The 2019 Basketball World Cup in China is already well underway, and followers have caught an early glimpse of what is to be expected from the teams involved. The tournament is the 18th renewal of this famous trophy and boasts the best teams in the sport. It’s a fast and furious competition and one that has captured the interest of dedicated and casual fans alike.
As well as a chance to get their names on the outright prize, this year’s World Cup also acts as a qualification to the 2020 Summer Olympics and that means we can expect a big performance from each of the nations involved. There will be no boring games at this World Cup and fans will get the excitement they deserve on each occasion.
32 teams from four confederations make up the running with the games played across eight host cities. At present, the group stages are in full swing and we have already enjoyed our fair share of exciting matches with a few upsets and headline-making results thrown in for good measure.
The USA Hits the Ground Running
The USA started as betting favourites and was head and shoulders above the competition in the eyes of bookmakers. That came as no major surprise to followers of the sport and although it looked a one-horse race in the outright market, that stance was very difficult to argue against. Yes, it’s possible the USA could fall flat and upset favourite backers – this sport is known for throwing up surprise results – but it would be a brave punter who would risk their cash against the United States.
After two games played at this World Cup, there were no less than 12 teams with a 100% record. They were Poland, Argentina, Russia, Spain, Serbia, Italy, USA, Brazil, France, Dominican Republic, Lithuania and Australia. A couple of wins at this early stage of play all but ensures that the teams with a perfect record will be playing in the next phase, as it would be impossible to see them throw that away and end up exiting before living up to their promise.
All eyes were on USA on the opening day of the month and the market leaders didn’t disappoint. They were handed a stiff test against Czech Republic but came through it with flying colours, battling their way to an 88-67 cheer. That came at the City Arena in Shanghai and it was achieved without the victors ever hitting top gear. They impressed on the day, there’s no doubt about that, but we can be sure there’s plenty more to come from this team.
Australia was, perhaps, the most impressive on that Sunday of play, when bashing a decent Canadian side by 108 points to 92 at City Arena in Dongguan. There was much talk during the build up to this World Cup about this being Australia’s year and many sports columns even predicted their current player pool to be the golden generation who would finally live up to expectations. They certainly looked the part that day. Not too many teams beat Canada as emphatically as the Aussies did that day and it is turning into a fantastic summer of sport for the country.
Australia Challenge Gathering Pace
Earlier this week and we saw Australia grab another convincing win on Tuesday morning when beating Senegal, as they were expected to do by most punters heading into that contest. The form side racked up an 81-68 scoreline and was good value for its victory. The team wasn’t quite as impressive as previously when beating Canada on Sunday, but they did the job and barely broke a sweat during the process. What’s exciting about this Australia team is there’s more to come and they will time their delivery to perfection.
The USA also won that day, but they weren’t at their best either, squeezing past Turkey by a single point. The scoreboard at the end of that match read 93-92 in Shanghai and that goes down as the most dramatic match we have witnessed at the World Cup so far. The Turks came agonisingly close to upsetting the pre-tournament favourites and they are a team well worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks. They may have lost that match, but they came out of the day with confidence.
The betting has been updated on the back of those early results and although USA remain favourites, they are available at a decent price. Unibet is offering up the pacesetters at an eye-catching even money and that will appeal to casual backers and lovers of the value as most firms give the same result at 4/7. Back enough 4/7 shots at even money and you won’t go far wrong in this game, that’s for sure.
Serbia is next in line at 5/2 but our eyes are drawn to the 33/1 available at bet365 about Australia pulling off a massive upset. That is a massive quote and backers will need their fair share of luck to get it over the line but we’re confident this side will give followers a serious run for their money and go deep into the competition.