World Cup Odds 2014: Big-Money Bets, Bold Predictions for Group Stage Fixtures

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World Cup Odds 2014: Big-Money Bets, Bold Predictions for Group Stage Fixtures
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The 2014 World Cup gets under way in Brazil on Thursday with the hosts taking on Croatia in Sao Paulo to kick off a month's worth of high quality football.

While no one really knows how things are going to pan out over the next four weeks, a look at the odds can give a pretty good idea of who's in with a chance and who's not.

Costa Rica's odds of 2500-1 to win the competition indicate they're probably not in with a chance, and putting any money on them would be a waste.

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Meanwhile, Brazil's odds as 11-4 favourites suggests they will probably go quite a long way, but returns if they win the trophy are not going to be massive.

However, in amongst it all, there are some decent bets to be made, especially in the group stages. In the early stages, anyone can cause an upset. Just look at Switzerland beating Spain in their first group game in 2010.

Read on for some big-money bets and bold predictions for the group stages of the 2014 World Cup.

 

Groups A-D

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Do not bet against Brazil winning every one of their group games. They are the hosts, hosts invariably do well. Also, Brazil are quite good at football.

However, Brazil and Croatia to finish first and second respectively at 3-2 looks like a pretty decent bet, considering Mexico only limped into the tournament and Cameroon simply lack the quality.

Group B is an absolute scorcher, including reigning champions Spain, beaten 2010 finalists Netherlands and dark horses Chile, with Australia the unlucky also-rans.

While incredibly short odds, 1-4 for the Socceroos to finish bottom is effectively a guarantee, though not worth it.

A better bet is the 17-4 that can be had for Holland to beat Spain in the group opener. The Dutch will be out for revenge for 2010 and have the likes of Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben in goalscoring form. 

Group C will be won by Colombia, their 20/21 odds to take the top spot implying as much.

Japan face Ivory Coast in their opener in this group, and, at 2/1 to win, are certainly worth a punt against an ageing Ivorian side who rarely perform well in major tournaments.

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Group D is a very tricky one to call, with Uruguay, England and Italy all in with a genuine shot of topping the standings after all the games have been played.

Costa Rica are 10-3 to claim a draw against the Three Lions in the group's last encounter, long odds indeed, considering England's invariably poor form at World Cups. See 2010's dire 0-0 draw with Algeria for proof.

 

Groups E-H

Jacques Brinon/Associated Press

The presence of France throws Group E into a haze of uncertainty when it comes to predicting its outcome. The mercurial Les Bleus are often horrendous but sometimes magnificent.

Hence, there are no certain bets when they are involved. However, 21-10 for Ecuador to beat Switzerland in the group's opening match is worth a shot.

Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

Argentina are all but a sure thing to take the top spot in Group F, they're 1-5 for a reason. However, evens for Bosnia-Herzegovina not to make it through to the knockout rounds is much more appealing.

Nigeria could be their downfall and should be backed at 9-4 to beat Safet Susic's side when they come head-to-head on June 21.

Group G is probably the most difficult in the whole tournament, made up of Germany, Ghana, Portugal and the United States.

Germany should top the group, they are 2-3 to do so, but Portugal could be an early casualty as main man Cristiano Ronaldo is only now returning to full fitness.

The US are 11-4 to get a draw against the Portuguese and are no pushover, as demonstrated when they won their group in the last World Cup in 2010.

Last but not least, Belgium are being touted as nailed on to win Group H. However, a vast lack of World Cup experience in their admittedly very talented team could be a problem.

At 12-5, Russia look like a very decent bet to top the final group and are also a very generous 5-2 to beat Belgium when the two sides meet on June 22.

Things do not always go to plan in the group stages. Teams are nervous, they fall out, they sometimes just don't perform. 

The unpredictable nature of the group stages mean there are decent bets to be had everywhere, it's just a matter of finding them.

 

All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com

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