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Bet Team USA in FIBA World Cup 2019 Despite Stars Bailing

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

Mark Strotman  | 4 mins

Bet Team USA in FIBA World Cup 2019 Despite Stars Bailing

Whatever the final group Jerry Colangelo puts together for Team USA, it’ll be much different than the group he expected just a few short months ago. More than a dozen players, including James Harden, Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, and most recently Kyle Lowry, have taken their names out of consideration for the USA Basketball roster and it’s resulted in their gold medal odds being more than cut in half from their initial listing.

The Americans have been the favorites since initial odds were posted, but they were once as heavy as -800 to win their third straight gold medal. To put those odds in context, the Houston Rockets are -770 to make the postseason in 2020. When Davis, Harden, and Beal all bowed out in a 72-hour span, Team USA’s odds shrunk to just -500.

But the exits didn’t end there, and as the dust settled and the team’s Las Vegas training camp came to a close, they’re just now -250 to take home the gold. To put that in context, the Miami Heat are -210 to make the postseason next season. Not exactly a slam dunk.

The good news is the subtractions from the team – and the subsequent shrinking of odds – simply gives the Americans more value. They’re still prohibitive favorites and should coast to their third consecutive gold medal.

But the shift in odds shouldn’t deter bettors from wagering on the two-time defending FIBA champions. Team USA is still the rightful heavy favorite. Moving from -800 to -500 to -250 simply gives them better odds as the team to win the gold medal and fans can take advantage of this during the NBA betting offseason.

Team USA Still Loaded

The group of players that will not be a part of Team USA this summer is full of future Hall of Famers, MVPs, world champions and Olympic gold medalists. Without question, the list of players who have bowed out of competition would beat a team of whoever makes the final 12-man team. In addition to the names above, players such as Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, and Kevin Love are also out.

The good news, as the odds would suggest, is that the Americans have an embarrassment of riches. Even their B-Team – and this really could be considered their C-Team – is full of the most talented players in the world.

Headliners of Team USA – who, as of this writing, haven’t also left the team – include Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and De’Aaron Fox. No matter what the 12-man roster looks like, this will be the most talented team in the tournament.

USA Has Dominated International Basketball Play

Since USA Basketball hired Jerry Colangelo to oversee the program in 2006, the team has enjoyed unparalleled success. Team USA is 88-1 since Colangelo took over, with the lone loss coming in the 2006 FIBA World Cup semifinals to Greece.

Since that loss, the Americans have won three straight Olympic gold medals (2008, 2012, 2016) and two straight World Cups (2010, 2014). They’re No. 1 in FIBA’s World Rankings, and even without those stars who bowed out this past weekend, should breeze through the 2019 World Cup. Their odds have shifted, but their chances of winning have not.

Serbia Only Nation That Stands In Way

If the Americans odds have lengthened, that means some other team has seen their odds shortened. That would be the Serbians, whose gold-medal odds have gone from +1200 all the way down to +500 on 888Sport. That’s because they tout the second-best crop of NBA talent in the tournament, led by center Nikola Jokic and talented NBAers Bogdan Bogdanovic, Boban Marjanovic, Milos Teodosic and Nemanja Bjelica.

They’re undoubtedly talented, and it seems like they’re on a collision course to meet the Americans in the gold-medal game. But it will take a miraculous effort to dethrone Team USA, even if it’s an abbreviated version of the team.

About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports betting journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports. He regularly provides NBA betting picks, as well as in-depth sportsbook reviews and the latest promo codes for all the major sports gambling operators, including Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and more.