Here is a breakdown of the teams that have any chance at all of winning the 2010 FIBA World Championship. Rather than attempt to pick the actual team that will win this, I will highlight some of the best odds for placing what could be long shot bets, but could turn out to be the most profitable. Again, I am not suggesting the teams I pick to be good bets to be the best bet to actually win it, but rather the best payout with respect to the odds AND chance of winning.
This article will take a look at Groups A & D. The next article will take a look at C & B.
ARGENTINA KEY PLAYERS
Carlos Delfino, Andres Nocioni, Luis Scola, Fabricio Oberto, Roman Gonzalez, Manu Ginobili is sitting out.
Argentina is without their star player, Manu Giniboli. This obviously dramatically weakens their team, but does not exclude their chances of winning. They have a solid supporting cast that will surely all attempt to fill in the missing offense that Manu left. Delfino, Scola, and Oberto are all solid scorers in international play. I am suggesting this may be a good long shot bet, as it is likely that they are being underestimated due to missing their star player.
SERBIA KEY PLAYERS
Nemanja Bjelca, Nenad Krstic, Kosta Perovic
Serbia normally fields a pretty tough team, and that may have been a little too evident in their recent brawl. While any Serbian team brings a rugged and even dirty play to the court, I don’t think this particular team has much of a chance.
SPAIN KEY PLAYERS:
Rudy Fernandez, Ricky Rubio, Marc Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, Fran Vasquez, Felipe Reyes, Pau Gasol is sitting out.
Spain fell just short in the 2008 olympics against a strong US team. This year’s US team is nowhere near as strong and lacks the star power that the 2008 Olympic team had. For this reason, I am strongly advocating a bet on Spain, especially given these odds. It may not win, but it is the lowest risk bet with regard to payout.
Spain took the US team the distance in an exhibition game, pushing the US to an 85-84 lead with 27 seconds to go on a Juan Carlos Navarro drive. The US team chose to clear it out for Derrick Rose for the second straight play (he converted on the last shot with 33 seconds to play) and he got fouled for two shots. He nailed both free throws to give the US a 1 point lead with 16 seconds to play. Following a couple of desperation shots by Spain, the horn sounded and the US held on for the one point win. Spain is an excellent bet to win this.
LITHUANIA KEY PLAYERS:
Martynas Andriuskevicius, Linas Klieza
Lithunia held ground against the US through 3 quarters in a scrimmage game. This team has solid outside shooting and great ball movement, but is not likely to have much of a shot. The only notable thing is that they are likely better than the 40/1 odds against them, but not by much.
FRANCE KEY PLAYERS::
Nicolas Batum, Boris Diaw, Ian Mahinmi, Alexis Aijinca, Mickael Gelabele, Tony Parker and Mickael Pietrus are sitting out.
While France has a strong cast of supporting players, without Parker they lack an actual leader. There is no one to handle the ball and get easy shots for this team and they may have a bit of trouble offensively. I don’t see them making much noise.
Samuel Dalembert, Joel Anthony, Andy Rautins, Steve Nash is sitting out
Two great shotblockers down will go a long way towards anchoring a defense, but without Steve Nash, Canada has zero chance.
Part 2 to follow this afternoon which includes a look at team USA.