World Cup Odds 2014: Updated Betting Lines and Picks for All Groups

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World Cup Odds 2014: Updated Betting Lines and Picks for All Groups
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is not a place where you should expect to see too many surprises. It will be a case of the usual suspects prevailing, even in some tough groups.

That pattern is reflected in most of the updated betting lines. But before delving into some of those numbers, here's a reminder of how each group looks ahead of the tournament:

Bleacher Report

If there is potential for a shock or two, it likely comes in Groups B and G. In the former, Chile could upset the established order between 2010 finalists Spain and the Netherlands, with the Dutch looking particularly vulnerable.

Ghana could pull off the biggest shock in the group stages, knocking one of Germany or Portugal out of the qualification mix in Group G. The Germans have injury worries, while Portugal hardly boasts the most dynamic overall squad.

Here are the current lines for each group, including the predicted winner, qualifiers and points estimation:

Group A Betting Lines
Team Winner To Finish 2nd Estimated Points
Brazil 1-4 11-2 7.51
Croatia 9 6-4 3.29
Mexico 11 9-5 3.60
Cameroon 33 6 2.15

Oddschecker.com and bsports.com

Brazil will top this group, but Croatia will make it more difficult than advertised. Niko Kovac's team has tremendous natural flair and attacking potential, courtesy of players such as Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic.

Mexico won't be easy opponents to overcome. But their remade team will find this one tournament too early to make an impact.

Group B Betting Lines
Team Winner To Finish 2nd Estimated Points
Spain 3-4 9-4 5.82
Netherlands 31-10 7-5 4.98
Chile 4 15-8 3.90
Australia 100 14 1.73

Oddschecker.com and bsports.com

Spain are still the team to beat, not only in Group B, but the tournament as a whole. The reigning champions are loaded with playmaking talent, courtesy of Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Cesc Fabregas.

The Netherlands should be effective, although manager Louis van Gaal might not have the full talent at his disposal to play his favoured attractive and expansive game.

Luis Hidalgo/Associated Press
Chile will pose a problem for the Netherlands in Group B.

Chile pose the biggest danger to any potential stumble from the Dutch. Alexis Sanchez is a lethal forward, possessing some of the craftiest movement in the game.

Group C Betting Lines
Team Winner To Finish 2nd Estimated Points
Colombia 1-2 13-5 5.47
Ivory Coast 4 23-10 3.21
Japan 9-2 11-4 3.44
Greece 8 3 4.20

Oddschecker.com an bsports.com

Despite missing star striker Radamel Falcao, Colombia still has enough quality strikers to dominate Group C. FC Porto star Jackson Martinez and Sevilla ace Carlos Bacca will cause defences plenty of problems.

Expect an intriguing battle for second between plucky Ivory Coast and Japan squads, filled with underrated talent. The African nation will be especially dangerous, provided its big players, such as Manchester City's Yaya Toure, deliver.

Group D Betting Lines
Team Winner To Finish 2nd Estimated Points
Italy 13-8 2-1 4.93
Uruguay 21-10 2-1 4.84
England 11-5 15-8 4.86
Costa Rica 50 12 1.84

Oddschecker and bsports.com

Italy should steadily seize control of this group, provided Cesare Prandelli's team shows a bit of forward-thinking ambition. That means players like Mario Balotelli, Lorenzo Insigne and Alessio Cerci all need to produce.

They should at least receive able support from Juventus midfield duo Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio.

Massimo Pinca/Associated Press
Juventus teammates Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo will be vital for Italy in Group D.

If the Italians slip, Uruguay will be ready to seize the initiative. Despite worrying over the fitness of outrageously gifted forward Luis Suarez, Uruguay can still call on Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan.

By contrast, a plodding England team is likely to be undone by a lack of dynamism up front. Manchester United attacker Wayne Rooney will be under too much pressure to carry the team.

Group E Betting Lines
Team Winner To Finish 2nd Estimated points
France 5-6 12-5 5.76
Switzerland 11-4 7-4 4.00
Ecuador 9-2 21-10 3.90
Honduras 33 9 2.66

Oddschecker and bsports.com

The French could be a real force in Brazil, thanks to a loaded squad, brimming with midfield talent. The likes of Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann make Didier Deschamps' team dangerous.

Staying in touch with France and ahead of tough outfits Ecuador and Honduras will be a tricky challenge for Switzerland. It's one that will require all the experience and guile of veteran coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.

He'll likely be counting the skill of players such as cerebral midfield general Gokhan Inler and pacey striker Josip Drmic. If they deliver, the Swiss should edge out some intense competition for second place.

Group F Betting Lines
Team Winner To Finish 2nd Estimated Points
Argentina 2-9 5 7.03
Bosnia and Herzegovina 15-2 13-10 3.62
Nigeria 12 21-10 3.26
Iran 50 13-2 2.52

Oddschecker.com and bsports.com

It would take a very brave fan to bet against Argentina wrapping up this group early on. The South American nation simply has too much quality in attack for its unfortunate Group F opponents.

If the fantastic quartet of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria click, the Argentines will not only cruise through this group, but maybe even reach the final.

The slog for second will be interesting. Bosnia and Herzegovina will hope towering striker Edin Dzeko is in prolific form.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Edin Dzeko will need to be at his best to help Bosnia progress.

Meanwhile, Nigeria will hope John Obi Mikel is more expressive than he often is for club side Chelsea. Mikel has been identified as the Super Eagles' vital player by The Guardian:

As hard as it may sound for Chelsea fans, Mikel John Obi was the creative force behind last year's Africa Cup of Nations triumph in South Africa. Having been hailed as the successor to Jay-Jay Okocha a decade ago, the 27-year-old had become used to being ridiculed in his homeland for an increasingly defensive approach. All has now been forgiven and – free from the constraints of José Mourinho's bus – Mikel's big moment may have arrived.

Group G Betting Lines
Team Winner To Finish 2nd Estimated Points
Germay 8-13 13-5 6.17
Portugal 11-4 13-10 4.82
Ghana 12 4 2.68
U.S.A 14 5 2.87

Oddschecker.com and bsports.com

Dubbed by some as the so-called "group of death," expect Germany to actually make light work of their competition. The recent ankle injury suffered by Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus is undoubtedly a blow, but the Germans still boast enough talent to saunter through.

Most of that talent lies in midfield, in the form of playmakers such as Mesut Ozil and Toni Kroos. If they combine well with forwards Lukas Podolski, Andre Schurrle and Thomas Mueller, Germany will be very dangerous.

Second place is where this group begins to look a little murky. Portugal will naturally be favoured, especially considering the presence of superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, both Ghana and the USA will prove to be stubborn opposition. The Ghanaians can count on powerful midfield runners such as Afriyie Acquah, Sulley Muntari and Kwadwo Asamoah.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Andre Ayew's flair and scoring potential will be crucial for Ghana in Group G.

That athletic trio will be ably supported by the creative instincts of Marseille's roaming winger, Andre Ayew. If there is an upset in this group stage, expect it to be Ghana pipping Portugal to second.

Group H Betting Lines
Team Winner To Finish 2nd Estimated Points
Belgium 4-5 12-5 6.33
Russia 5-2 8-5 4.32
South Korea 8 3 3.11
Algeria 25 11-2 2.60

Oddschecker.com and bsports.com

Belgium are strongly favoured to use their legion of English Premier League talent to flatten their Group H opponents. It's a task they should manage, even if some of their stars are a little overrated.

Having seen players such as Marouane Fellaini and Thomas Vermaelen stumble through this EPL season, it's difficult to imagine them suddenly turning on the magic in Brazil.

Expect Russia to join Belgium in the next stage, although coach Fabio Capello's team is not as exciting as previous squads.

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