World Cup Betting: Ivory Coast Must Capitalize in Weak Group

Richard O'Hagan

Saturday, March 15, 2014 6:42 PM GMT

The Ivory Coast was very fortunate with the draw they received, and now have the opportunity to finally advance out of the group stage. Can they capitalize on being paired with some weaker teams?

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One of the teams who could surprise a lot of people in this tournament is the Ivory Coast. The draw has been very kind to the African nation, putting them into a Group C where they not only have a very realistic chance of making it to the second round, they have a realistic chance of winning.

Just making it out of the group would be something of an achievement, as they’ve never managed that in their previous appearances. Odds of 1.95 at Bwin for them to do so this time are not the most generous, but well worth taking nonetheless as none of Colombia, Greece or Japan should be too taxing for this side.

Those short odds on qualification mean that there is value to be had on where they might be eliminated. Win or come second in this group and they play a side from Group D, but any team coming out of that group will have had three hard games and could be ripe for an upset, so although SkyBet offer 3.0 on a second round elimination, it may pay to be bold and look to the quarter finals at 8.0 with Sportingbet instead.

Ivory Coast boast some of the biggest names in African – and indeed European – football. Salomon Kalou is favoured to be their top goalscorer at odds of 4.0, but veteran Didier Drogba is one you should never discount, especially as this will be his final showing in a big international tournament. At odds of 6.0 he will be hard to ignore.

Predicting how many points any side in this group may score is fraught with danger, as the four sides are so evenly matched. The over/under is at 3.5 and common sense suggests that you go over that with this team, even at best price of 1.62 with Stan James.