Here we run through the favourites and their soccer Futures Odds, offering insight on their recent form, their star players and their chances of winning. Join in and share the profits!
The likes of Brazil, Argentina and Colombia will all fancy their chances and will want to lay down a marker to the rest of the world ahead of the 2018 World Cup. The tournament runs at odd intervals: this is the 45th Copa America since the tournament began 100 years ago, and it will not return until 2019, so this is the teams’ last chance to grab some silverware and gain a psychological boost before the next World Cup. Here we run through the favourites, offering insight on their recent form, their star players and their chances of winning.
Argentina are led by world player of the year Lionel Messi, and justify their status as favourites as this footballing genius is surrounding by several technically brilliant players. Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Ezequiel Lavezzi can all provide support in attack, while Javier Mascherano is a beast patrolling the midfield. Their main weakness is in defence, where they lack such superstars. They reached the final of Copa America in 2015, but lost to Chile on penalties after a 0-0 draw, and will want to go one better this time. Since then they have won three, drawn two and lost one out of their six World Cup qualifiers, and won one friendly and drawn the other. They have a relatively tough group, which also features Chile, but you would expect those two to get through at the expense of Bolivia and Panama. Panama are minnows, and Argentina beat Bolivia 7-0 in a recent friendly. They can do themselves a favour by topping the group, and you could well see them draw with Chile and win big in the other two matches, finishing on top on goal difference and getting an easier draw in the knock out rounds. Then they will have nothing to fear. They are 9/4 at Pinnacle Sports, Bet Victor and various others and this looks a very good bet.
Brazil have struggled at major tournaments of late. Everyone expected them to soar to victory as hosts of World Cup 2014 but they were annihilated 7-1 by Germany in the semi-final. That has understandably knocked their confidence and they were knocked out of last year’s Copa America in the quarter-finals by an unfancied Paraguay side, who were then butchered 6-1 by Argentina. They have some great players, not least Messi’s Barcelona team mate Neymar, along with Marquinos, Douglas Costa and Philippe Coutinho, but they lack steel and this might be a bit too soon for a new crop of players that are still finding their feet. They drew their last two games with Uruguay and Paraguay. They are second favourites, best priced at 5/1 at Pinnacle Sports, but this might be one worth avoiding.
Chile have a fantastic chance of winning Copa America and are a great bet at 8/1 with Bovada. They are like Atletico Madrid in La Liga, competing against two powerhouses (Barcelona and Real Madrid are like Argentina and Brazil) that have more talented and better paid individuals, but getting great results by being hard-working and disciplined and working well as a team. They are epitomised by tireless star players Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal, both driven, determined footballers. They never say die and can be relied upon to grind out some great results.
USA are fourth favourites, best priced at 8/1 at William Hill and Paddy Power, and this looks like a foolhardy bet. It seems crazy to think that USA are on a par with holders Chile in the soccer odds. Chile are vastly superior, more experienced and boast far better players. USA’s price seems based on their home advantage – they are the tournament hosts – but they have never won this tournament in its 100-year history, and with quality teams like Argentina and Chile out there it is very difficult to imagine that changing this year. Last year they couldn’t even win the Gold Cup, which is solely for North American teams, as they were knocked out by minnows Jamaica in the semi-final. They were thrashed 4-1 by Brazil in September and will struggle against a big team.
The rest of the field
There are a few dangerous teams in the rest of the field, not least Uruguay. At 10/1 at Pinnacle Sports, they are a great dark
horse soccer pick, especially when many bookmakers will only go to 8/1. Star player Luis Suarez is back from a biting-induced suspension and won the European golden boot this season after outscoring the likes of Messi, Neymar, Aguero, Cristiano Ronaldo et all. Colombia are another exceptionally hard working team that will battle like Chile to grind out results. They also have a big name star player in James Rodriguez and will be a threat. They are also 10/1 with Bet Victor. If you want a real long shot, you could do worse than Paraguay. They knocked out Brazil last time and have continued to enjoy surprisingly positive results since. They are 66/1 at Pinnacle.