Uruguay and Italy are joint-favourites in Group D. But with England and Costa Rica lurking in the wings, neither winning the group nor advancing into the knockouts is an absolute certainty where they are concerned. Join us as we analyse this group and deliver our soccer-betting verdict.
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 D Betting Odds and Odds to Win Outright
With three former World Cup champions in Group D, it’s no wonder many consider this the so-called “Group of Death.” While Uruguay and Italy, for good reason, carry the burden of joint-favourites to win this section across all online sportsbooks, England and Costa Rica can’t be written off entirely. Certainly, all will fancy their chances despite the soccer odds as each nation will have its credentials well and truly tested before all is said and done.
Uruguay +163 to win Group D (+2500 to win outright)
Uruguay carry the burden of odds-on favourites jointly with Italy but there are many in sports betting circles that believe Uruguay may be slightly overrated by sports betting markets. Expectations ran high on the 2010 South Africa semi-finalists and reigning Copa America holders, but a highly disappointing qualifying campaign, in which they finished fifth in the South American preliminaries, and which forced them into the playoffs to qualify for Brazil, took some of the shine off their soccer odds. Fortunately, though, they faced a lightweight in Jordan, rendering the playoffs a mere formality.
That said it’s hard to ignore some of the enviable talent contained within their camp, namely prolific scorers Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, both of whom are enjoying standout seasons with their respective European clubs PSG and Liverpool. And that said talent inevitably has expectations raised once again hence their fancied soccer odds for Brazil.
Italy +163 to win Group D (+2800 to win outright)
Joint odds-on favourites Italy are coming off a convincing qualifying campaign, securing their place in Brazil by winning their European group handily and maintaining an undefeated mark through the rounds. Indeed, the 2012 Euro Cup finalists (lost to Spain) loom viable threats to advance into the knockouts, if not top Group D altogether at Uruguay’s expense.
Gli Azzurri also have the added advantage of having participated in Confederations Cup last summer, a competition in which they fought admirably in order to reach the semi-finals, only to lose 7-6 on penalties to Spain (eventual runners-up). Ironically, they also beat their section’s rivals Uruguay 3-2 on penalties (after settling on the 2-2 draw) to finish third overall in the competition.
England +225 to win Group D (+3300 to win outright)
Just as Italy, England can claim an undefeated run through European qualification. However, unlike their Group’s European opposite, the Three Lions only just qualified automatically, winning their group by just a point over Ukraine. In fact, England left qualification hanging in the balance of their last two matches against Montenegro and Poland, the latter of which was an agonising event at Wembley until both Rooney and Gerrard ensured England punched their ticket to the prestigious global showpiece.
On the balance of England’s qualifying campaign, expectations for an enduring run in Brazil are predictably conservative (polite speak for low). While it’s conceivable they might win the Group at +225 soccer odds at Bet365, no similar notions of winning the World Cup are being seriously entertained, even at their modest enough price of +3300. England claimed the coveted trophy only once, as hosts in 1966. Since that lone victory, they have repeatedly failed on the world’s biggest stage, to the frustration of English football fans and sports bettors worldwide.
Costa Rica +5000 to win Group D (+250000 to win outright)
Costa Rica enter the group stage of World Cup 2014 betting as the clear outsiders at +5000 soccer odds to win their section; hardly surprising given the fact that they are drawn into a group with three former Champions. Talk about the soccer gods having your number.
Soccer Betting Verdict: While Group D leaps off the page as the proverbial ‘Group of Death,’ sportsbooks are clearly projecting this section a two-horse race between Uruguay and Italy, and quite correctly so. Tempting, though, England’s soccer odds of +250 at Bet365 might be to win the group, can we be sure their World Cup angst won’t rear its ugly head again. Costa Rica, meanwhile, are outclassed by this group in every aspect and will have all to do to emerge into the knockout stages.
Soccer Free Picks: Italy to win Group D-163, Uruguay to clinch second; England to finish third and Costa Rica to come up fourth.