All the debates are now taking place around the world as everyone turns into a soccer pundit. Many are looking at making money off the bookies to soften the blow of watching their favourites get beaten by one of the unfancied countries.
It can be worthwhile placing your bets for this year’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa before it kicks off, as the odds are higher. With all the 32 squads being named on 1st June, the date of this article being written, now is the time to check the fixture schedules and see who will progress to the later stages.
If you don’t know how to go about placing bets on line, then there are a whole host of sites out there giving you that information. One thing you will need though is an account with one or more online betting companies. The vast majority, if not all of them now, will offer you incentives to sign up with them usually by way of them matching your first bet up to a maximum value; this will be offered as ‘free bets’ and is definitely a good way to start.
You’ll then be asked to deposit funds to your account by using a credit or debit card, and the bets you place are obviously taken from this deposit, After your first bet is finished, you will be credited with the amount of that bet as per your sign up offer. This can then be used in future bets, either immediately or another day.
Using the 2010 World Cup as a topical example, you can just place a simple bet on the outright winner or you can go into much finer detail, such as who you think will qualify for the quarter finals, in which game will the first red card be shown and so on. For those more detailed bets, you need to keep up to date with as much information you can with regard to player suspensions and injuries as they will weaken teams as the tournament progresses.
You can make a fair stab at who will qualify from the opening group stages, and maybe you can spot a surprise or two in there. Will France and South Africa outgun Mexico and Uruguay in Group A? That seems a very open group and is too close to call for some. It is safe to assume Italy will win Group F at a canter, but will complete outsiders New Zealand be able to compete for second spot with Paraguay and Slovakia? The bookies don’t think so but do you think it’s worth a punt?
For betting on the first group stages, there are good chances to get off to a good start, as some of the more fancies countries tend to start slowly and this is where most of the shock results traditionally occur. An example is that Argentina qualified by the narrowest of margins, and one of the rated nations always seem to get knocked out during the Group stages. The bookies are favouring Argentina to be the early faller, and are giving generous odds on this. More worrying is that Diego Maradona has promised to run naked through Buenos Aires if they win the final, so let’s all hope they get beaten early as no one will be able to sleep at night until they lose. Their opening game is against Nigeria, and they will remember losing to Cameroon at the same stage in 1990.
To the later stages then and can you predict the semi-finalists from this early stage? Well perhaps you can, as the fixture schedule is often kinder to some teams than it is to others. Occasionally a smaller nation can reach this stage, as per South Korea in 2002 but it is a risky bet to go against the key nations.
It does make sense to bet on one of the more dominant footballing nations to be the outright winners, only seven countries have ever won the World Cup and although African nations are getting stronger and stronger, they don’t appear to be quite ready to walk away with football’s top prize. A couple of interesting facts are that (1) only two countries have ever won the world cup twice in succession, Italy and Brazil, and no one has retained since 1962. Also (2) only one country has ever won a World Cup outside of their own continent, and that is also Brazil. Does that increase the chances of an African nation winning this time round?
At this moment in time, there are three obvious favourites to win in South Africa, and they are Spain, Brazil and England, The rest are a little further out but never write off Italy and Germany. More recently, more money has gone on Holland as they appear to be in great form going into the World Cup.
The ‘Golden Boot’ award always attracts healthy betting; this is the trophy presented to the top individual goalscorer at the finals, English money is going on Wayne Rooney, but every country has a scorer amongst them, you really need to scour the squad lists and the player’s goal scoring records before you pick one above all the others.