When one hears World Cup, their minds are automatically thinking about the sport the entire world, less the United States, calls football. However in this case they would be wrong, this World Cup is basketball and will take place starting on Saturday August 30 in Spain.
The early lines for the event on Bovada and topbet have the U.S. and Spain as the heavy favorites to win gold. The U.S. on betonline is currently going off at 4 to 7, while Spain on sportsbook.com is sitting on 3 to 2.
Host country Spain has seen the gap in price between it and the U.S. shrink just a bit since the beginning of last week. That could be due to Kevin Durant deciding not to play.
However, the U.S. remains the favorite to win a fourth consecutive international tournament after winning gold in the 2008 Olympics, the 2010 World Championships, and the 2012 Olympics.
Despite not having basketball’s two best players in LeBron James and Durant, Team USA still has a number of strong players that are currently or have been NBA All-Stars.
The roster for Team USA includes the likes of Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving amongst others.
Davis and Harden were on the Olympic team from 2012, while Rose and Curry played on the team that won the World Championship in 2010.
Spain’s team will not be a slouch. The roster includes a number of former and current players in the NBA.
If or when the two powers play head to head, the USA must deal with the brothers Gasol – Pau and Marc and Serge Ibaka down low and point guard Ricky Rubio.
The next group of teams below the two heavy favorites is Argentina, Brazil, France, Lithuania and Greece. All five of the teams are currently 30 to 1 to win the title.
Each of those five teams have players with NBA experience, if odds are to be believed then those five will battle it out for the bronze.
Of course, international basketball has some quirks such as a wider lane and rules around the rim, that are different than what most in the U.S. are used to. However, the talent the U.S. team possesses likely will carry them to a gold medal.
2014 FIBA World Cup Odds
U.S. 4 to 7
SPAIN 3 to 2
ARGENTINA 30 to 1
BRAZIL 30 to 1
LITHUANIA 30 to 1
FRANCE 30 to 1
GREECE 30 to 1