After a couple of thrilling exhibition games in Melbourne which saw Australia claim their first ever win over Team USA, the Boomers will head to China for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, which gets underway on Saturday!
We’ll be bringing you full coverage of the Australian games throughout the tournament as well as some of the later knockout stages regardless of whether the Boomers advance that far.
Today, however, we’ll be taking a look at the tournament in full and giving some of our best future tips including outright winner, pool bets and player props!
If you’re hunting value for the World Cup this year you might opt for the likes of Greece, who have arguably the best player in the tournament in Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the way. There’s also France and Spain, who have talented rosters with plenty of NBA experience. Australia is another team with plenty of NBA experience and will take a lot of confidence from their win over the USA on Saturday afternoon.
All of the above are solid value plays but we think it’s very likely that the winner of the tournament comes in the form of the USA or Serbia. The United States start as strong $1.45 favourites and although they are missing a bunch of their stars who originally planned to play, they still have a dominant roster filled with some of the best young talent in the world.
Kemba Walker, who recently relocated to the Boston Celtics in the free agency window will lead the team from the point guard position. Apart from Walker and centre Brook Lopez from the Milwaukee Bucks, no other United States player was born before 1991, and young stars such as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kyle Kuzma and Donovan Mitchell will need to carry the bulk of the load in the tournament.
While the Sebian team doesn’t have as much NBA talent on their roster, they do boast one of the standout players of the tournament in Nikola Jokic and have been arguably the best nation outside of the USA in world basketball for the better part of a decade. Alongside Jokic is Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica from the Sacramento Kings, both of whom played in the Serbian silver medal campaigns at the 2014 FIBA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games respectively.
Serbia won back to back FIBA World Cup gold medals in 2998 and 2002 as Yugoslavia on the back of some dominant play by the likes of NBA stars Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic. They have one of the most talented big men in the game at the moment in Nikola Jokic, who will be keen to assert his dominance over the depleted Unites States roster.
Not a lot of value in the group markets but one that does stick out to us is the Australians in Group H. Although ut was just an exhibition match, the Aussies really impressed us with the win over the United States in Melbourne and in the process, proved that they are capable of matching it with the best nations in the world.
Lithuania should be their only competition in the pool stage, and while they were once a force in international basketball, they will go into the 2019 FIBA World Cup without a few key players that have made them successful in recent history. Back Australia to win Group H at great odds.
Hard to look much further than Giannis Antetokounmpo here. The Greek star should have all of the possession he wants on his international side and should absolutely breeze through a pretty easy group which contains Brazil, Montenegro and New Zealand.
Giannis averaged 27.7 points per game in the NBA this season and although he will get a lot of attention as the sole superstar on the Greek side, we expect him to be up around that mark in the FIBA World Cup.
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