The 2014 World Cup is finally here after much anticipation, taking place in one of the planet's hotbeds of football—the magnificent colour and passion of Brazil.
Devotees of the game will be reviewing the betting odds of the tournament on a daily basis to get the best prices on offer, whether it be to back the eventual winners, top goalscorer or a shock result.
Here we take a look at the latest prices ahead of the start of the competition and suggest some interesting tips for you to consider.
(All odds via Oddschecker.com.)
|Odds To Win 2014 World Cup|
The odds are starting to tighten up as punters and fans begin to place their bets on their favourites.
Argentina are now almost joint favourites to lift the famous trophy on Brazilian soil and are sitting in and around the 4-1 mark, marginally behind the host nation's quoted numbers.
Any value could soon be lost on Argentina should Brazil slip in the opening match of the tournament on Thursday night against Croatia, which would surely make Lionel Messi's team the outright favourites.
The two biggest movers in recent days have been Italy and Uruguay.
Both teams have shortened to 26-1 and 28-1, respectively, to win the competition as supporters' confidence in England fades in Group D.
The bookies believe only 13 nations have a realistic chance of winning the 2014 World Cup, with Switzerland all the way out at 132-1 heading up the rest of the field who sit even further below.
Best Bets And Tips
Double: Argentina Win/Lionel Messi Top Goalscorer (16-1)
When you consider that only a handful of nations ever truly contest a World Cup win every four years, the temptation of a double becomes interesting.
At present, you can get 16-1 on Lionel Messi finishing as the tournament's top scorer as Argentina advance to a glorious tournament victory.
Messi has been underwhelming at previous World Cups, but with a host of big names falling to injury after a tough season with their clubs, this could be the Barcelona wizard's time to shine.
BBC pundit Robbie Savage thinks Messi and company will go all the way this summer. The former Wales midfielder tweeted:
The last South American World Cup was held in Argentina in 1978 and it was the hosts that prevailed on that occasion.
Argentina could take advantage of the continental weather conditions and familiarities and pip Brazil to a victory in their own backyard, making this double a very realistic bet.
Neymar Top Goalscorer (12-1)
Neymar is the poster boy of the tournament and might just be the player that drives his country to World Cup success.
This tournament represents Neymar's opportunity to finally arrive. Yes, his transfer to Barcelona made waves in recent times and he has shown on the football pitch the magic he possesses in his boots. But now he has the chance to win a trophy and be immortalised for his own efforts.
Neymar is currently 12-1 to be the tournament's top goalscorer, and if he gets off to a quick start in Group A and Brazil journey deep into the knockout phase, the current price will start to look like a bargain.
Cristiano Ronaldo Player Of The Tournament (16-1)
Besides Messi, there is one player at this competition who could win the trophy on his own: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.
CR7 has suffered with minor injury in recent weeks, but this did not stop him from leading his club to Champions League glory, scoring a penalty in the final.
It is highly unlikely that Portugal will win the whole tournament given the competition offered by Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain, but a place in the last four is a possibility.
This could place Ronaldo very much in contention for the Player of the Tournament award, especially if he performs wonders in the group stages.
Ronaldo is rightfully the Ballon d'Or holder for his efforts over the past year and a stunning showing at the 2014 World Cup would cap off his perfect season.
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