Ibet: Argentina Look The World Cup Bet At 13/2
Back Columbia each way at 33/1
Brazil are the most successful team in World Cup history with five wins and on home soil it’s no surprise that bookies are making them favourites. You can get 3/1 with most of the major bookmakers and considering the fervour that will surround them some will see that as a giveaway price. In fairness they really have been in top form despite not having to go through the tough South American qualifying process, winning their last seven and conceding only two in the process. However, bloodless victories against Korea, Zambia, Honduras, Australia and South Africa are not going to prepare them for the latter stages of this tournament. More impressive in that run were wins over Chile (2-1) and Portugal (3-1) and last summer they also dispatched Italy (4-2), Spain (3-0), France (3-0) and Uruguay (2-1). These are fine form figures that anyone would be proud of, but the worry is they do throw in the odd under par effort.
Two games against England last year produced a draw and a loss, and they also failed to beat Russia, Chile and Italy in 2013 and lost to Switzerland in August. Fans would say that most of these results were in friendlies and that when the real business begins, you will see the true Brazil. The counter argument is that they are not tournament hardened and that their star player in Neymar has been a major disappointment so far in European football. Brazil have an easy group and will go far. They could easily win of course, but at the prices I can’t recommend backing them to win the tournament at 3/1. And it’s possible they could wilt under the massive pressure of expectation.
Next in the betting are Argentina (9/2), Germany (13/2) and Spain, who are also a general 13/2 shot. Superb though they are, there is a feeling that Spain are past their peak, and although they are a very tough team to score against, they were soundly beaten by Brazil in last year’s Confederations Cup. They will be incredibly hard to defeat for sure, but Xavi in particular does not look the player he was. That puts a lot of pressure in Iniesta (who admittedly has had an excellent season at club level) and with doubts about the fitness of Diego Costa, they may have to rely on Fernando Torez and David Villa up front. That does not inspire confidence and they are passed over.
Germany are simply a great team to watch – they play international football with a rare attacking verve and they always do well in World Cups. However, you can’t get away from the fact that no European team has won the World Cup when it’s been played in Central or South America. Argentina, who topped the South American table, have to have a fantastic chance. They of course have Lionel Messi, who scored ten in qualifying. But the goals were spread all around the team. Higuain notched nine times, Aguero five, and Di Maria, Lavezzi and Maxi Rodriguez all scored three.
For those looking for better value, Chile are tempting at 50/1 but the problem is they have a tough group – one out of Chile, Holland and Spain will be going home after the group stage. So for a bit of value, look no further than Colombia, who can be backed at 33/1. Coach Jose Pekerman presided over the best defensive record in South American qualification – only 13 goals conceded in 16 very tough fixtures.
Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan should pose little problems in the group stage but their chances in the latter stages could rest on the ability of star striker Radamal Falcao to recover from injury. Falcao scored nine goals in 13 matches in qualification but damaged ligaments in January playing for Monaco in the French Cup. However, even in his absence they have plenty of quality players, with Monaco playmaker James Rodriguez the chief among those, and they could be primed for a deep run in the tournament on their own continent.
Several firms are offering 33/1 including Bet365, BetVictor and Paddy Power. In the World Cup outright betting, bookies pay out on the first two at half the odds for each way bets. So for instance if Argentina got to the final and lost, you still make money. I’m actually starting to warm a little bit to England’s chances at the prices (28/1), which means it’s time for me to lie down.Tagged in: Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, spain, world cup, World Cup 2014
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