After a five-year gap, the FIBA Basketball World Cup is finally on the horizon. For the very first time, 32 national teams will take participation in the tournament, which will be the biggest in the history of the competition. China is selected to host this year’s edition and the action will take place in various cities. Besides its original objective – to crown new world champions – this one will also act as a qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games 2020, which adds extra incentive to the competition.
The format of the tournament hasn’t changed too much, except the increase of the number of groups. 32 teams are split into eight groups, and the top two get qualified for the knockout stage, while the rest will play a series of classification games. The knockout stage will take place in the traditional format starting from the quarter-finals, while the champions are going to be crowned after the final game which will take place in Beijing on September 15th.
Let’s dip into more details about teams, star players and odds for this tournament.
FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Odds and Predictions: Top Sportsbooks in the US
- 0.1 FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Odds and Predictions: Top Sportsbooks in the US
- 0.2 FIBA World Cup Basic Info
- 0.3 What Is New?
- 0.4 FIBA World Cup Format
- 0.5 Venues
- 1 FIBA World Cup Betting Odds
FIBA World Cup Basic Info
This is going to be 18th edition of the competition and the first tournament took place back in 1950 when Argentina hosted it lifted the trophy after winning all games. The first five World championships took place in South America and they were dominated by the teams from the Americas. Later on, since 1963, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia became real forces and were included in the medal battles until 1990. Active NBA players were allowed to take participation for the first time in 1994 and since then World Cup tournaments are considered as fully professional. Latest three editions of the tournament were expanded to 24 participants, while in the upcoming one 32 teams will fight for the title. The United States and Yugoslavia won the competition five times each, the Soviet Union lifted the trophy three times, while Brazil was the most successful side in two occasions.
Spain hosted the latest edition of the tournament and the United States managed to defend their title won back in 2010 by beating Serbia in the final game 129-92. An interesting fact is that the US team hasn’t lost a single game in the last two tournaments.
What Is New?
China will host the World Cup for the first time and this one was initially scheduled for 2018, however, it was moved to 2019 in order not to overlap with FIFA World Cup. Since the participants’ pool has been expanded, several countries got the opportunity to qualify for the tournament for the first time in their history. Montenegro and the Czech Republic are the two debutants, while Poland is making a return as their latest appearance was back in 1967. Top two teams from Europe and the Americas will qualify for Olympic Games 2020 alongside with the host country Japan, and the top teams from Africa and Asia & Oceania.
FIBA World Cup Format
Teams need to go through three stages on their road to the FIBA World Cup 2019 title. The group stage is the opening stage of the tournament and eight teams are split into four groups. Two teams from each group will advance to the second group stage after playing against each other once.
Then, the second group stage won’t be much different as the same system will be in place. After playing each other once, top two out of four teams will progress to the knockout stage, while the others will play a series of classification games.
The knockout phase is the final one on the tournament and it starts from the quarter-finals. The seeding of the teams is going to be decided according to their finish in the group stages. The quarter-finals matches are scheduled for September 10th ad 11th, semi-finals will be played on September 13th, while the final match is going to wrap up the tournament on September 15th.
This is the composition of the group in the First groups’ stage with FIBA rankings in the brackets:
- Group A: Cote d’Ivoire (64), Poland (25), Venezuela (20), China (30)
- Group B: Russia (10), Argentina (5), South Korea (32), Nigeria (33)
- Group C: Spain (2), Iran (27), Puerto Rico (16), Tunisia (51)
- Group D: Serbia (4), Italy (13), Philippines (31), Angola (39)
- Group E: USA (1), Turkey (17), Czech Republic (24), Japan (48)
- Group F: Greece (8), New Zealand (38), Brazil (12), Montenegro (28)
- Group G: France (3), Dominican Republic (18), Germany (22), Jordan (49)
- Group H: Canada (23), Senegal (37), Lithuania (6), Australia (11)
The FIBA World Cup 2019 is going to be held across eight different cities in China: Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. The list of arenas is also presented below:
- Wukesong Sports Center, Beijing (capacity: 18,000)
- Gymnasium of Youth Olympic Games Sports Park, Nanjing (capacity: 19,614)
- Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, Shanghai (capacity: 18,000)
- Wuhan Sports Center, Wuhan (capacity: 11,700)
- Dongguan Basketball Center, Dongguan (capacity: 16,000)
- Foshan International Sports & Cultural Arena, Foshan (capacity: 14,700)
- Guangzhou Gymnasium, Guangzhou (capacity: 11,609)
- Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre, Shenzhen (capacity: 12,381)
FIBA World Cup Betting Odds
It is not a surprise that the United States team is considered as the hottest favorites for defending their crown. Winner odds are already available and according to the most popular online bookies such as William Hill, bet365 or Ladbrokes, the price on the USA winning the competition is not higher than 1.20. Serbia and Spain are the teams who can make an upset and the odds for these two teams vary from 10.00 to 26.00. looking at the figures from the percentage perspective, the US team has an 89% chance of winning the gold medal.
Since the tournament hasn’t been kicked-off yet, the outright market is the only one currently on offer. However, you will be able to wager on individual markets as the tournament approaches and this will include Totals, Moneyline, Player points, Correct score or Period betting.
Tips and Predictions
Although many of the NBA star players will skip this tournament, including Steph Curry and LeBron James, the US team should be certainly kept on your radar when placing bets. They are expected to get to the finals at least and eventually lift the trophy.
You can probably get the most out of your bets by combining totals with Moneyline to get the increased odds. Also, the US team should be inevitable in your accumulator wagers.
Serbia and Spain can also be very good choices to place a wager on since they are projected to go very far in the competition. Some of the NBA star players such as Nikola Jokic and Marc Gasol should drive these two teams forward to the title battles.
Teams to Keep an Eye On
The main question of this competition is any team capable enough to challenge the United States for the title. Although the odds are not favorable for others, it is not impossible that we see an upset, especially since there are several very good teams around. A good example is a tournament held in Indianapolis back in 2002 when Yugoslavia pulled out an amazing victory over the hosts in the quarter-finals. These are the teams we consider as candidates for going far in the competition.
Last World Cup’s runners-up are constantly playing very well on big tournaments. The team poses a great mix of young and experienced players and its squad didn’t suffer major changes in a couple of past competitions. From the statistical standpoint, Serbia has great shooting capability and they are one of the tallest teams in the competition. A lot of players outside of the starting five can jump in and have a great role and the opponents never know who can make a performance of the game.
Great news for Aleksandar Djordjevic, Serbia’s head coach and the World Cup winner as a player, is that Nikola Jokic confirmed his participation in the tournament, after skipping last two major ones. Nemanja Bjelica and Bogdan Bogdanovic are going to be one of the biggest contributors, while Marko Guduric, Stefan Jovic and Boban Marjanovic can shine and put some match-winner performances. Unfortunately, Milos Teodosic got injured in the friendly match against Lithuania and he won’t be licensed for the competition.
Although they will miss Tony Parker, an integral member of the team in many competitions in the past, France have an interesting mix of players who can pull both defensive and offensive performances. Capable wings like Nando De Colo and Nicolas Batum can drive the team forward along with Rudy Gobert who should command in the paint. The main question is whether their offense will manage to keep up with the locked-down defense.
A number of well-known names won’t participate in this tournament and by that we refer to Juan Carlos Navarro, Pau Gasol or Jose Calderon, but Spain are still considered as the team who can go pretty far in the competition. Sergio Llull and Ricky Rubio will be the main options as guards, while Rudy and Jaime Fernandez are going to be the main shooting options. They will certainly be looking to rely on a world-class center, Marc Gasol.
This is very talented side although Ben Simmons decided to withdraw his name from the tournament. A number of veterans are supposed to lead this team, especially former NBA champions Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut. High expectations are also set for Matthew Dellavedova, Deng Adel and Joe Ingles. Their athleticism is one of their biggest advantages and Australia may be able to cope with all other teams in the World Cup.
We don’t recall if Canada ever had such a talented generation of players. They have a lot of NBA-level talent at their disposal, but they still haven’t pulled out a good campaign at the international level. From the twenty-nine invitees to the training camp, eighteen of them are currently playing for NBA teams. If all players can blend in and play as a team, they might step up in this competition and have a memorable campaign. Nick Burse, the head coach, is going to have a very hard task to achieve that and he needs to organize a good game plan.
Greece is always tricky opponent on big tournaments and this time they are going to be led by NBA star player, Giannis Antetokounmpo. He had enough time to prepare for the World Cup after being knocked out of the NBA playoffs pretty early. However, the consistency in playing with their star player is not Greece’s strongest point and Thanassis Skourtopoulos needs to put all pieces in the right place to get the most out of his team.
Final Thoughts: Place your bets!
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world and this tournament is going to be a great event. The excitement around it is very high and all basketball lovers will have the chance to see a number of star players, although some of them, especially in the US team, withdrew their names from the list of participants in the competition. The biggest challenge for all teams is to take down the United States from the throne and although the bookies are confident that the Americans are going to defend their crown, there are many good teams around and the upset is not impossible.
Some sides, like Australia and Canada, are good candidates for winning their first medals in World Cups, while the traditional teams like Serbia, Spain, France, and Greece are always the candidates for the highest rankings. Spectators from all around the world are going to have the opportunity of watching all matches broadcasted live, and if you have an online account registered at the most popular bookmakers, you may have the chance to watch these matches live to stream. Exciting sixteen days are ahead of us and by the mid-September, we will get the name of the new, or maybe old, World Cup title winner. Let the hunt for the World Cup crown begins!
*Odds are correct at the time of publishing