|Written by Mike|
Bet on the NBAThe United States won their second straight FIBA Basketball World Cup at this year's event in Spain. It was certainly clear from the start that the United States were the favorites to win it all but there were plenty of betting odds of interest throughout the entire event.
Spain was heavily favored to win in Group A, what with the team hosting the country while also sporting many NBA stars like Pau and Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Ricky Rubio. The Spanish team was listed at 1/3 to win in the group stage. They won all five group games and won by at least fifteen points in each game.
Brazil was listed at 13/2 to win but they won all but one game in the group. Brazil, who almost doubled up Egypt 128-65 in one game, featured Anderson Varejao, Leandro Barbosa and Nene.
The odds on Group B action were much closer as Greece was a 7/5 to win the group. Argentina and Croatia were both listed at 7/4. Croatia and Argentina both advanced to the knockout stage as they both won three games but the Greek team made a clean sweep. Argentina give them a scare but the Greeks won their game with them 79-71.
It might have been hard to bet on Group C as the United States had 1/66 odds to win that group. Turkey was the closest against them at 12/1 while Finland as listed at 33/1. The Americans handled the group with ease with their closest game being a 98-77 win over Turkey. The Americans also averaged more than a hundred points per game. The team featured a number of stars from the NBA including Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose and Rudy Gay.
The fourth and final group, like every other one, had the odds-on favorite winning it as Lithuania took Group D. The team, which includes Jonas Valanciunas and Donatas Motiejunas, was the 2/3 favorite. The only team that beat them in this stage was Australia.
Sloveina lost only one game in the in the group stage as well. Slovenia, who had 9/4 odds, had only one NBA player in team captain Goran Dragic. His brother Zoran Dragic was also on the team. Lithuania won the tiebraker for the group as they beat Slovenia 67-64 in the final game of group play.
Overall, the weakest teams in the entire tournament were easily eliminated. This included the lowest-rated team in the event, the 3000/1-odd South Korean team.
The clear favorite to win in the knockout stages of the tournament was the United States as they had 4/7 odds to win at the start of this part. This was close to the ½ odds that they had at the start of the whole event.
Spain's odds weakened a bit from the start. They had 8/5 odds to win at the start of the tournament. Those numbers went down to 3/2 when the knockout stage started.
France, Argentina, Lithuania, Greece and Brazil were all listed at 30/1 for the series. Lithuania's odds had actually improved as they were listed at 40/1 at the start.
Not all teams in this part of the tournament were as fortunate. Senegal was listed at 2000/1 odds while Mexico and New Zealand were both at 1000/1. Senegal's appearance in the knockout stage was a surprise as the team's operations were temporarily suspended earlier this year due to concerns over age fabrication on the country's U-19 team.
There was a slight bit of suspense as Serbia, a team that was listed at 40/1 at the start, upset Argentina, Brazil and France to reach the championship game. This included a 90-85 win against France in the semifinal. However, the Serbian run to the title ended in the championship as the United States won 129-92, thus taking home the championship.
Meanwhile, France would settle for the bronze medal. France, a team that has Boris Diaw and Rudy Gobert on its roster, made a major upset in the quarterfinals as they knocked out Spain 65-52. France had to work a little harder to defeat Lithuania for the bronze medal but they beat them by a final score of 95-93 in that last game.
The next edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup will take place in 2019. There will be 32 teams in that tournament instead of 24. Brazil and the Philippines have both confirmed that they have placed bids to potentially host the event.