In one of the most wide-open groups of World Cup 2014, Colombia emerge as the odds on favourites to win Group C. Can Ivory Coast, Japan or Greece give them a serious run for their money? Find out where the value soccer picks are in Group C.
World Cup 2014 Favourites:
Topping markets across all sportsbooks are Brazil +300, Argentina +450, Germany +550, Spain +700, Belgium +1600 and France +2000.
Teams to spot, quadrennial sports bettors’ favourites and past champions: Uruguay +2500, Italy +2800, Holland +2800, Portugal +3300, and England +3300
GROUP C Betting Odds and Odds to Win Outright:
Colombia -163 to win Group C (+2000 to win outright)
Odds on favourites Colombia headline Group C and, by and large, most expect the South Americans to come through on their soccer odds to win the group or, at the very least, advance into the knockout stages. But a second place finish would be disappointing considering the talent contained within which includes Monaco pair Falcao and Rodriguez and Porto’s Jackson Martinez, to name a few.
Colombia punched above their weight class to finish second in South American qualifying, behind Argentina and considerably ahead of 2010 semi-finalists Uruguay. While they’ve drawn a rather favourable group – meaning they’ve avoided tournament heavyweights such as Italy, Germany and Spain – and, though, their odds are equally favourable to advance, soccer bettors can’t simply rely on those factors alone. Inasmuch as the group is favourable for Colombia, it’s equally so for the rest of the field, and they are an intriguing triplet of dark horses, make no mistake.
Ivory Coast +400 to win Group C (+12500 to win outright)
Ivory Coast ring in as the second favourites at +400 soccer odds at Bet365 to win Group C, a decidedly winnable group. In fact, a case for Ivory Coast to win the group can be made. Led by Didier Drogba and a supporting cast that includes Yaya Touré, Gerivnho and Bony, amongst several others, Ivory Coast strikes an imposing and physical presence in Group C, certain to have the measure of their opposition. It helps as well that most of their stars are in form right now and that they are flush of a solid qualifying campaign from the African zone, winning their group and then beating Senegal in a two-leg tie for one of the five coveted spots in Brazil.
The intangible (or X-factor) that Ivory Coast brings to the table is somewhat sentimental. Didier Drogba, at 35, is likely flying the flag for his country for the last time on the international stage. Inspired to make his swansong an unforgettable one, he could very well prove to be Ivory Coast’s equivalent of Cameroon’s Roger Milla in 1990.
Japan +500 to win Group C (+15000 to win outright)
The Blue Samurai became one of the first nations to qualify for Brazil but that feat has to be kept within the context of a rather lightweight Asia zone. That said Japan are the class of Asia. As well, they’ve made great strides on the international stage, namely depositing some impressive accounts against notorious heavyweights and as recently as a few months ago when they beat Belgium 3-2 (surprising +1600 favourites to win outright) and rallied from behind to draw against Netherlands 2-2. In each of those matches, the nation’s shiny soccer bauble Keisuke Honda proved integral to both results.
Greece +850 to win Group C (+30000 to win outright)
Are Greece really four times unlikely to emerge out of Group D as sportsbooks would have you believe they are? Granted, Greece reached Brazil through the playoffs but not for a lack of effort or quality were they relegated to fight for a spot in Brazil. On the contrary, Greece enjoyed an exceptional qualifying campaign. In any other European group, their record through ten matches would have sufficed to ensure automatic qualification but, unfortunately, they were relegated to the playoffs after falling short to Bosnia-Herzegovina on goal difference. Auspiciously, however, they proved their mettle by beating Romania soundly to secure their deserved place in Brazil.
Soccer Betting Verdict: By and large, Colombia appear to be the popular soccer pick to win the group, which on principle we aren’t disagreeing with at all. But fact is they aren’t exactly a formidable force in football. None in this group is really, which means there are plenty of angles for profit in this section. What’s more the potential for upsets increases here. So in the spirit of spoilers – might as well be contrary in such a wide-open group – here are our outlandish soccer picks for Group C.
Ivory Coast loom as the most likely spoilers. Although the danger of falling short of hype exists, as has been the case with many an African nation in past finals, Drogba’s swansong element could prove the deciding factor towards winning this group at attractive +400 soccer odds at Bet365 in our opinion. For second place, both Japan and Greece (two of the most disciplined outfits in this group) are intriguing options. One or both could surprise in Brazil and advance into the knockouts. It could even come down to goal difference and head-to-heads (talk about a déjà vu for Greece if it does come down to that). But if we were to decide between the pair, at this vantage point, Japan would appear to be the more attractive option.
Soccer Free Picks: Ivory Coast at +400 to win group; Japan to advance in second; Columbia to finish third and Greece to finish fourth.