World Cup Betting Tips
The 2019 FIBA Men's Basketball World Cup takes place in China from August 31. The final takes place on September 15 with the USA hoping to retain their world title.
FIBA 2019 Men’s Basketball World Cup – USA Chasing a Hat-Trick of Wins
The 2019 Men’s Basketball World Cup takes place in China between 31 August and 15 September. It’s the 18th World Cup tournament and just like its football equivalent, there are 32 countries bidding to win the title. The USA are the defending champions and again the favourites to lift the trophy. They face opposition from countries such as Spain and Turkey with Nigeria posing the largest African challenge.
The 32 countries have been drawn into eight groups of four. The top two in each group will qualify for the second set of four groups battling it out for the eight places in the knock—out quarter finals. Those knocked out still have games to play to decide the 5th to 8th and 17th to 32nd classifications. The groups are:
Group A: Ivory Coast, Poland, Venezuela and China
Group B: Russia, Argentina, South Korea and Nigeria
Group C: Spain, Iran, Puerto Rico and Tunisia
Group D: Angola, Philppines, Italy and Serbia
Group E: Turkey, Cech Republic, USA and Japan
Group F: Greece, New Zealand, Brazil and Montenegro
Group G: Dominican Republic, France, Germany and Jordan
Group H: Canada, Senegal, Lithuania and Australia.
Who Will Become World Champions?
- USA - 4/9
- Serbia - 4/1
- Greece - 12/1
- Spain - 16/1
- France -33/1
- Australia - 40/1
- Lithuania - 50/1
- Russia 150/1
- China - 250/1
- Nigeria - 500/1
USA are Hot Favourites
When you think of basketball, the first country that comes into your mind is most likely going to be the USA. They have the strongest league in the National Basketball Association and have a great record in this tournament. The USA have won the World Cup a record five times including the last two tournaments. It’s been a five-year wait since the last World Cup, but the Americans look as strong as ever. They won the Olympic title in 2016 but still had to qualify to get to China. Despite not being able to use their top players due to fixture clashes, they qualified with ease.
Those top NBA players are now back in their squad and that spells trouble for the rest of the teams in this tournament. It’s not the strongest line-up with only a few having been NBA All-Stars. With the depth of talent in American basketball, they will make a strong bid to become the first country to win three World Cups in a row. Key players to look out for include Kyle Lowry, Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker. You can get 4/9 at William Hill on them winning the World Basketball Cup.
Serbia Up for the Challenge
Serbia are the clear second favourites to win the 2019 Basketball World Cup. They will be looking to build on their silver medal at the 2017 EuroBasket tournament. The Serbs lost in the final to Slovenia (who failed to qualify for this World Cup) but before that had beaten Spain and Italy. Center Nikola Jokic is in their squad, he’ll be a major player for them. He’ll be familiar to the USA team as he plays for the Denver Nuggets. Only one of the squad that did so well in 2017 won’t be in China for this World Cup.
Spain Chasing Success
Spain are ranked second in the world and will pose a major threat to America’s domination. They won the title in 2006 and have won medals at the last three Olympics plus medals at EuroBasket too. They are always there or thereabouts in tournaments and will hope this year is the time they again finish on top. Marc Gosel has already tasted success this year, winning the NBA title with Toronto Raptors.
Hosts Face Tough Task
It’s always good for a host to do well at a tournament. It’s going to be tough for China though. They face Poland and Venezuela in their group, both of whom are ranked higher than them in the world. Their best performance in a World Cup was 45 years ago when finishing eighth. This is their first World Cup since 2010 and will need players such as 7ft 2in Zhou Qi to be on top form. They warmed up for this tournament by playing in the Las Vegas NBA Summer League recording a win over Charlotte Hornets. China lost their other three games and ended up 29th of the 32 teams.
France Chasing Glory
The French side are in Group G and should have few problems in qualifying for the next stage. They are ranked third in the world and will look to do as well, if not better as their bronze medal in the 2014 tournament. Rudy Gobert made a big impact five years ago and is determined to again have an impressive tournament. Australia and Lithuania may await them in the second stage so reaching the last eight won’t be easy. The odds of France joining their football team as world champions is 28/1 at William Hill.
Nigeria Pose African Threat
Nigeria are ranked 33rd in the world but represent the strongest challenge from Africa. This is their third appearance in the World Cup finals and their previous best finish is 14th in 2006. They won ten of their 12 qualifying matches to reach these finals. Players to look out for include Al-Farouq-Aminu who plays for Orlando Magic. He’s confident that Nigeria can reach the knock-out stages. They are in a tough group though and have a poor record against both Argentina and Russia who are both ranked in the top ten. Aminu has described the group matches as being “our first finals.”
Greece are ranked eighth in the world and finished ninth at the last World Cup. Their draw doesn’t look too hard and they should at least make it to the quarter finals. Lithuania are the sixth ranked team in the world. They will hope to at least match the fourth place they achieved at the last World Cup. Tenth ranked Russia haven’t been in the World Cup since 2010. They finished fourth in the 2017 EuroBasket tournament and could cause a surprise or two in China.