We’re through the group stage in the FIBA championships and so far, opinions haven’t changed that much. The Americans are still looking good and should cash in as tournament winners for the FIBA odds.
How Have The Americans Looked So Far?
Yes, a lot big-time stars are not playing for the United States and Derrick Rose isn’t at full strength but they’ve still looked very strong so far. They have crushed Finland 114-55, Turkey 98-77, New Zealand 98-71, Dominican Republic 106-71 and Ukraine 95-71.
On the whole, one could say the results have been a mixed bag if you really want to nitpick – especially when you consider that Team USA has smoked everyone they’ve played. On one hand, they haven’t been consistent covering massive spreads and they were trailing Turkey at halftime of their game. At the same time, this is a team that has had a lot of production from many different sources and looks hungry and multi-dimensional. We have games where guys like Kenneth Faried and DeMarcus Cousins lead the way, then there are contests where Kyrie Irving and James Harden carry the load. There were a number of uncertainties in terms of leadership and roles with so many stars out but a lot of new faces – like Faried – have emerged as cornerstones. This is a team that’s getting better as the tournament goes on.
Who Is Their Competition?
It’s really just Spain. As you read on below, the Americans have a very easy draw all the way to the finals. Spain will have to deal with Brazil or Greece, the Americans won’t. On top of that, the competition in this tournament is weak. Spain is the only team with a reasonable chance to beat USA but that’s even a bit of a stretch. Spain has a lot of NBA talent like Pau and Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Ricky Rubio and Jose Calderon, and they also have home-court advantage, but this is an American team that’s loaded. The Gasols could be a bit of a problem inside but the Americans should match up well there and have such huge advantages everywhere else.
Can They Cash In?
The U.S. is now off to the round of 16, which is the knockout phase. The U.S. should have no problems with Mexico on Saturday and then will face either Slovenia or Dominican Republic in the quarterfinals. We’ve already seen what USA did to Dominican Republic, so they are no threat. Slovenia is a mid-range team and considering they lost to Lithuania, they’ll have no shot against the US. Then they’ll have a cupcake matchup in the semis as well regardless of whether it’s Lithuania, New Zealand, Turkey or Australia. Those should all be about 20-30 point wins. As for Spain, the Americans should still be favored by about 10 in that spot.
If you’re looking at FIBA futures at 5Dimes, the way the Americans have looked so far, you’re probably in good shape if you have the bet already. And if you’re looking to get in, it seems like there’s a very good chance to cash in with your FIBA Picks.