- Team USA’s odds drop to -150 after tight victory over Turkey
- Americans opened the FIBA World Cup as heavy -400 favorites
- Serbia listed as enticing +175 underdogs after perfect start
Team USA’s close call in overtime at the FIBA Basketball World Cup on Tuesday hasn’t swayed the betting lines much.
Despite escaping its second group stage game against Turkey — winning by a single point in the final seconds of overtime — Team USA remains odds-on favorites to win the tournament.
Team USA is headed to overtime against Turkey in the first round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup! ?
— ESPN (@espn) September 3, 2019
Even with star players like LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard missing from the roster, Bovada still puts the Americans as the -150 frontrunners.
Is there any value in betting on Team USA or could another country emerge as champions?
FIBA Basketball World Cup Odds
Odds taken 09/04/2019
Team USA opened the tournament as heavy favorites at -400 but that price slipped to -260 after several NBA stars ruled themselves out of the tournament. James, Leonard, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Anthony Davis all passed on the opportunity to play for the Americans, which resulted in the team’s chances falling to -260.
Those odds slipped even further when Team USA barely defeated a Turkey team that’s listed on Bovada as a +10000 dark horse to win the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) September 3, 2019
Team USA’s Tournament To Lose
This is undoubtedly still USA’s tournament to lose as the team still has high level NBA talent in Donavan Mitchell, Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton among others to carry the offensive load.
The Americans opened the tournament by breezing past the Czech Republic and the road ahead looks bright with a final group stage game against Japan.
A trip to the knockout stage is evident, but can Team USA go all the way or is it worth considering betting other countries?
One team to keep a close watch on at this stage of the tournament is Serbia, which is listed at an intriguing +175.
The Serbs have steamrolled through its competition, boasting a perfect 3-0 record and scoring 105 or more points in two of those contests. Serbia is posting 107.7 points per game — 11 more than the next best team. Comparatively, the United States is averaging just 90.5 PPG, which is tied with lower-seeded countries like France and Brazil.
Through Serbia's first three games in the FIBA World Cup, Nikola Jokic is shooting 83.3% from the field, and is a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point territory.
Oh and he leads his team in assists & rebounds.
Serbia is undefeated.
Their average margin of victory is 40 points per game
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) September 4, 2019
To make matters even worse, no U.S. player is in the top forty tournament scoring. You’d have to scroll down to No. 42 (Kemba Walker, 13.5 PPG) to find a top-scoring American player.
Bogdanovic Off To Strong Start
Bogdan Bogdanovic is averaging 24 points per game to lead all top scorers in the tournament.
Add in Nikola Jokic, who has averaged 13.3 PPG while pulling down 6.7 rebounds per game, and Serbia has a team worth betting on to win the FIBA World Cup.
Does this mean bettors should stay away from Team USA? Absolutely not. The Americans still have a strong core of NBA players, albeit not the LeBron caliber.
However, other countries have proved that they can compete with the United States, including Serbia, which has more betting value at +175 to win outright.
Pick: Serbia (+175)
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