Team USA Remains Heavy Favorite to Win 2019 FIBA World Cup Ahead of Exhibition Game vs Australia
By David Hayes
The 2019 FIBA World Cup is set to officially start Saturday, Aug. 31 in China, but Team USA is already gearing up for its second international exhibition game with a matchup against Australia at 5:30 a.m. EST on Thursday.
While many NBA stars have withdrawn from the American national roster, Team USA has remained the odds-on betting favorite to take home its third straight World Cup title, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Team USA (-240) is a heavy favorite to win the tournament, which would mark the first three-peat in the FIBA World Cup's 69-year history. However, Team USA's lead over the field in the betting odds has become noticeably more narrow since opening with -420 odds to win the 2019 FIBA World Cup in July.
While stars like James Harden, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard and Kevin Love have all withdrawn from the tournament, Team USA still features an eclectic mix of veterans and young talents, including Khris Middleton, Paul Millsap, Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum.
The United States men's national team head coach is Gregg Popovich, of the San Antonio Spurs, while the assistant coaching staff is rounded out by Golden State Warriors' head coach Steve Kerr, Atlanta Hawks' head coach Lloyd Pierce, and Villanova Wildcats' head coach Jay Wright.
The 2019 tournament features an expansion from 24 to 32 teams that are divided into eight groups, in which the top two advance to a second group stage. The top eight teams from that second group stage then advance to the knockout round.
Behind USA, Serbia (+380) has the second-best odds to win the tournament, as the Serbian national team features four current NBA players, led by All-Star Nikola Jokic, as well as Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica and Boban Marjanovic.
Greece (+1600) follows Serbia with a roster that features reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, as well as his two brothers Kostas and Thanasis Antetokounmpo. Next up is Spain (+1700), led by newly-crowned NBA champion Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors.
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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.