“It’s World Cup Eve, Dave.
F**k the Rank Bank.
It didn’t get the views,
I thought it would have.
But when the bets go on,
Make me your guru,
With tips and offers,
To make all your dreams come true.”
Right. Straight in here. No kissing…
Four years have passed since their apocalyptic implosion on home soil in 2014, and not many have survived to tell the tale. Be left in no doubt, the Samba Boys are back – after a scintillating qualification campaign, and an eleven game unbeaten run that has seen them concede only two goals since June last year.
Outright Betting – best price 21/5 (Royal Panda)
Outright favourites for the tournament with most big names going 4/1, serious value can be found in scouring the new customer offers if you want to get into Brazil in a big way for very little outlay. Most people will have Paddy Power accounts I’m presuming, but the boys in green are offering Brazil at 100/1 for any new customer looking to back them to go all the way – £1 max stake, of course. As are Betfair – the exact same offer. Throw Coral into the equation with 60/1 for new customers and savvy punters could be looking at a return of £263 for three single one pound bets.
No Goals Conceded in Group – 5/1 (PaddyPower)
Blessed with so much flamboyance in attack, it’s sometimes easy to overlook how solid they are in defence. Could be backed at around 6/4 to overcome all three opponents – Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia – in their group games, but feel there’s good value in them at 5s to do so without conceding a goal.
Cheeky Outright Prices
The Outright Winner Market is obviously going to be the most popular with everyone having an opinion on who might be the one left standing come July 15th. Personally, can’t see past France (best price 7/1 – Unibet). I feel that having been granted a very envious group stage draw, Les Blues can ease their way into form in the tournament. Others to keep an eye on at bigger prices include Portugal (best price 25/1 – William Hill) who’s chances of winning their group are being helped no end by their Iberian cousins and their off field issues. If the European champions manage to take advantage and nick top spot, they could have a straightforward run to the semi final. And at a HUGE price, Senegal (best price 200/1 – Bet365) are very interesting. Talented squad, wide open group, their tricky African style will cause headaches for any of the more established names should they make it through to the knock out stages.
Remember, you can go each-way on outright betting with most bookies offering half the odds should your team end up beaten finalists.
And be sure to check out 888 who have some very tasty new customer prices if you fancy one of the bigger teams to triumph – 25/1 on both France and Spain amongst the most tantalising.
Golden Boot Front Runners
Ahhhh, much to consider here. Not least, whether you throw coin at a player who you think can go deep in the tournament, or do you look at the group games for those facing porous defences and take anything else as a bonus.
James Rodriguez bucked the trend in 2014 – a goal in each group game was followed by a brace against Uruguay in the round of 16, his final strike coming in a quarter-final defeat against Brazil.
In the six tournaments that preceded 2014, we had winners (or in some cases co-winners) play in the maximum amount of games each tournament allowed them – remember that teams who reach the semis are guaranteed a third-fourth place playoff.
With this in mind, punting on the Winner/Top Goalscorer combined market usually offers some great value and the 40/1 that Royal Panda are offering on a France/Antoine Greizmann double is definitely worth a few pound if I’m thinking the French can make it to the Moscow finale.
Another tactic is to look for goalscorers who not only can be relied upon from open play, but have a monopoly over free kicks and penalties too. Unsurprisingly, Neymar (best price 11/1 – Royal Panda) and Messi (best price 11/1 – Ladbrokes) head the betting, however the spread of goals in the Brazil team may dilute the PSG striker’s hoard, while the injury to Manuel Lanzini is sure to have a detrimental effect on Argentina’s creative aspirations in attack.
I fancy the Germans to really let loose, especially in the group stages, and will surely make at least the semis. So players like Timo Werner (best price 16/1 – 10bet) and old reliable himself, Thomas Muller (best price 33/1 – Bet365) may offer good value.
Again, most bookies will pay 1/4 of the odds on the top four if you are going each-way. Word of warning, however – the likelihood of players tying on goals scored means in most cases “dead-heat rules” will apply. So, be sure to check your chosen bookies rules with regard to same.
In terms of offers, 888 are coming strong again offering 80/1 on Neymar, 100/1 on Messi and 125/1 on Ronaldo for new customers – £5 max stake applies. Sun Bets are also offering a fiver free bet each time your boy rattles the back of the net, provided you stump up £25 on him from the get go.
P.S. Last thing on goalscorers I swear. Check out some of the specials markets, in particular those offering over/under on players tournament goals. If you like betting in and around that even money pivot, Mario Mandzukic to score over 1.5 goals, I thought, was a good price at 5/4 with William Hill.
And for a bit of fun…
One of the more successful modern features that most leading online bookies have introduced in the social media era has been the “request-a-bet” service. So if you have something very specific that you think you can get decent odds for – get involved. Here are some things people have dreamt up offering pretty alluring rewards. Be warned – they’re complicated:
- Germany, Brazil & France to win all group games & Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Iran & Panama not to win a match – 50/1 with William Hill
- Red cards record (29+) to be broken – 80/1 with Sky Bet
And one that certainly made me laugh…
- England to win the World Cup & Danny Welbeck to score last goal of the tournament – 150/1 with Paddy Power
Whatever you fire money at, may the Lord of Chance look favourably on you. And keep it fun!