Online sportsbooks are bullish on Brazil to win the 2014 World Cup in their own backyard. That’s hardly surprising considering that the team comes replete with star-studded talent led by Neymar, Paulinho, Fred and a whole cast of young whipper-snappers.
The odds for the team currently sit at 3/1 with the next closest teams being Argentina and Germany, both of which have been slotted at odds of 5/1.
Noticeably absent from the top 3 favorites are the defending champs, Spain, who figure to be one of the more bet-on teams at 7/1, higher than what people anticipated but still expected to go down once the tournament draws closer. That’s the cache of being defending champions so if you’re looking at a successful title defense from the champs, now’s probably a good time to pounce on them. On the flip side, thread some caution on putting money on
European teams because no one from the continent has won a World Cup title that was hosted outside of Europe.
If you’re not sold on the aforementioned favorites, some pretty goods are being released for dark horse contenders, including Belgium (14/1), Colombia (16/1), France (18/1), and 2010 finalist the Netherlands (20/1).
Just outside of the 20/1 range are three teams that all received 25/1 odds: Italy, Uruguay, and Portugal.
The seemingly World Cup-cursed England team sits at 33/1, although given their recent history in international competitions, there’s no telling what kind of Three Lions squad people are going to see in Brazil. They could overachieve and go the distance, or they could flame out and not even make it out of the group stages.
Translation: stay away from them.
From England’s 33/1 odds, the numbers move quickly up with Chile the next closest at 40/1. Russia and Switzerland are both 66/1 with the rest of the teams no lower than 125/1, odds given to Japan, Ivory Coast, and Bosnia and Herzegovena.
Brazil is expected to get a lion’s share of the bets, seeing as they’re the hosts and the favorites to win the title. But if value is the question, Argentina at 5/1 looks real nice. They have a weak group and their second round opponent will likely be Switzerland with Belgium likely on tap in the quarters. If they get past the upstarts from Belgium, a date with Spain possibly looms in the semi-finals with the winner potentially scheduling a date with Germany or Brazil in the finals.
And it’s comforting knowing that you have a (healthy) Lionel Messi on your side.