The Basketball World Cup is like the Olympics of basketball, ranking equally alongside the Olympic Basketball Tournament. Made up of the national men’s basketball teams from across the world, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup has some exciting betting opportunities for both fans of the game and sports betting itself.
Founded in 1950, the Basketball World Cup or World Championship, is held every four years between the Olympic Games. The first country to become Basketball World Cup winners was Argentina, who coincidentally were also the hosts.
From the 1994 FIBA Basketball World Cup, it was considered a fully professional basketball tournament as American National Basketball Association (NBA) players were allowed to participate for the first time. Also, it started being hosted more in Europe as the Americas dominated the tournament both in hosting and winning.
Best FIBA Basketball World Cup US Betting Sites
We’ve rounded up some of the best US-friendly sports betting sites where you can place bets on the Basketball World Cup.
What you’ll find in this Basketball World Cup guide:
Betting on basketball, whether it’s the WNBA or the FIBA World Cup, is exciting because you can expect a lot of scoring action. While there may be many other bet types available out there, we’ll be focusing on the four most popular bets that you can wager on at the Basketball World Cup.
Placing a futures bet is about predicting an outcome that hasn’t happened yet. Usually, sportsbooks take bets on the eventual winner of the world cup. After the official rosters are announced, online betting sites open markets for futures bets on the outright winner. Also, you may find futures markets on the MVP or highest goal scorer.
Point Spreads Bets
These bets are about evening the playing field and try to be as accurate as possible. Point spreads focus on more than just picking the right team to win. If there’s a team that’s known to perform better than the other team in a match, they are considered the favorites. The ones who are expected to be weaker team are considered the underdogs.
Sportsbooks will use point spreads to even out the advantage by increasing the number of starting points of the underdogs winning and alternately decreasing the starting points of the favorites. For example, let’s say in a Basketball World Cup, its New Zealand versus the USA. Looking at the history of FIBA World Championship winners, the USA has won more than New Zealand so they are the obvious favorites.
Oddsmakers will therefore give the US a -5.5 start, for example. While, on the other hand give New Zealand a +5.5 start. This means that point spread bets on Team USA will need to have six points or more to payout. On the other hand, with point spread bets on the Kiwis’ +5.5 start, they can win the game, or lose by five points or less to pay out.
Prop (or proposition) bets include all of the side and additional bets you’ll find in basketball. These include half-time bets; which player will score the most points in a game; any bet that isn’t dependent on the outcome of the match. These are more for entertainment purposes than anything else.
One of the more popular Basketball World Cup bets is the totals bet. How these work is the sportsbook will predict a total score for the game and list it on their site. You then bet on whether the total score of the game will be over or under the oddsmaker’s predicted score. You might know this bet by its other name, the over/under bet.
Check out our guides on other basketball leagues:
The FIBA World Cup standings start with four groups, each with six teams. Then each team in a group play five games against each other. The top four teams from each group then moves on to the next round. However, in the 2019 tournament held in China, there will be 32 teams competing for the Naismith Trophy, championship title, named after the inventor of the game James Naismith.
The 32 teams will be competing in eight groups of four with a total of 92 games being played. This means that there’s more betting action to look forward to, and maybe some surprising upsets against popular established teams.
FIBA Basketball World Cup Teams
We’ve listed the eight groups that will be appearing in the first round of the Basketball World Cup.
- Group A
- Group B
- Group C
- Group D
- Group E
- Group F
- Group G
- Group H
Team USA World Cup Basketball Roster
As we can see above, Team USA is in group E with the likes of the Czech Republic, Turkey, and Japan. This team is currently ranked number one in the FIBA rankings, so they are the team to beat and the favorites at many sportsbooks. Betting on the USA men’s world cup basketball is a sure-fire way to win bets. However, because they are the favorites, the payouts will be small.
Judging by ranking the team closest to Team USA is Turkey at number 17, then the Czech Republic at 24, and finally Japan at number 48.
When it comes to betting on the Basketball World Cup, it’s recommended that you don’t focus on bets that rely solely on scores. Betting totals (over/under bets) on the FIBA World Cup is quite risky and is only for the seasoned world cup bettor. Stick to the spread bets and future bets. This is because scoring in the Basketball World Cup has a big variance and is quite tricky to get right.