World Cup Betting Update: Neymar Out, Brazil Odds Plummet

Nila Amerova

Monday, July 7, 2014 2:23 PM GMT

On the heels of the devastating news that Neymar is out of the World Cup finals, Brazil’s odds tumble in just about every market. Can Brazil still win a sixth World Cup title or should Brazil backers start getting worried? Find out as we discuss the odds going into the semi-finals all the way to lifting the trophy.

Brazil’s drawback
For the longest time, Brazil headed World Cup betting markets with impunity. As hosts and the most successful nation in this competition, they opened as the hot favourites to win outright at +300, significantly ahead of all 32 participating nations, including credible threats Argentina (then at +450) and Germany (then at +550). Today, however, Brazil enter as the third favourites in line to the title, marking the first drawback from Brazil in World Cup betting.

Neymar’s injury correlates to this sudden disadvantage in World Cup betting markets, which is a rather unexpected turn of events at such a late stage in the competition. Then again, these things do happen at high-profile events from time to time. It’s not uncommon for teams to actually prepare for such eventualities and setbacks. So World Cup bettors could assume Luis Felipe Scolari, at some point, did entertain options and alternatives in the eventuality he’d need to resort to a plan B. If he didn’t, it still isn’t cause for huge concern – coaching is about daily and match-to-match juggling, so it’s just another day in the life of a coach.  Besides, he’s embarrassed for choice on his bench.

Unfortunately, odds makers aren’t exactly echoing such a sentiment. On the contrary, it’s all out panic as Brazil are demoted to third favourites to win outright at +275. Argentina have assumed the lead on +250 odds to win outright while Germany are sandwiched in between at +260.

Where confidence reigned supreme, now uncertainty rules over Brazil. It’s not just that their place in the World Cup betting hierarchy has been disrupted but also they are disadvantaged in match betting markets against Germany. Nominally so at +180 to Germany’s +175 odds, but it still marks the first time they are listed at the disadvantage and that is telling.

What’s more, they are locked on -110 odds with Germany to reach the final. This means odds makers are essentially reducing the significance of home advantage in this match, the very advantage that has buoyed their odds throughout the competition so far. To put it another way, Brazil are listed at -110 to be eliminated in the semi-finals

Curiously, though, Brazil are listed at +260 to finish runner-up while Germany are tipped at +275 to finish runner-up. This market may seem a bit contrarian at first. But what it means is that if Brazil were to reach the final, they’d be less likely to finish runner-up than Germany would to either Argentina or Holland.

Brazil backers can also gain a measure of confidence from periphery markets. European nations have never enjoyed success in South America, so if you are looking to back a winning continent, South America is appropriately listed at -120 while a European winner is tipped at +100. Furthermore, odds makers are confident that one of the three former champions in the semi-finals is the most likely to win. A first time champion, which could only be Holland, is listed at +333 while a former champion winning the 2014 title is tipped at -500 odds.


World Cup Betting Verdict
It’s hard to get a true sense of Brazil’s chances now. With Neymar out and World Cup betting markets reacting negatively immediately, it’s understandable why bettors might be alarmed. Over and above the recent developments, however, is the very real danger Germany alone presents in the semis – a reality that would have prevailed with or without Neymar and that is at the crux of the matter. Very little separates these two sides, which means there is value on both sides of the coin. Brazil should win but Germany could win.

World Cup Picks: Germany to reach the final at -110