World Cup Picks: Bet Patterns Tell Story

If almost all the public betting action on the Group B winner is on Spain and Netherlands, what does that tell you about third betting choice Chile?

What if you looked at the stats and saw that most of the ‘smart’ money – wagers from veteran or professional bettors – was on Chile?

Looking at World Cup betting volumes (courtesy of Bovada) can tell a lot about where the best picks are in the group stage. And if that information proves true, then it can change the way you handicap each game and the way you pick long shots to possibly win the entire tournament.

[ Where is the best place to bet the World Cup? That depends, click here for details … ]

In Group A, the money is heavily on Brazil (90%) and it would be a huge surprise if anyone else edged them out.

In Group B, Chile has gotten attention from smart bettors, indicating that their home-continent advantage and the possible overrating of Spain and Holland makes them a good pick. Does Spain's golden age continue to be polished with a long run in Brazil or does the shine come off it with an early exit?

In Group C, the betting cuts a different way with home-continent Colombia the choice of public bettors but professional bankrolls backing Ivory Coast.

In Group D, it’s a dogfight for points and bets between Uruguay, England and Italy. Good luck picking a winner there and no obvious leanings from the sharp bettors.

In Group E, 80% of the money is on France but Bovada hasn’t touched the line. In our eyes, this points to some questions around France as a credible group favorite and opens the possibility of wagers on Ecuador.

In Group F, Argentina is getting all the public action and the sharps aren’t sniffing around. This probably means Argentina is a safe bet with no credible challengers or underdog bets here.

In Group G, books are cheering against Team USA and Germany seems a lock to win.

In Group H, an absence of marquee teams and players has kept the betting public at bay. The sharps like Belgium here, who continue to be a fashionable pick for a long World Cup run.

FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group A Winner
Brazil 1/5
Croatia 8/1
Mexico 9/1
Cameroon 25/1
*Note: Brazil has taken 90% of the money and has edged down from 2/9 to 1/5.

FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group B Winner
Spain 2/3
Netherlands 3/1
Chile 15/4
Australia 66/1
*Note: Spain and Netherlands have taken the most money from the public, but smart money is on Chile who are now 15/4 down from 4/1.

FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group C Winner
Colombia 20/21
Ivory Coast 3/1
Japan 4/1
Greece 7/1
*Note: Public on Colombia, smart money on Ivory Coast 3/1 down from 7/2.

FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group D Winner
Italy 8/5
Uruguay 9/5
England 9/4
Costa Rica 50/1
*Note: Italy, England and Uruguay seeing balanced action in a competitive group.

FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group E Winner
France 4/5
Switzerland 5/2
Ecuador 4/1
Honduras 28/1
*Note: Maybe weakest group, 80% of money on France 4/5, but holding those odds.

FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group F Winner
Argentina 1/5
Bosnia-Herzegovina 6/1
Nigeria 10/1
Iran 40/1
*Note: Similar to Brazil in Group A, Argentina at 1/5 taking 95% of money, sharp bettors not touching this group.

FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group G Winner
Germany 2/3
Portugal 5/2
Ghana 9/1
USA 9/1
*Note: All money is on Germany and USA, USA is a big loser for the book, was 12-1 now 9-1 on patriotic betting.

FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group H Winner
Belgium 4/7
Russia 12/5
South Korea 7/1
Algeria 22/1
*Note: Smart money on Belgium, public not too interested in this group.