Serbia, led by two-time reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets, is the betting favorite to win the 2022 EuroBasket, with +300 odds, ahead of France (+450), Slovenia (+450), and Greece (+500).
Nikola Jokic, who is currently representing Serbia in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, won the NBA MVP award in back-to-back seasons with the Denver Nuggets.
In the 2017 EuroBasket championship game, defending champion Slovenia defeated Serbia. At +450 odds, they are a close second in the betting to win back-to-back championships.
The 2022 EuroBasket tournament will feature 24 nations, with Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Georgia serving as co-hosts.
ODDS FOR THE 2022 EUROBASKET
- +300 Serbia
- +450 Slovenia
- +450 France
- +500 Greece
- Spain +900
- +1200 Lithuania
- Italy +1400
- +1600 Turkey
- +1700 Germany
- +2000 Croatia
- +3500 Czech Republic
- +4000 Israel
- +5000 Poland
- +5000 Finland
- +5000 Montenegro
- +5000 Ukraine
- +6500 in Belgium
- +6500 Georgia
- +8000 Netherlands
- +8000 Great Britain
- +10000 Bulgaria
- Bosnia and Herzegovina +5000
- +20000 Estonia
- +20000 Hungary
EuroBasket was supposed to take place in 2021, but it was pushed back to 2022 to accommodate the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which took place last summer.
EuroBasket 2022 begins on September 8 and concludes on September 18 with the championship game in Berlin, Germany.
Due to the invasion of Ukraine, FIBA banned Russia, and Montenegro took their place.
Jokic is ecstatic to be returning to Serbia to play for the national team for the first time since the World Cup in 2019. Before focusing on avenging a loss in the 2017 EuroBasket championship game, Jokic is on a mission to ensure Serbia secures a berth in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
“I feel great, as I do every time I see these guys,” Jokic said. “I’ve only met a few of them. We’re preparing; we’ve only begun, and we’ll see how far we can get. The FIBA World Cup Qualifiers come first, with the goal of assisting Serbia in qualifying for the World Cup.”
Serbia is a mix of NBA players and European professionals. Not every player with NBA experience was permitted to compete. Serbia will be without two key players because Aleksej Pokusevski and Nikola Jovic did not obtain permission from their respective teams. The Oklahoma City Thunder refused to give Pokusevski permission to miss team workouts. Jovic, a late first-round pick of the Miami Heat, was also barred from competing in EuroBasket. The Heat want their newcomer to concentrate on the upcoming season.
Serbia is hoping that Nemanja “Belly” Bjelica’s winning streak with the Golden State Warriors rubs off on them. Boban Marjanovic, one of the nicest guys in the NBA, is also on the roster, but he sits on the bench for the Dallas Mavericks. Filip Petrusev averaged 17 points per game for Gonzaga a couple seasons ago and is now on the Serbian roster.
Serbia is the team to beat this year because Jokic is playing his best basketball of his career, so it’s no surprise that they’re the betting favorite to win EuroBasket 2022 at +300 odds. Serbia is in Group D, which also includes the Czech Republic, Poland, Finland, Israel, and the Netherlands, and has a relatively easy knockout pool round.
All eyes will be on Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, who will lead defending champion Slovenia into battle. Doncic’s wingman for EuroBasket will be Goran Dragic of the Brooklyn Nets. Slovenia has one of the best backcourts in Europe, thanks to Doncic and Dragic.
Doncic led Slovenia in two World Cup qualifying games, averaging 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists per game. Dragic averaged 19.5 points per game, 2.5 assists per game, and shot 61% from the field.
Keep an eye on center Mike Tobey, who played college basketball for Virginia in the United States. Tobey is currently a member of FC Barcelona Lassa in Spain’s Liga Endesa. In the World Cup qualifiers, he averaged 13.3 points and 9.8 rebounds for Slovenia.
Slovenia leads Group B, but France, Germany, and Lithuania are not far behind. Slovenia is worth a +450 bet to win EuroBasket 2022 with Doncic anchoring the team.
Although Joel Embiid was recently granted French citizenship, he will be unable to compete for France in EuroBasket 2022. Keep an eye out for the next Olympics, where Embiid is eager to compete.
Frank Ntilikina of the Dallas Mavericks, Petr Cormelie of the Denver Nuggets, and Jaylen Hoard and Theo Maledon of the Oklahoma City Thunder are all NBA players from France.
Victor Wembanyama, a teen sensation and projected first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, is not on the national team.
During a couple of World Cup qualifying games, Maledon led France in scoring with 13.5 points and 3.5 assists per game.
Center Vincent Poirier, who plays for Real Madrid in Spain, was France’s second-best scorer in the World Cup qualifiers, averaging 13.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
France last won EuroBasket in 2013, after finishing second in 2011 and third in 2015. They finished in a disappointing 12th place in 2017. France has a difficult draw in Group B’s knockout pool, which also includes Slovenia, Lithuania, Germany, Hungary, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Giannis ‘Greek Freak’ Antetokounmpo returns home to play for Greece, as expected. Greece has a fighting chance with the Greek Freak on the court.
Georgios Papagiannis, the 7-foot-3 starting center, attended high school in America but turned down scholarship offers from top programs to return to Greece and play for Panathinaikos. In between his time with Panathinaikos, he spent a brief time in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings from 2016 to 2018. During the World Cup qualifying round, Papagiannis averaged 16.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
The Atlanta Hawks drafted Dimitris Agravanis in 2015, but his draft rights were traded to the Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers. He never played in the NBA and spent his final years with Promitheas Patras. In five WCQ games, Agravanis averaged 17 points per game and shot 41% from 3-point range.
Greece should dominate Group C in the knockout pool round, which includes Italy, Croatia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Estonia. If you want to take a chance on a team other than Serbia or Slovenia, Greece is worth a shot at +500 odds. They won EuroBasket for the last time in 2005, but finished eighth in 2017.
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