Copa America Centenario, marking 100 years of the tournament’s history, gets underway on June 3rd at Levi Stadium. We preview the Outright Winner market or your soccer betting thrills.
Chile Defending Champions
This year's Copa America is a ceremonial event to mark 100 years of the tournament's history, and it gets underway on June 3, 2016 at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara with hosts USA taking on Colombia. It's also the first time the event is held outside of South America.
Outright Winner soccer odds are trading across sports betting platforms (See Table 1), all of which are previewed below.
Table 1: Copa America Outright Winner Odds According to Bet365
Group A: USA, Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay
Host nation USA have yet to win the coveted trophy; their best result thus far is a fourth place finish in 1995. Jurgen Klinsmann will hope to lead the Red, White and Blue, ranked 29th in FIFA World Rankings, on a similar fairy-tale run on home soil, and, as it is, odds makers do look favourably on the Americans. With odds of +800 to win outright on offer, the USMNT are fourth overall in the field and on equal footing with Uruguay (only the most successful nation in the competition with 15 titles, including the inaugural title).
There are those soccer bettors that would view this market outlook as a touch optimistic. The team has certainly taken great strides under the German manager's leadership but they are yet to become a bona fide international contender. That said they are coming off a respectable World Cup deposit, in which they emerged out of tough group that contained Germany, Portugal and Ghana – the proverbial group of death – in second place. Although their run ended at the first knockout hurdle, it took added extra time for Belgium to snuff USA's spirited performance.
At the Copa America Centenario, USA are alongside Costa Rica, Colombia and Paraguay – the former pair reaching the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup and the latter of which finished fourth in last year's instalment of Copa America.
To say USA haven't received any favours from the draw is an understatement. Might as well call this the group of death. Curiously, though, Costa Rica are priced at +5000 to triumph while Paraguay are priced at an even larger +6600. Only Colombia come in as a viable contender in Outright Winner markets with odds of +900 or thereabouts depending on your choice sportsbook.
Group B: Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Haiti
With Brazil falling into a relatively easy group, all things being considered – avoiding heavyweights such as Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Mexico – it' not hard to see why they are amongst the top favourites to triumph in the competition. That and the fact that they've won this event four times in the last six instalments and boast one of the strongest outfits with Neymar, Dani Alves and Marquinhos, to name a few.
Of course, Peru can't be ignored in this section, even if they are trading at +5000 to triumph. In the last two competitions Peru finished third overall and, as such, they'll be keen to do as well if not better. Inasmuch as this group favours Brazil, it also must favour Peru. That makes them a good bet on your soccer picks to reach the knockouts at the very least, one would think
Group C Uruguay, Mexico, Venezuela and Jamaica
Uruguay are the most successful side in the competition and as recently as 2011 were crowned champions. In 2015, they failed to defend their crown when they were eliminated by Chile, eventual champions, in the quarterfinals in a 1-0 defeat. The disappointment followed a R16 exit at the 2014 World Cup where they were eliminated by Colombia 2-0. Uruguay will be keen to shake off recent disappointments on the international stage but their group does pose certain obstacles, namely in Mexico, who have finished inside the top 3 five times and twice were runners-up. Mexico will also be motivated after a disappointing account in 2015, in which they failed to advance out of the group stage after going 0-2-1 and finishing bottom of the group.
Group D: Argentina, Chile, Panama and Bolivia
Chile enter the Copa America as the defending champions, but they are not the betting favourites according to sports betting exchanges. That honour is bestowed on Argentina, who also happened to be contained within the same group. Yikes. As a consequence of the draw, Chile drift out to third overall favourites. One could also argue a repeat winning run is going to be a tough ask, mainly because the team is in transition under a new manager Juan Antonio Pizzi, who took over the role earlier this year.
Argentina are quite rightly favoured in the competition. After all, they were World Cup runners-up and Copa America runners-up after losing to Chile on penalties in the final. With a fine record on the international stage in recent years, it's a valid expectation they would pick up from where they left off. Not to mention, they are the popular soccer pick as a result.
Bolivia are long shots in the competition, trading at +20000 to triumph across sports betting exchanges. In 2015, the Bolivians surprised many when they finished second behind Chile in group play with a 1-1-1 record, most notably holding Mexico to a scoreless draw and defeating Ecuador. Their run ended however in the quarterfinals with a 3-1 loss to Peru. In this year's ceremonial instalment of the competition the Bolivians are going to be hard pressed to impress with tournament favourites Argentina and defending champions Chile in the mix.