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Oddsmaker sets U.S., Spain as heavy favorites in FIBA World Cup

Oddsmaker sets U.S., Spain as heavy favorites in FIBA World Cup Photo:

One oddsmaking service pegs Team USA as a prohibitive favorite in the upcoming FIBA World Cup, with host country Spain seen as the only other strong contender for gold.

Bovada.LV announced odds for the upcoming 24-team tournament on Friday, leading with USA at 1/2, Spain at 8/5 and five countries -- Argentina, Brazil, France, Greece and Lithuania -- all listed at 33/1. The full odds are listed below.  

The World Cup tips off on Aug. 30 with a round-robin group stage before proceeding to a 16-team knockout round that will culminate with the gold medal game on Sept. 14 in Madrid. 

The U.S. -- headlined by James Harden, Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry and Derrick Rose -- will be joined in Group C by Turkey (66/1 to win the tournament), Finland (500/1), Ukraine (500/1), New Zealand (1,000/1) and the Dominican Republic (1,000/1). Coach Mike Krzyzewski and company are expected to waltz through the group stage, and they are listed as an 1/66 favorite to emerge as Group C's top team. USA hasn't lost a game at an international competition since falling to Greece at the 2006 World Championships.

Spain -- led by Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Serge Ibaka -- will have a more difficult road in Group A, where it is joined by Brazil, France, Serbia (40/1 to win the tournament), Iran (1,000/1) and Egypt (2,000/1). The Spaniards are seen as 1/3 favorites to emerge from the so-called "Group of Death."

If both USA and Spain perform as expected, they would eventually face each other in the gold medal game, thereby renewing an intense rivalry that has been at the center of international basketball in recent years. USA defeated Spain 107-100 to capture gold at the 2012 London Olympics and prevailed 118-107 in the championship game at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In addition to those two silver medals, Spain won gold at the 2009 and 2011 EuroBasket tournaments, while taking bronze at the tournament in 2013 and silver in 2007. Spain also won gold at the the 2006 World Championships.

Many of the tournament's other leading medal hopefuls are without key players. Argentina, for example, will compete without Manu Ginobili. France, the 2013 EuroBasket champions, will be without Tony Parker and Joakim Noah.

For more FIBA World Cup coverage, check out SI.com's player-by-player breakdown of USA Basketball's 12-man roster, a look at the five stars with the most at stake in the tournament, a rundown of USA's top medal competition, and a list of every NBA player that will be competing in Spain

FIBA World Cup Basketball Odds

  • USA: 1/2 
  • Spain: 8/5 
  • Argentina: 33/1 
  • Brazil: 33/1 
  • France: 33/1 
  • Greece: 33/1 
  • Lithuania: 33/1 
  • Serbia: 40/1 
  • Turkey: 66/1 
  • Croatia: 80/1 
  • Australia: 150/1 
  • Slovenia:150/1 
  • Puerto Rico: 300/1 
  • Finland: 500/1 
  • Ukraine: 500/1 
  • Dominican Republic: 1,000/1 
  • Iran: 1,000/1 
  • Mexico: 1,000/1 
  • New Zealand: 1,000/1 
  • Philippines: 1,000/1 
  • Angola: 1,500/1 
  • Egypt: 2,000/1 
  • Senegal: 2,000/1 
  • South Korea: 2,500/1 

Five Team USA storylines to watch in FIBA World Cup
Sports Illustrated's Matt Dollinger examines the top five storylines to watch for Team USA heading into the FIBA World Cup.

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