Team USA's FIBA World Cup Odds & Strategy: Who Steps Up?


Aug 13, 2023

Anthony Edwards: More Than Deserving of the Starting Five

The recent debate surrounding Anthony Edwards and his role in Team USA’s lineup is puzzling, to say the least. Following the Puerto Rico game, Edwards’ starting position became a topic of discussion. But to question whether Edwards had to fight his way into the starting five seems misplaced. Edwards is undeniably the most offensively talented player on the roster. With his capability to dunk fiercely, nail threes, and present a steadily growing midrange game, there’s no doubt about his on-court prowess.

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Cam Johnson’s Role: A Mismatch?

The prevalent Cam Johnson narrative is hard to comprehend. Stylistically, there’s an inconsistency when he is compared to the likes of Mikal Bridges, a quintessential three and D player, or Brandon Ingram, the team’s stretch four. Jarron Jackson’s position is clear as the team’s big, and Jalen Brunson’s orchestration skills don’t primarily rely on high-scoring games. Neither does Tyrese Haliburton’s. Edwards, however, stands out as the playmaker who can fetch crucial points when needed.

Betting on USA: The FIBA World Cup Odds

The betting odds currently place USA at -115 to clinch the FIBA World Cup. It’s rare to witness such odds for the United States in a significant global basketball competition, where they are nearly at even money. The roster dynamics aside, the primary concern is ensuring Team USA starts on the right foot.

Building the Best Lineup for a Strong Start

For a dynamic kick-off, placing the best five on the court is essential, which includes Edwards, who’s an unparalleled one-on-one player. Cam Johnson could prove more effective off the bench. With Jalen Brunson ensuring Edwards gets enough ball time and sharpshooters like Bridges and even Jarron Jackson providing range, the floor opens up. This setup allows a versatile player like Edwards, who can both shoot and drive to the hoop, to have the space he needs, surrounded by a lineup that accentuates his strengths.

Final Thoughts: Strategy Going Forward

Team USA’s journey in the FIBA World Cup hinges on strategic lineup decisions. Relying on players like Anthony Edwards, who can not only score but also create opportunities, will be vital. With the current odds, it’s an intriguing time for both basketball aficionados and the betting community. The key is not just in player abilities but in how they’re orchestrated to play off each other’s strengths.

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Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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