The NBA is deep into the offseason, but basketball fans are gearing up for the quadrennial FIBA World Cup to be hosted by Asian juggernaut that is China.
On August 31, thirty-two national teams will be vying for global basketball supremacy with a depleted Team USA led by multi-titled NBA head coach Gregg Poppovich still sitting atop the rankings to take home the Naismith Trophy.
Giving the Americans a run for the title are previous hosts Spain - led by newly-minted NBA champion Marc Gasol, France - anchored by defensive stalwart Rudy Robert, & Serbia - tapping the services of NBA all-star Nikola Jokić.
But let’s try to look on the other side of the coin. In this sports betting guide, I’ve rounded up the FIBA underdogs who have the best chance to rise above the favorites.
FIBA Underdogs 2019
After narrowly missing the bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016, the Boomers finished the Asian qualifiers on top of the standings & will look to bolster their squad with proven NBA veterans with abundant experience on the international stage.
Leading the charge for the Boomers will be Patty Mills (SAS) who will likely remain as the team's leading scorer with the withdrawal of Ben Simmons from the team earlier this summer. Matthew Dellavedova (CLE), Joe Ingles (UTA), Aaron Baynes (PHX), & Andrew Bogut (GSW) will likely round out a formidable starting lineup for the Australian squad & coach Andrej Lemanis looks to fill out the roster with shooters & defence oriented role players. If you’re looking to bet on FIBA underdogs this year, siding on the Aussies might be worth it.
Even if starting with an underwhelming performance this season, I still have a close eye on my home peeps. Canada may be one of the FIBA underdogs 2019, but their roster is still packed with potential.
Fresh off the Toronto Raptors historic season & first NBA championship, Nick Nurse will be calling the shots for the Great White North & will have a bountiful of NBA talents to fill out the squad which includes shooters Jamal Murray (DEN) & Nick Stauskas (CLE), playmakers Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC) & Cory Joseph (SAC), & rim-protectors Kelly Olynyk (MIA) & Khem Birch (ORL). Canada will open the tournament under Group H or the group of death which includes Lithuania, Senegal, & Australia.
The Hellas have set their sights at the podium, a feat they have not achieved since winning the silver at the 2006 World Championships after beating powerhouse U.S.A. at the semi-final. The Greek squad will enjoy the services of the Antetokounmpo brothers which includes the NBA's reigning MVP - Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL). Greece was drawn to group F & will face New Zealand, Brazil, and Montenegro to open the tournament.
With the rise of basketball's global popularity, the FIBA Underdogs 2019 have definitely elevated their skills & have enough firepower to dislodge the early favourites off the podium & complete a true underdog finish. The favorites sure secure a safe bet, but scoring a perfect bet on these underdogs is the money shot.
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