Soccer/Football/Footie or boring crap, as my girlfriend likes to call it has had quite the year in 2010. It was a far from predictable tournament and to win big it might have been more appropriate to follow the advice of an eight legged being than anyone claiming to be a gaming industry veteran tipster.
Paul the Octopus, from a gambling industry point of view, was arguably the biggest story to emerge from the tournament. After plotting the downfall of England, Argentina, and Calvin Ayre along the way, the Oberhausen resident finally turned on his own in style, predicting that Spain would make the final and be victorious over Holland.
His reign ended earlier this year, not before one last audacious prediction that England would be hosting the 2018 World Cup. Sadly, the world’s most famous Octopus was no match for bags of cash.
Any 12 months that features a World Cup is going to be a big one as far as sports book betting is concerned and the tournament in South Africa has provided many if the biggest games in terms of turnover alone.
Online sports betting site Boylesports top 8 games in terms of turnover are dominated by World Cup encounters. The list was as follows:
1. Spain v Holland, World Cup Final
2. Bayern Munich v Inter Milan, Champions League Final
3. Germany v Spain, World Cup Semi Final
4. Holland v Uruguay, World Cup Semi Final
5. Barcelona v Real Madrid, La Liga
6. Holland v Brazil, World Cup
7. Germany v England, World Cup
8. Man United v Liverpool, Premier League
In a year that has seen a first advertising campaign, Betfred also saw the World Cup as quite the earner. Their top seven games at the tournament went like this:
1. Spain v Netherlands (Final) – A draw is generally always a good result for bookmakers and the 0-0 scoreline after 90 minutes was ideal. Another bonus was that David Villa failed to score, saving us a fortune in the Golden Boot market as the Spain striker shared the award with three other players.
2. England v Algeria – Another 0-0 draw that did nothing to lift the spirits of England fans, but at least there was a contented glow among the Betfred traders!
3. England v USA – Robert Green’s howler for the Americans’ equaliser was the first sign that it would not all be plain sailing for England, yet it was a nice early boost for our trading position on the tournament.
4. Netherlands v Brazil – Fred made the decision pre-tournament to take on Brazil in the outright market, and the move paid off big time when the samba stars crashed out at the quarter-final stage having been a goal up against the Dutch.
5. Germany v Argentina – Arguably the most captivating game of the World Cup thanks to an exhilarating performance by the Germans. It was a memorable one for us because money had been poured on Argentina following their superb displays in the group stage.
6. South Africa v France – Internal strife derailed the French bid and we took them on when it emerged the camp was in disarray. It proved the right choice as South Africa won this last group game 2-1, both teams exiting the tournament.
7. Italy v New Zealand – Who would have thought defending champions Italy would finish bottom of their group, their two points being one fewer than minnows New Zealand? This 1-1 draw was manna from heaven for the bookies.
Check back later for the second part of our sports betting top bets of the year, including Ladbrokes, Skybet, and Stan James.