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Austin Reaves of the United States brings the ball up the court as we give the best USA vs. Italy promo.
Austin Reaves of the United States brings the ball up the court in a 2023 FIBA World Cup exhibition game at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images via AFP.

Team USA will begin its FIBA World Cup group play with a straightforward game against New Zealand on Saturday. Read on for our USA vs. New Zealand prediction based on the best FIBA World Cup odds.

After a bunch of warm-up matches earlier this month, Team USA is all set to kick off its FIBA World Cup journey as the heavy consensus tournament favorite. Everyone's putting their money on the USA as the top dog in the championship odds game, but they received a bit of a fright in their last match against Germany, winning just 99-91. Germany was actually leading for most of the game, 33 out of the 40 minutes, until Anthony Edwards went all superhero mode and scored a whopping 34 points to save the day.

USA shouldn't have any sort of worry in Saturday's Group C opener against New Zealand, which doesn't have a single NBA player on its roster. The best sports betting apps make USA a 35-point favorite in a game that will likely be decided before any of us finish our first cup of coffee on Saturday morning.

Here is our best USA vs. New Zealand prediction for Saturday's FIBA World Cup matchup (odds via our best NBA betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

USA vs. New Zealand prediction: FIBA World Cup

Austin Reaves to score 10-plus points (-102 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

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There is a very real chance I'm never allowed to write another FIBA preview for Sportsbook Review after picking against Canada in my Canada vs. France best bet. So, allow me to take the time to gas up my guy, Austin Reaves, as my swan song.

In all seriousness, the world is finding out that the Los Angeles Lakers guard is indeed good at basketball. And the hoops community is better for it.

Reaves averaged 11.4 points per game during Team USA's five pre-tournament exhibitions, saving his best performance for last. Reaves scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half in a come-from-behind win over Germany, in which head coach Steve Kerr opted to play Reaves the final 12:38 of the game.

“He fits in wherever we put him; that’s the beauty of Austin,” Kerr told reporters after a recent World Cup scrimmage. “He’s a connector. He’s a hell of a basketball player. He’s physical, shoots and passes it. Just so poised out there all the time. He’s a guy who enhances any lineup that he plays with."

Reaves won't be usurping some talented NBA players in the starting lineup in this event, but his basketball IQ is going to lead to more minutes than anyone expected. No moment is too big for him, either, as he proved during this recent run to the Western Conference Finals while playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

In a game that projects to be a blowout, don't be surprised if Reaves gets an extended run in the second half and makes the most of it. His scoring prop is set at 8.5 at FanDuel, with the Over juiced to -130, but we prefer to pay the -102 vig on Reaves to finish in double figures.

Whether this bet gets home or not, credit to FanDuel for being the only major sportsbook to offer player props for this game.

USA vs. New Zealand best odds

bet365 (-110)

SpreadNew Zealand +35New Zealand +35.5 (-122)New Zealand +35.5 (-110)New Zealand +34 (-115)New Zealand +36.5 (-110)

Because player props are only available at one of our best sports betting apps, I'm going to compare the main markets for this game instead. It's interesting to see the differing opinions on the spread, with bet365 setting the line as high as 36.5 and Caesars listing a line as low as 34.

The reason why this is significant is because I actually would take the points with New Zealand, if forced to pick a main market. Getting the extra 2.5 points might not end up mattering, but there is a chance that USA calls off the dogs before the margin gets to 40.

The total is a pass for me, but the high number bodes well for a reserve guard scoring 10 points.

USA vs. New Zealand odds analysis

The latest spread at the best sports betting sites is trading between 34 and 36.5, a difference that could end up mattering in a blowout.

The total is sitting at 186.5, which is the highest mark among all group stage openers.

USA vs. New Zealand game info

  • When: Saturday, Aug. 26, 8:40 a.m. ET
  • Where: Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, Philippines
  • How to watch: ESPN2

USA-New Zealand pick made 08/24/2023 at 9:50 a.m. ET.

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