Group B World Cup 2014 Betting Preview: Spain Best Odds

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2014

Spain's players celebrate after Xavi Hernandez, 2nd right scored during a 2014 World Cup Group I qualifying soccer match between Spain and Belarus at the  Iberostar Estadi in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Friday Oct. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Manu Mielniezuk)
Manu Mielniezuk/Associated Press

While Brazil, Argentina and Germany may be bigger favorites to win the 2014 World Cup, Spain has no reason not to be confident heading into the tournament.

The team won the World Cup in 2010 and was the European Champion in 2008 and 2012, entering this year's World Cup as the highest-ranked team in the FIFA World Ranking.

Spain is a 20-33 favorite over Netherlands, Chile and Australia to win Group B.

Spain's has excellent depth on defense and in a midfield led by Xavi and Andres Iniesta. A hamstring injury to Diego Costa is a legitimate concern, but the star striker was included in the 23-man squad as the team is willing to gamble that he will be fit enough to contribute at a high level in Brazil.

Spain's depth, talent and experience make this team one of the most dangerous ones in the tournament, as evidenced by the 6-1 odds on Spain to win the World Cup. They also rank fourth in the prop for the highest-scoring team at World Cup 2014.

One of the teams hoping to spoil Spain's quest for a second straight World Cup and to get some revenge for last year is the Netherlands. The Dutch finished runner-up to Spain in last year's World Cup final.

There is no shortage of electrifying offensive talent on the Dutch side with Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder all in the mix up front. But when it comes to defense and goalkeeping, Netherlands is relying on a shaky and unproven group that will need to step up big for the team to make a run toward this year's World Cup.

Netherlands is going off at 3-1 to win Group B.

Chile (4-1 to win Group B) is a somewhat popular sleeper pick to win this group. Initially written off after a bad start in qualifiers, Chile brought in Jorge Sampaoli to coach the team, and the results have been outstanding.

Fueled by a pressing, uptempo style, Chile now plays a game that can fluster opponents with speed and aggression. Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal are the stars of the offense, and should give the rest of the group plenty to handle in the group stage.

Australia (66-1), affectionately known as the Socceroos, appears to be in over their head in this tough group. The lowest-ranked team in the entire tournament, Australia will need incredible efforts from captain Mile Jedinak and goalkeeper Tim Cahill to steal a game from one of these three teams.

Or perhaps more realistically, to try to steal a draw.


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