There are only about six months to go before the 2014 World Cup is underway. That, of course, means that people all over the world are starting to make predictions and analyze the impending match-ups. The group play fixtures have already been set and betting odds are emerging for each team’s chances to advance with a few particular favourites emerging from the pack.
In this post, we’ll look to predict and preview the true favourites to win the 2014 Cup. In doing so, we have turned to Betfair news for the latest odds for teams to advance from group play and win the entire event. This online sports betting site will be updating odds consistently from now until the World Cup, and it is already providing a clear picture of the handful of teams that will be expected to compete for the world’s top prize in football. Here’s a look at the top-5 contenders as of now.
The host nation always gets at least a modest boost in expectations. And with Brazil a world-class team anyway, it’s no wonder they’re the early betting favourites. In fact, Brazil has odds as strong as 3/1 to win the entire event and are essentially shoe-ins to win their group at 2/7 odds. Brazil will open the World Cup on June 12 against Croatia in Sao Paulo, and will be looking to make a strong statement.
If Brazil were not the host, there are many who believe Argentina would be the top choice. Their 5/1 odds to win are second best and they should certainly have no trouble emerging from their group (against Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria). Plus, if there’s one player in the world who can spark a deep run on his own, it’s got to be Argentina’s Lionel Messi.
Germany has surpassed Spain as the European pick and should bring another high-powered offensive attack to South America. Their 11/2 odds to win are just a sliver behind Argentina, making Germany a team to watch in 2014. If a European team wins, it could well be the Germans.
The class of international football for nearly a decade now has been Spain, and they are once again among the handful of favourites. Their 7/1 odds are not far behind Argentina and Germany, and that number reflects the continued strength of this roster. However, there are some who believe the dominant Spanish side is beginning to phase out a bit. Indeed, for those who don’t follow national squads year-round, this year’s Spain team will look a bit different: David Villa and Iker Casillas could be reserved (as noted by Bleacher Report); Fernando Torres has moved on, and a few new faces will try to carry the torch.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the pack, Belgium currently have 14/1 odds to win the event. They’re a bit like the Netherlands in 2010, an immensely talented side that much of the world hasn’t taken note of yet. And we all remember how well that Netherlands team performed, as they ultimately earned runner-up honours!