England will be looking for its first World Cup title in 48 years when it heads to Brazil 2014, where it is listed at 20-1 in World Cup futures wagering.
That puts the English well back of tournament favorites Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain but right in the middle of the discussion for fans looking for betting value.
The Three Lions face stiff competition in a tough Group D. They carry odds of 2-1 to win their group but again trail the favorites according to most sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark, with Italy pegged at 3-2 and Uruguay at 15-8.
In addition, England sits squarely in the middle of the pack in World Cup specials betting on who will be the top European team at this year’s tournament. At 16-1, England trails squads like France, Italy and Netherlands, all of which sport longer odds to win this year’s championship.
While these odds may appear to be cause for concern for English soccer fans, the opportunity for England at this World Cup is huge. If England can capture the top spot in Group D, the team will face the second-place finisher from Group C, which includes three squads—Colombia, Greece and Japan—against whom England has enjoyed success.
In the group stage, England needs to take three points in its match against Costa Rica, 50-1 long shots to win the group, and put points on the table against Uruguay, a squad the English last faced in World Cup competition in 1966.
But the key to finishing atop Group D for England will likely lie in its group-stage match against archrival Italy on June 14. England has won only 8 of 24 matches all-time against Italy, and in its most recent tournament meeting, it was eliminated by Italy on penalties in the quarterfinals at Euro 2012.
England garnered a small degree of revenge, handing Gli Azzurri a 2-1 defeat in a friendly two months later.
The English national side will be led by veterans like Wayne Rooney, who scored seven times in World Cup qualifying and sports odds of 40-1 to be top goalscorer at the tourney. Veteran midfielder and Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer Frank Lampard is listed at 125-1.
But room has also been made for the next generation of English footballers, including youngsters like 24-year-old Daniel Sturridge, 20-year-old Ross Barkley and 19-year-old Raheem Sterling.
Sturridge, who scored 21 league goals for Liverpool this season, is 66-1 in props betting to lead all scorers at his first World Cup.