FIBA World Cup 2019 MVP Odds, Betting Tips and Value Picks
The FIBA Basketball World Cup MVP has been given out since 1950 when Oscar Furlong took home the honors for Argentina. Of the 17 winners of the MVP, 11 have also won the gold medal for their respective country. That combination is becoming more frequent, as six of the last seven MVPs since 1990 have also won gold. Only Dirk Nowitzki in 2002, who won the bronze for Germany, failed to bring home the FIBA title during his MVP campaign.
With that in mind, here are the three best bets (and a darkhorse) to win FIBA MVP in China.
FIBA World Cup 2019 MVP Picks
Nikola Jokic, Serbia, +600
If Walker is the best player on the best team, Jokic is the best player on the second-best team. Serbia has a serious shot of knocking off the two-time reigning champs, and Jokic is the main reason why. He was built for international basketball. He’s 7-feet tall, he can shoot from beyond the arc, he can rebound and is maybe the tournament’s best passer. If Serbia upsets the Americans, Jokic will be the headliner. He’s our favorite value pick on the board.
Kemba Walker, USA, +250
Walker is the best player on the tournament’s best team. That’s been the recipe for each of the last three FIBA winners (Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in 2014 and 2010, respectively; Pau Gasol in 2006). The Americans don’t tout the same firepower they’ve had each of the last two FIBA World Cups, but Walker isn’t exactly B-Team material. He’s coming off an NBA season in which he averaged 25.6 points and 5.9 assists and was named All-NBA Third Team.
🎩 Kemba Magic— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 26, 2019
In five exhibitions games, Walker led Team USA in points, assists and minutes played. He was even second in rebounds. Head coach Gregg Popovich is going to rely heavily on the new Boston Celtics point guard, and if Team USA is victorious in China it’ll be because they got the best out of Walker. He’s the favorite for a reason.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece, +300
If he’s good enough to win NBA MVP, he’s certainly good enough to win FIBA MVP. The Greece national team has seen its title odds shorten throughout the summer and it stems mainly from Antetokounmpo’s serious commitment about winning gold. We all know the Greek Freak will post massive numbers in the tournament, and if he’s able to carry Greece to a medal, he could win the MVP in a similar fashion to Nowitzki in 2002. Only once has a player won MVP without his team medaling – Rolando Frazer, Panama, 1982 – so a bet on Giannis is a bet on Greece.
Giannis wants that FIBA World Cup gold medal 🥇 pic.twitter.com/ir8U0B7yZ5— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 6, 2019
Myles Turner, USA, +2000
Time for a darkhorse. He’s arguably been Team USA’s best player in the exhibition games and is doing so at a position where the Americans really need depth. Turner will log a ton of minutes and could be tasked with slowing down the likes of Jokic, Antetokounmpo and Rudy Gobert in the tournament round. He has sneaky value as the best team’s best big man.