The FIBA Basketball World Cup counties with the start off Round 2 games Friday. Much like the start of this tournament, Team USA is still the favorite (-145) entering the tournament with Canada (+400) on their heels on the oddsboard.
With the tournament field resetting for the next round, our betting analysts Brandon Anderson, Joe Dellera and Bryan Fonseca broke down which bets have value for the rest of the tournament on the latest episode of the BUCKETS podcast.
Here’s a look at their FIBA World Cup best bets and tournament futures.
Luka Doncic FIBA World Cup MVP (+2100, Bet365)
Joe Dellera: This is a better bet than Slovenia to win (+2700) because Luka could still win this award even if Slovenia does not take home the gold. While the margins are relatively slim, I think having the additional out is valuable. Brandon Anderson wrote about this pre-tournament and this argument holds true after the Group Stage.
Luka is destroying the competition. He is averaging 30 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists per game through the Group Stage. Given Slovenia’s 3-0 record, they are likely to advance into the next round; however, this game on Friday against Australia is important given Germany’s relative strength as well. Despite this, even with a loss to Australia, they’d have another chance to advance against Germany who may be without Franz Wagner again.
He is leading the field in ppg, and he’s also leading his team in rebounds and assists – he’s the best player in this tournament and these games are critically important for Slovenia to earn an Olympic berth. At this point, even though Slovenia may be dogs in many games moving forward, Luka is the best player on the floor — as a result, if they advance, it’s due to his contributions.
He’s a transcendent talent, and with the well-rounded contributions from the players on Team USA, the door is open for someone else to capture the MVP.
Team USA to Win FIBA World Cup (-125, Bet365)
Bryan Fonseca: If you haven’t bet on Team USA to win, now is the time.
Their odds will become less favorable once they, as expected, beat Montenegro and Lithuania. If you don’t bet them now, you run the risk of USA winning back to back blowouts and the number becoming a little less favorable.
Some books have already dropped it from -125 entering the World Cup to -145 now to win it all, which is fine, but if you think Team USA wins it all, don’t wait much longer to place your bet.
Now, if they lose either game coming up – Lithuania, in particular, has the capacity to provide Steve Kerr and crew their first real test of the tournament – then obviously, the number gets even more favorable, but even so, you might not want to bet them at all.
But they’ve always had a clear path to at least the quarterfinals, which is why the number is the number, even as I don’t think this team is unbeatable at all. It just so happens that many of their chief challengers are on the opposing side of the bracket, and one in France turned out to be a fraud.
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