to go through a Serbian team led by Nikola Jokic but as long as they beat them, they should be OK. The other two teams involved in this bracket are Poland and Czech Republic.
Serbia won’t be an easy out as they lead the tournament in assists per game. They’re not a selfish team. They’ve played well in all of their games except for the 81-69 loss to Spain and knockout 97-87 loss to Argentina. That could be telling but this U.S. team will most likely be unmotivated on the tight turnaround.
If the U.S. gets by this game, they’ll finish fifth but this won’t be easy. They’re more than capable of losing here.
What’s The Best Bet?
For the tournament winner, I like Spain to win it all. They have great team chemistry, a number of NBA players and they thrive in international ball. As for the fifth spot, I wouldn’t be on the United States to nail it down. This tournament has been an embarrassment for them and it could get even worse against Serbia.
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