The FIBA Basketball World Cup, also known as the World Cup of Basketball was established in 1950 and held every four years since. The last FIBA World Cup was held in 2019 in China, and the next will be in 2023 in The Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.
The tournament consists of 32 men’s national teams from around the world and is the flagship event of FIBA (International Basketball Federation). The winning team receives the Naismith Trophy, which was introduced in 1967 - the current Naismith Champion is Spain, who won the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
The 2019 FIBA World Cup saw a new qualifying process introduced. Over a two year cycle and six windows of play, teams are divided into continental zones, then further divided into Division A and B. Groups of three to four teams will play within each group.
Qualifying Zones for the 2023 FIBA World Cup
- FIBA Europe (12 berths)
- FIBA Americas (7 berths)
- FIBA Africa (5 berths)
- Asia-Pacific (7 berths)
- Host Team (3 berths in 2023 due to three countries hosting)
How to Bet on the FIBA World Cup
There will be plenty of options when betting on the FIBA World Cup. There will be a variety of different betting options for each game, and futures for the winner of the FIBA World Cup and Naismith Trophy. Each bet you can place will have basketball odds next to it - which symbolizes the likelihood of your bet being a winner.
The odds are those numbers next to the nation’s name, that are either listed as positive or negative. The positive numbers indicate that the team is less likely to beat their opponent, and would be the underdog in this situation. The negative number represents the favored team and would be more likely to win.
If you’re betting on a qualifier and have Spain at +200 and Argentina at -200, that means Argentina is favored to win that game, and Spain is the underdog. A bet on Argentina wouldn’t pay out much because the sportsbook is predicting that they would be the ones to win, but a bet on Spain would pay out much more if they did pull off a victory.
The FIBA World Cup odds represent how much you would need to bet to win a certain amount of money. In the case above, you would need to bet $200 on Argentina to win $100. If you bet on Spain, you would need to bet $100 to win $200.
Popular FIBA World Cup Betting Options
Let’s take a look at popular betting options you can place at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
FIBA World Cup Moneyline Betting
The easiest betting type you can lay down in terms of basketball betting is the moneyline. It’s simple and easy to understand and great for new bettors. Your job is to determine which team will win the game - that’s it.
We outlined the moneyline in our example above with Spain and Argentina. You will see the odds to win the game, and decide which team will win outright.
FIBA World Cup Point Spreads
Point spreads are extremely popular across all professional sports, and many like to bet the point spreads in basketball. Point spreads essentially award the underdog an imaginary advantage - to level the playing field in games that are one-sided.
The spread will show how many points a team must win or lose by, depending on which side you’re betting on. If you choose the favored team, their spread will be a negative number, and they must win the game by that amount. If you choose the underdog, they must lose by less than that number or win the game.
FIBA World Cup Totals
If you’re looking at the lines for the tournament and you aren’t leaning toward choosing a particular team to win, you can always bet the totals. Totals betting is very simple, and you don’t have to choose one team over another - you just have to decide if the total amount of points scored by both teams collectively will be over or under the oddsmaker’s line.
If you have the United States versus Spain, and the total is set at 170, you will need to decide if you think both teams will collectively score more or less than 170.
FIBA World Cup Futures
As the most popular bet to place in the FIBA World Cup, the futures wager is essentially an ‘odds to win the championship’ situation. You will need to determine which team will come out of the tournament as champions - but you can place this bet months or even years in advance.
The further out you bet, the higher the odds and more risk associated with the wager. You can find some great odds even a few months out, so don’t worry about missing out on all the value if you didn’t place your futures bet a year ago.
Let’s use the 2019 FIBA World Cup as an example.
Before the tournament started in August 2019, the USA was heavily favored to win the FIBA World Cup, at -220 odds. This is substantially high, meaning the USA had a sure shot to win the tournament. However, since this happened in the past, we know Spain and Argentina were in the final - Spain had +1400 odds and Argentina had +6500 odds to win the FIBA World Cup.
What does that mean? That those who bet on Spain were probably very happy after the tournament concluded. A $100 futures bet on Spain paid out $1400 plus the initial stake. Those who bet more obviously had a great payday when that final buzzer rang.
Past FIBA World Cup Champions
- 2019 - Spain
- 2014 - United States
- 2010 - United States
- 2006 - Spain
- 2002 - FR Yugoslavia
- 1998 - FR Yugoslavia
- 1994 - United States
- 1990 - Yugoslavia
- 1986 - United States
- 1982 - Soviet Union
- 1978 - Yugoslavia
- 1974 - Soviet Union
- 1970 - Yugoslavia
- 1967 - Soviet Union
- 1963 - Brazil
- 1959 - Brazil
- 1954 - United States
- 1950 - Argentina
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting on the FIBA World Cup
Now that you have a good idea of how to bet on the FIBA World Cup, let’s take a look at where you can place those wagers before the 2023 tournament.
While your state may have some form of legalized sports betting, many haven’t passed laws or updated legislation yet, so offshore sportsbooks are still a great option for FIBA World Cup betting.
Finding an online sportsbook that offers the best basketball odds will likely offer FIBA World Cup odds, but make sure you do your research to find one that has a variety of betting options. In tournaments like these, some less established books only offer futures bets on the winner of the tournament.
All sportsbooks are different, so you want to ensure you do plenty of research and read sportsbook reviews before signing up. Ensuring you find a sportsbook with a simple sign up process, plenty of deposit and withdrawal options (or just the option you plan to use) is important to look at before signing up - or else you’ll be looking at a colossal waste of time.
Some have basketball betting bonuses you can use on the FIBA World Cup bets, which will help you make more money in the long run. Also, while our smartphones are advanced, some sportsbooks haven’t bothered to update their software, so you will want to make sure you can access the sportsbooks from your mobile device if you plan to bet on the go.
Wherever you choose to bet on the 2023 FIBA World Cup, ensure you do plenty of research, read sportsbook reviews, and ultimately, have fun!