2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup: Odds to Win, Preview, Prediction

The FIBA World Cup is here as teams will begin playing as the competition starts on August 31. The World Cup will run from August 31 to September 15. The United States enters the competition as the defending champions after defeating Serbia 129-92 back in the 2014 FIBA World Cup (It was previously called the FIBA World Championship). The U.S. is still viewed as the favorites but the 2019 team is not nearly as talented as the team they sent to the 2014 FIBA Wolrd Cup or the 2016 Olympics.

This year FIBA World Cup has several teams that could end up winning the championship and shocking the USA. You could make a compelling argument that the top three players in this year’s FIBA Wolrd Cup do not play for the U.S. (Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Rudy Gobert). Yet despite that, the Americans still have the most talented roster from top to bottom and they also have the tournament’s best backcourt in Kemba Walker and Donovan Mitchell.

The 2019 FIBA World Cup should be an extremely competitive tournament this year and realistically as many as six different teams could be viewed as favorites (USA, France, Spain, Greece, Serbia, and Australia). It should be an exciting two weeks filled with highly entertaining basketball.

Here is a look at each group of the FIBA World Cup:

Group A

China:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 30

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify (out of 24)

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: 12 (out of 12)

Côte d’Ivoire:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 64

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Poland:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 25

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Venezuela:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 20

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: 10

Schedule:

8/31: Poland-Venezuela, China-Côte d’Ivoire

9/2: Venezuela-Côte d’Ivoire, China-Poland

9/4 Côte d’Ivoire-Poland, China-Venezuela

Group A should be one of the most competitive groups as China will likely be viewed as the favorite with the tournament being held in their country as well as having a solid lineup led by former NBA player Yi Jianlian. After China it’s a tossup between Poland and Venezuela. Both teams are currently ranked ahead of China in the FIBA World Standings and either could upset the Chinese and win the group. The second game of the tournament is Poland vs Venezuela so it won’t take long to find out which team will be the main threat to China in Group A. Cote d’Ivoire could shock one of those three teams but as of now its hard to see them winning a game let alone actually finishing in the top two and advancing to the knockout round.

Prediction: 1. China  2. Venezuela 3. Poland  4. Côte d’Ivoire

Group B

Argentina:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 5

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 11

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: 8

Korea:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 32

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 23

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Nigeria:

Notable NBA Players: Al-Farouq Aminu, Chimezie Metu, Josh Okogie

FIBA Rank: 33

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: 11

Russia:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 10

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Schedule:

8/31: Russia-Nigeria, Korea-Argentina

9/2: Nigeria-Argentina, Russia-Korea

9/4: Korea-Nigeria, Russia-Argentina

Group B is one of the easier groups when it comes to figuring out who the favorites are. Despite not having any NBA players on their roster, Argentina and Russia look like the two best teams in Group B. However, if there is a darkhorse in Group B it would be Nigeria as they have three current NBA players and have looked great during their exhibition warmups. Look for the winner of Nigeria-Russia to be the team that moves on from Group B with Argentina.

Prediction: 1. Argentina  2. Nigeria 3. Russia 4. Korea

Group C

Iran:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 27

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 20

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Puerto Rico:

Notable NBA Players: Isaiah Pineiro

FIBA Rank: 16

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 19

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Spain:

Notable NBA Players: Marc Gasol, Juancho Hernangomez, Willy Hernangomez, Ricky Rubio

FIBA Rank: 2

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 5

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: 3

Tunisia:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 51

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Schedule:

8/31: Iran-Puerto Rico, Spain-Tunisia

9/2: Tunisia-Iran, Spain-Puerto Rico

9/4: Tunisia-Puerto Rico, Spain-Iran

Spain should not only be looked at as the favorite in Group C but also as one of the favorites of the entire tournament. Spain should have little trouble dominating Group C as the real contest should be between Puerto Rico and Iran as they compete for second place and a spot in the knockout round. Tunisia has been impressive during their warm up matches and could be a team to watch for when it comes to playing spoiler.

Prediction: 1. Spain  2. Puerto Rico 3. Tunisia  4. Iran

Group D

Angola:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 39

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 17

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Italy:

Notable NBA Players: Marco Belinelli, Danilo Gallinari

FIBA Rank: 13

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Philippines:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 31

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 21

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Serbia:

Notable NBA Players: Nemanja Bjelica, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Marko Gudurić, Nikola Jokic, Boban Marjanovic

FIBA Rank: 4

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 2

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: 2

Schedule:

8/31: Angola-Serbia, Italy-Philippines

9/2: Italy-Angola, Serbia-Philippines

9/4: Angola-Philippines,Serbia-Italy

Group D is one of the more entertaining groups despite having a clear cut favorite. Serbia should be viewed as the favorite to win the group and as the biggest threat to the United States to win the FIBA World Cup. After Serbia, things could get interesting as Italy, Angola, and the Philippines all have talented rosters capable of finishing second to Serbia. Italy should be the team that makes it out of Group D but the margin for error is slim.

Prediction: 1. Serbia  2. Italy 3. Philippines  4. Angola

Group E

Czech Republic:

Notable NBA Players: Tomas Satoransky

FIBA Rank: 24

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Japan:

Notable NBA Players: Rui Hachimura, Yuta Watanabe

FIBA Rank: 48

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Turkey:

Notable NBA Players: Cedi Osman, Ersan Ilyasova, Furkan Korkmaz

FIBA Rank: 17

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 8

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

United States:

Notable NBA Players: Harrison Barnes, Jaylen Brown, Joe Harris, Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Donovan Mitchell, Mason Plumlee, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum,  Myles Turner, Kemba Walker; and Derrick White

FIBA Rank: 1

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 1

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: 1

Schedule:

9/1: Turkey-Japan, USA-Czech Republic

9/3: Japan-Czech Republic, USA-Turkey

9/5: Turkey-Czech Republic, USA-Japan

Group E features the tournament favorite United States and despite a less than stellar roster the Americans still have the most talented team in the field. The question for the USA is do they have enough talent to overcome the lack of star power they’ve had in recent years. For those wondering if the U.S. could be upset the only team in Group E with a chance would be Turkey but they still shouldn’t be able to hang with a dominant U.S. team. Look for the U.S. to win Group E handily and for Turkey to claim second.

Prediction: 1. USA  2. Turkey 3. Japan 4. Czech Republic

Group F

Brazil:

Notable NBA Players: Cristiano Felicio, Bruno Caboclo

FIBA Rank: 12

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 6

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: 9

Greece:

Notable NBA Players: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thanasis Antetokounmpo

FIBA Rank: 8

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 9

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Montenegro:

Notable NBA Players: Nikola Vucevic

FIBA Rank: 28

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

New Zealand:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 38

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 15

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Schedule:

9/1: New Zealand-Brazil, Greece-Montenegro

9/3: Montenegro-New Zealand, Brazil-Greece

9/5: Brazil-Montenegro, Greece-New Zealand

Group F features what may be the tournaments best player as Greece will be led by current NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo is arguably the biggest name in the tournament as well and his presence will demand as much attention if not more than any other player in the FIBA World Cup. Greece should be the favorites in Group F but don’t be surprised if they receive a tough test from the Brazil team.

Prediction: 1. Greece  2. Brazil 3. Montenegro  4. New Zealand

Group G

Dominican Republic:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 18

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 13

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

France:

Notable NBA Players: Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum, Frank Ntilikina, Elie Okobo, Vincent Poirier

FIBA Rank: 3

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 3

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: 6

Germany:

Notable NBA Players: Dennis Schroder, Maxi Kleber, Isaac Bonga, Daniel Theis

FIBA Rank: 22

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Jordan:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 49

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Schedule:

9/1: Dominican Republic-Jordan, Germany-France

9/3: Germany-Dominican Republic, France-Jordan

9/5: Germany-Jordan, France-Dominican Republic

Group G has its favorite in France, which has the most NBA players after the USA. After France, it should be a tossup between Germany and the Domininacna Republic. Both teams are good but it feels like the Germans should have the advantage of the talent. Look for the winner of the Germany-Dominican Republic to take second in the group and advance.

Prediction: 1. France  2. Germany 3. Dominican Republic  4. Jordan

Group H

Australia:

Notable NBA Players: Joe Ingles, Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Aron Baynes

FIBA Rank: 11

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 12

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: 4

Canada:

Notable NBA Players: Khem Birch, Oshae Brissett, Cory Joseph

FIBA Rank: 23

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: Did not qualify

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Lithuania:

Notable NBA Players: Jonas Valanciunas, Domantas Sabonis

FIBA Rank: 6

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 4

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: 7

Senegal:

Notable NBA Players: None

FIBA Rank: 37

2014 FIBA World Cup Finish: 16

2016 Rio Olympic Finish: Did not qualify

Schedule:

9/1: Canada-Australia, Senegal-Lithuania

9/3: Australia-Senegal, Lithuania-Canada

9/5: Canada-Senegal, Lithuania-Australia

Group H is the toughest group of the eight groups and if this was soccer it would have the label of the “Group of Death.” Australia should be the favorite but they are by no means assured that as both Lithuania and Canada could pull the upset. Canada has a weaker roster than the two so it should be Lithuania and Australia that advance but don’t be surprised if this group produces the most drama of the opening round.

Prediction: 1. Australia  2. Lithuania 3. Canada 4. Senegal

FIBA Basketball World Cup Odds to Win

TeamOdds
USA
-220
Serbia
+370
Greece
+1000
Spain
+1400
France
+2900
Australia
+3200
Lithuania
+4500
Canada
+6000
Argentina
+6500
China
+10000
Italy
+10000
Brazil
+11000
Germany
+11000
Poland
+11000
Russia
+11000
Turkey
+12000
Puerto Rico
+19000
Nigeria
+21000
Angola
+25000
Czech Republic
+25000
Dominican Republic
+25000
Iran
+25000
Ivory Coast
+25000
Japan
+25000
Jordan
+25000
Montenegro
+25000
New Zealand
+25000
Philippines
+25000
Senegal
+25000
South Korea
+25000
Tunisia
+25000
Venezuela
+25000

  
Brandon has covered basketball for several outlets including FanSided and 247Sports. He is a graduate of Radford University with a degree in media studies/journalism.

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