World Cup: Group and Overall Winner
The World Cup starts this Friday so now is the time to make your futures bets on who will win the groups and the whole tournament.
Here are the odds to win each group at .
France is the favorite to win Group A, but they did not look good in qualifying and may have a tough task. Mexico recently beat Italy in a friendly match and they may be a good dark horse pick.
Uruguay has a decent shot to make it out of the group and while South Africa is the major long shot they are the host and will have a home field advantage.
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South Africa +700
Argentina is the big favorite to win Group B and with good reason, as they are stacked and have a great offense. Nigeria has a good offense, but their defense is a concern, which is the opposite of Greece since they have a great defense, but not much offense.
South Korea +1000
England is the favorite in this group and their big match is the first one on Saturday against USA. Slovenia and Algeria have good squads and they play in the first group match and the loser will likely already be out of the running to make the playoffs.
Germany lost a couple of defenders and team captain Michael Ballack to injuries, but they still have the squad to go far. Serbia can score and has a good defense and they are the German’s main threat. Ghana recently lost their best player and Australia may be a dark horse even though they lack many world-class players.
Holland may be a good dark horse to win it all not only their group, but their defense is a concern. Cameroon and Denmark may battle it out for second in the group while Japan is a long shot to make it to the knockout phase.
Italy is the defending champion and is the big favorites to win Group F. The winner of the Paraguay vs. Slovakia match will likely come in second in the group. It would be a little bit of a shock if New Zealand even gets a point in group play.
New Zealand +6000
Group G is the Group of Death and Brazil is the favorite to win it, but they will have to get by 2006 semifinalist Portugal and the great offense of Ivory Coast. However, Ivory Coast may have to play without awesome striker Didier Drogba, who recently suffered a fractured arm. FIFA has North Korea as the lowest ranked team playing in South Africa.
Ivory Coast +500
North Korea +10000
Spain is the heavy favorite in Group H and also has the best odds to win the World Cup. Chile was a surprise second place finisher in South American qualifying, the Swiss play a solid team game, and Honduras may be just happy to be playing in South Africa.
World Cup Champion Futures
Spain has the best odds to win it all, but Brazil has never lost on African soil (8-0) and has the second best odds. England is solid, but they have a ton of pressure on them since they have not progressed past the quarterfinals since 1990 and they may be without their best defender in Rio Ferdinand, who injured his knee in a recent training. Argentina does have Lionel Messi and a great offense, but their defense is mediocre and they do not play good team soccer. Holland is a solid team that has a great offense and if they can play some defense they have a shot to win their first World Cup. Germany and Italy are solid, but the Italians will have to rely on their defense to repeat as World Cup champions and the Germans have been hit by the injury bug and will miss a few key players.
Here are the odds to win the World Cup at .
Ivory Coast +4000
South Africa +15000
South Korea +25000
North Korea +200000
New Zealand +250000