World Cup betting is one of the biggest events for sportsbooks. Odds makers are constantly reacting to the money that is coming down the line by adjusting the odds and the closer the tournament gets, changes are sure to occur on a daily basis. Injuries, squad decisions, form, experience are just some of the many factors that have a bearing on both odds and public betting trends, ahead of the tournament and throughout as proceedings unfold in Brazil. Here we are going to examine some of the odds and changes (if any at all) that might have occurred since we first shone the spotlight on World Cup betting odds in the New Year.
World Cup Odds Favorites
Upon the draw release we previewed the outright winner odds that went to press along with group betting odds. Predictably, hosts Brazil emerged as the top favourites to win outright at +300, a market stance underscored by several key facts: home advantage, winnable Group A, World Cup pedigree and winning 2013 Confederations Cup.
Spain’s odds from the start were somewhat surprisingly long. On the strength of their form in recent years – winning the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euro Cup – one would have expected La Roja to rank amongst the top World Cup picks, but they were trading as large as +700 to win outright. That price has come down a smidgen in recent months to +650, but even that seems too large still for a side with enviable depth, quality and talent. Granted they aren’t as imperious as they were over the two-year stretch when they picked up the coveted World Cup and then Euro Cup, but surely Vicente Del Bosque’s men warrant serious consideration by punters.
Neighbouring Argentina and multiple World Cup champions Germany were lumped together with the hosts atop the World Cup betting market when odds went to press. Three weeks to kickoff and they remain there, relatively unmoved on +450 and +550 futures odds respectively.
Argentina’s odds are subjective. To put it bluntly, Group F is a cakewalk with Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria in the mix. All three are priced in the five-digit and up range to win the competition outright with Iran the highest at whopping +150000 futures odds. Undoubtedly, the South Americans should reach the knockout stages without too much fuss where the competition will truly begin for them. Only then will they be able to determine whether they did warrant such blatant favouritism in the competition proper.
Three-time champions Germany by contrast were drawn into a tough group alongside Portugal, Ghana and USA. Yet despite Group G’s strong field, where technically all four have a solid chance to progress into the knockout stages, Germany’s tradition of success at this competition looms large. In their case nobody is questioning their odds. On the contrary, many in soccer-betting circles feel quite strongly about Germany’s chances to win it all, an opinion supported strongly by the fact that they’ve reached the penultimate round in the last two World Cups. What’s more, at +550 to win outright, they would appear to be a value World Cup pick at this early vantage point.
Outside Chances That Deserve A Look
When looking at the biggest changes in overarching World Cup odds, Belgium represents the biggest change from outlook and attitudes to odds. To look back at previous World Cup boards is to find Belgium hovering somewhere in its nether regions, if registering at all. In 2010, they were priced amongst the quintessential long shots. Fast-forward four years; they are one of Top 6 favourites for the competition – anywhere from +1600 to +1800 depending on your sportsbook of choice.
It’s really going to be interesting to see how far the Belgians go. They have a winnable Group G before them with Russia South Korea and Algeria and that bodes well towards at least a R16 appearance. Even a quarterfinal appearance looks to be possible according to bookies, a happenstance that is priced at +110 at Bet365. But to actually land their favourable odds on a Cinderella run in Brazil? That would be something.
Traditional favourites France and Portugal were forced to earn their invitations in the European playoffs. Although they did so brilliantly – the former coming back from behind to beat Ukraine while the latter decimated Sweden – they’ve suffered in market estimation for failing to qualify directly by winning their groups. France are listed quite large at +1800 while Portugal are tipped at +2200. It might even surprise some to learn that Portugal’s odds went to press at +2800. Talk about changes in World Cup odds. However, it should be noted that Portugal are in one of the so-called ‘groups of death’. France are sat pretty in a nice group with Switzerland, Honduras and Ecuador.
Finally, former champions Italy and Uruguay remain unmoved, their World Cup odds standing still on +2500 each since the draw reveal. The pair has fallen into Group D, another ‘group of death’ in the competition along with Group G, and they share this section with hopefuls England at +3300 and Costa Rica.
So there you have it, an overview of some of the changes to presiding opinions and World Cup betting odds. The 2014 World Cup is slated to kickoff on June 12 in Sao Paolo, with Brazil and Croatia’s Group A match formally getting the proceedings underway. You can bet there will be more changes in the lead up to the world’s biggest football event, but it’s never too early to get your World Cup picks sorted, especially if you fancy some of the current prices. So what are you waiting for, get in the carnival mood now.