Bookies have Serbia as second favourites to win gold with Greece third, followed by Spain and France.
Australia are sixth, with their odds shortening significantly from 60-1 to 30-1.
The New York Times‘ Marc Stein reflected the bookies’ sentiment.
“Pop [Popovich] clearly still experimenting in search of effective combos but this result will only give hope to Serbia, Spain, France, Greece and, yes, these stubborn Aussies that the US is indeed vulnerable with this roster,” Stein wrote on Twitter.
Interest in the Melbourne exhibition games was high in San Antonio with Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs, going head-to-head with the NBA team’s Australian point guard Patty Mills.
“Australia shocked the basketball world as they toppled Team USA in exhibition play,” San Antonio’s NBC TV affiliate reported.
Mills led the way for Australia in their first win over the US in 55 years and 26 meetings.
It was also the first loss since 2006 for a US team containing NBA players, ending a 78-game win streak.
Mills had a game-high 30 points including 13 in the final term while Boomers’ veteran centre Andrew Bogut had 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
The US and Australia have both been rocked by All-Star and NBA players opting not to play, with the Americans without James Harden, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard and recent injuries to PJ Tucker and Kyle Kuzma.
Australia are without All-Star Ben Simmons and his Philadelphia 76ers teammate Jonah Bolden.
Impressive performances from Australians Jock Landale, Chris Goulding and Bogut in Melbourne will likely have NBA teams calling their agents.
Bogut joined the Golden State Warriors’ playoff run after completing his first season with the Sydney Kings earlier this year and with teams like LeBron James’s Los Angeles Lakers in need of centres he could be a hot commodity.
“What I’m impressed with is Australia’s movement without the basketball and Andrew Bogut,” former NBA player and coach Sam Mitchell, analysing the game in the US for NBA TV, said.
“Oh my God.
“Not just his passing.
“We know he is a big man who can play big but the things he was doing off the dribble, leading the break, facilitating like that, man this Australian team is going to be tough.”
The World Cup starts on Saturday in China.
Australia face Canada on Sunday in their opener and the US take on the Czech Republic.