2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Futures

With LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony both signed and the summer league behind us, the attention of the basketball world now awaits word on a potential Kevin Love trade. However, the international community may be more interested in another major basketball event — the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Much like the FIFA World Cup for soccer, the FIBA World Cup takes place every four years with the winner earning an automatic qualification for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Back in 2012, the United States defeated the host nation Turkey 81-65 in the finals with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant earning the MVP.

This year the tournament, which begins on August 30th, will be held in Spain. Although the United States are the clear-cut favorites, fans can expect Spain to provide stiff competition. The Spanish national team features a wealth of current and former NBA players including Marc and Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Jose Calderon, Rudy Fernandez and Serge Ibaka.

Argentina was also expected to field a competitive team with the likes of Luis Scola, Carlos Delfino, Andres Nocioni and Manu Ginobili, however, Manu played with a slight stress fracture in his right leg during the NBA Finals and is expected to miss the FIBA World Cup.

One interesting sleeper is France, which features a number of current NBA players including Boris Diaw and Nicolas Batum. Unfortunately, one player who will not be participating is reigning Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah. The 6’11” forward/center was all set to play for France in the 2012 Olympics but had to withdraw due to ongoing problems with plantar fasciitis. It was assumed that Noah would return to the team for the FIBA World Cup, but when asked about his participation Noah said, “I live my life day to day, and I feel like the NBA season is, it’s brutal. To play all year, I think it’s something that is too much for me. So definitely not this year.”

Another key omission is Spurs PG Tony Parker who has opted to sit out the FIBA World Cup despite leading France to a EuroBasket championship just last year.

The United States team has not yet selected their 12-man roster, however, they currently have a pool of 18 players to select from. Although LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul will not participate, some of the league’s top players (including Derrick Rose, Anthony Davis and James Harden) are expected to make the team.

The United States will be without Pacers SF Paul George who suffered a gruesome right leg fracture during an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday evening. After averaging 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game last season, George is expected to miss the entire 2014-15 campaign.

In addition to George, the United States team took another major hit on Thursday (8/7) when reigning MVP Kevin Durant withdrew his name from consideration for Team USA prior to the FIBA World Cup, citing “physical and mental fatigue.” Although his decision was supposedly unrelated to George’s injury, Durant’s decision leaves the United States with a dearth of big men.

This is a potentially significant development considering their main competition — Spain — features a potent front court including Serge Ibaka, Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol. Since Durant and George have been removed from the roster, Team USA has moved from -350 to -220 to win the World Cup while Spain has jumped from +350 to +180.

The table below displays the current World Cup odds at CRIS, Bovada and BetOnline along with the current public betting trends from CRIS. We will continue to monitor and update these odds as official rosters are submitted and additional sportsbooks post their odds. As always, we suggest that bettors shop for the best line before placing any wagers.

Country BetOnline (8/8) BetOnline (7/8) Bovada (7/3) CRIS (7/31) CRIS Betting %
USA -220 -350 -350 -226 43.1%
Spain +180 +350 +300 +265 13.9%
Brazil +3000 +2500 +3300 +3992 4.6%
Greece +3000 +2500 +2500 +4513 3.1%
Argentina +2200 +2500 +2800 +4533 10.8%
France +3000 +2500 +2500 +2856 3.1%
Lithuania +3300 +2500 +4000 +7027 15.4%
Serbia +5000 +5000 +5000 +6524 3.1%
Turkey +6600 +5000 +5000 +12478 1.5%
Slovenia +10000 +10000 +15000 N/A N/A
Croatia +6600 +15000 +15000 N/A N/A
Iran +50000 +25000 +50000 N/A N/A
Australia +15000 +25000 +25000 N/A N/A
Puerto Rico +10000 +40000 +20000 N/A N/A
Ukraine +50000 +50000 +50000 N/A N/A
Finland +50000 +50000 +50000 N/A N/A
Mexico +100000 +100000 +100000 N/A N/A
South Korea +100000 +100000 +100000 N/A N/A
Dominican Republic +100000 +100000 +100000 N/A N/A
Angola +100000 +100000 +50000 N/A N/A
New Zealand +100000 +100000 +100000 N/A N/A
Philippines +100000 +100000 +100000 N/A N/A
Senegal +100000 +100000 +100000 N/A N/A
Egypt +100000 +200000 +200000 N/A N/A
Field N/A N/A N/A +6042 1.5%

You can view each countries World Cup draw in the image below:


In fact, Bovada has already posted Group odds for the 2014 FIBA World Cup and there are some fascinating takeaways. For starters, the United States is listed at 1/100 to win their Group! Yes, you read that right. A bettor who thinks the United States will win Group C would have to wager $100 just to win $1.

What’s fascinating is that when BetOnline posted their own FIBA World Cup Futures, the United States was listed at +1000 or 1/10 to win their group. This means that a bettor would only need to lay $10 to win $1. Considering the lack of competition in the Unites States group, I would imagine that this was an oversight by the book and that these odds will be adjusted shortly.

The rest of the group odds are listed below:

Group A Winner

Country CRIS (7/31) Bovada (7/3) BetOnline (7/8) CRIS Betting %
Spain -182 -225 -225 50.0%
France +445 +350 +350 35.0%
Brazil +625 +600 +600 10.0%
Field +845 N/A N/A 5.0%
Serbia N/A +650 +650 N/A
Iran N/A +20000 +20000 N/A
Eqypt N/A +20000 +20000 N/A

Group B Winner

Country CRIS (7/31) Bovada (7/3) BetOnline (7/8) CRIS Betting %
Argentina +158 +130 +120 57.1%
Greece +165 +130 +120 28.6%
Croatia +350 +300 +400 14.3%
Field +980 N/A N/A 0.0%
Puerto Rico N/A +900 +900 N/A
Philippines N/A +20000 +20000 N/A
Senegal N/A +20000 +20000 N/A

Group C Winner

Country CRIS (7/31) Bovada (7/3) BetOnline (7/8) CRIS Betting %
USA -1325 -10000 -1000 100%
Field +845 N/A N/A 0%
Turkey N/A +900 +900 N/A
Dominican Republic N/A +2500 +2500 N/A
Finland N/A +3300 +3300 N/A
Ukraine N/A +3300 +3300 N/A
New Zealand N/A +20000 +20000 N/A

Group D Winner

Country CRIS (7/31) Bovada (7/3) BetOnline (7/8) CRIS Betting %
Lithuania +102 -120 -120 28.6%
Slovenia +205 +175 +175 14.3%
Australia +325 +300 +300 50.0%
Field +4516 N/A N/A 7.1%
Angola N/A +3300 +2500 N/A
Mexico N/A +15000 +20000 N/A
South Korea N/A +20000 +20000 N/A

Do you think anybody can stop the United States this year? Are any nation’s being undervalued? Please leave your thoughts or comments in the section below.

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David Solar

David Solar is the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He specializes in sports betting analytics and creating data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

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