The biggest sporting event in the world is quickly approaching with the 2010 World Cup due to kick off in South Africa in just over two weeks time.
As well as pulling in huge Television audiences, the World Cup will also be responsible for a lot of ‘sick days’, remote-control hogging and, most of all, gambling. In this two part article I will take a look at some of the best bets on the market and will try to predict what’s in store for each of them.
In the first piece we will look at the big bets on offer.
Outright Winners & Tournament Top Goalscorers
This is a very tricky market that I will not try to predict, not entirely anyway. The pace and youth of Spain and the consistent brilliance of Brazil make for two top contenders, but with their new approach to the game – having thrown away the majority of the flair and skill – I think Brazil will struggle. England stand a great chance on the other hand and I think it will be between them and Spain.
As for the top goalscorer, it can surely be between just a few. Lionel Messi has had an amazing season for Barcalona, and even though Argentina struggled through qualifying, I think the nippy youngster will come good on the big stage and take the Golden Boot.
The odds of a Spain or England win and a Messi Golden Boot are short but you can get them combined, currently offering a massive 80/1 for England to win and Messi to take the Golden Boot.
As an outside bet I also like the odds of 50/1 for Crouch to get the Golden Boot. He finds himself on the end of a lot of balls and could turn into England’s poacher, as he has done on so many occasions.
Highest Scoring Group
Also now there are odds for the ‘group with the most goals’. This is a difficult one to predict before the tournament, when nobody quite knows who is going to turn up, but Group H seems a good bet here at 5/1. Honduras should be the whipping boys of the group and may fall to big scores from Chile, Switzerland and, most importantly, Spain, who are always up for a goal bonanza.
It could be argued that Group F will stand a great chance here with the lowly New Zealand amongst the pack, but Italy – the big boys of the group – really don’t do big scorelines and New Zealand may well hold their own against Paraguay and Slovakia, refusing to be embarrassed on the big stage.
Group Stage Points
Some bookies have a section where you can place your bets on how many points any given team will accumulate during the tournament. A good little piece for any analysts and enthusiasts out there and one I have given much thought to, here are some of my best picks:
Spain – 9 points: 6/4
Holland – 9 points; 7/2
Portugal – 6 points: 3/1
England – 7 points: 21/10
Italy – 7 points; 9/4
Greece – 1 Point; 11/2
Part 2 – Outsiders
Keep your eyes open for part 2 of this article where I will comb through the potential upsets and shocks of the tournament to see how much value they can give you for your money.
Don’t forget to tune into Newsblaze during the World Cup for a game-by-game update of the competition.