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2014 World Cup: World Cup betting

Written by Pai Yao

This article first appeared in the May/Jun 2014 issue of World Gaming magazine.

Aside from the spectacle of being one of the world’s biggest sporting events, the World Cup is also a great opportunity to place some bets. For the serious punter there is some great value to be had during the group stages in particular as well as in the futures betting where, perhaps aside from host nation Brazil, there is some decent value to be found among the leading candidates.

Will Japan progress?
Yes $1.95
Japan v Côte d’Ivoire correct score
Draw 0-0 $7.50
Draw 1-1 $6.50
Draw 2-2 $19.00
Japan 1-0 $7.50
Japan 2-0 $15.00
Japan 2-1 $11.00
Côte d’Ivoire 1-0 $7.00
Côte d’Ivoire 2-0 $12.00
Côte d’Ivoire 2-1 $10.00
South Korea v Russia handicaps
Russia -1 $3.75
South Korea +1 $1.75
Russia +1 $1.20
South Korea -1 $10.00
Will South Korea progress?
Yes $2.60
South Korea top goal scorer
Park Chu-Young $5.00
Lee Keun-Ho $8.00
Son Heung-Min $8.00
No goal scorer $10.00
Will Australia win a game?
No $1.28
Yes $3.50
Will Australia score a goal?
Yes $1.18
No $4.50
Will an Australian be sent off?
Yes $4.25
No $1.18

For the more casual bettor, the World Cup also provides a wide range of entertaining exotics such as which sides will top each group, when each nation will be eliminated and in some cases whether or not a particular minnow will win a game or even score a goal! WGM has scoured the world’s leading bookmakers ahead of the 2014 World Cup and put together what we believe to be the most important, most interesting and most amusing markets available!

Europe $1.90
South America $1.90
Africa $41.00
Central and North America $51.00
Asia $81.00
Colombia $1.80
Japan $4.50
Côte d’Ivoire $4.80
Greece $8.00
Italy $2.60
Uruguay $2.70
England $3.10
Costa Rica $41.00


After correctly tipping Spain to win the 2010 World Cup, can WGM do it again?

Who will win the 2014 World Cup? It’s an intriguing question with half a dozen sides rated a strong chance by bookmakers and half a dozen more offering great value if they can fulfil their potential.

But our money is on Germany to lift their fourth World Cup trophy as their latest “Golden Generation” reaches their prime. This current batch of players can look back to the 2000 European Cup as the catalyst for their recent rise. Eliminated in the group stages having scored just one goal, the debacle led to the formation of a new footballing academy aimed at developing players perfectly suited to the modern game. It worked wonders – Thomas Müller, Marco Reus, Mario Götze and Mezut Özil are all products of the academy, as were Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm and Lukas Podolski before them.

Four years ago in South Africa, the second youngest German squad of all time showed their potential in reaching the semi-finals before losing to eventual champions Spain, but with much more big game experience on their side and depth across the park this time around they look to us to be the team to beat.

We also like the look of Argentina. They boast the world’s best player in Lionel Messi as well as Manchester City’s lethal striker Sergio Agüero and although expectation is high, they won’t be burdened by it in the same way as host nation Brazil.

Brazil $4.00
Argentina $6.00
Germany $6.50
Spain $8.00
Belgium $11.00
France $21.00
Uruguay $23.00
Colombia $26.00
England $26.00
Italy $26.00
Netherlands $26.00
Portugal $29.00
Chile $41.00
Russia $81.00
Switzerland $81.00
Ecuador $101.00
Japan $101.00
Mexico $101.00
Cote d’Ivoire $126.00
Croatia $151.00
Ghana $151.00
USA $151.00
Bosnia-Herzegovina $151.00
Greece $201.00
Nigeria $201.00
South Korea $251.00
Australia $301.00
Cameroon $501.00
Algeria $751.00
Iran $1001.00
Costa Rica $1501.00
Honduras $1501.00

Ironically, should results in the group stages and beyond go the way we expect, the semi-finals will see Germany play Argentina and Brazil face off against Spain. All are capable of lifting the trophy, but the lack of depth in this Brazilian side worries us, while Spain’s squad is aging and their once lethal strike duo of David Villa and Fernando Torres aren’t the dependable talismen they once were. Look for the winner of Germany-Argentina to go all the way.

WGM correctly picked Spain as the winner of the 2010 World Cup and whether or not you took our advice and won a few dollars we hope you follow our tips this time around. This year’s tournament looks a lot tighter so picking a clear favorite isn’t easy but we’re confident we are on the right track.

The race to finish the World Cup as its top goal scorer is always an intriguing one and as always there are plenty of contenders in 2014, but it’s hard to go past the Argentinian duo of Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero. The one stumbling block could be the pair taking goals off one another compared with other sides who look to one main striker, but Argentina have arguably the easiest run of any side to the quarter finals. Their group boasts Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nigeria and Iran followed by a likely clash with Switzerland in the Round of 16, so goals shouldn’t be too hard to come by.

GOLDEN BOOT AWARD (Highest scorer)
Lionel Messi $9.00
Neymar $15.00
Cristiano Ronaldo $15.00
Sergio Agüero $19.00
Luis Suárez $19.00
Diego Costa $21.00
Fred $26.00
Gonzalo Higuain $26.00
Edinson Cavani $34.00
Hulk $34.00

We also like Messi for the Golden Ball award as player of the tournament, but expect some key midfielders to come into contention with Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger, Belgium’s Eden Hazard and Brazil’s Oscar all offering exceptional value at more than $20.00.

Neymar $6.00
Lionel Messi $9.00
Cristiano Ronaldo $15.00
Bastian Schweinsteiger $21.00
Oscar $21.00
Eden Hazard $23.00
Sergio Agüero $23.00
Andrés Iniesta $26.00
Luis Suárez $26.00
Mario Götze $26.00

However, we’re going to steer clear of Cristiano Ronaldo. Although he is listed as third favourite to win the Golden Ball, it’s hard to imagine Portugal progressing far enough for him to make the necessary impact with a likely Round of 16 clash with Belgium on the horizon.

If our predictions for the group stages prove accurate, the highlight of the Round of 16 clashes will be Brazil v The Netherlands with Italy, then Spain, awaiting the winner in the quarters and semis. France v Germany and Spain v Uruguay could also fall into place as mouth-watering quarter finals.