Coming into the penultimate phase of this summer's World Cup, a bounty of variables will affect the odds regarding those being eyed for top honours in Brazil.
Injuries, suspensions and the general transformation of certain teams as the tournament has progressed are all factors in just which sides are looked upon as favourites to take home the biggest prize in the sport.
Brazil, Argentina, Germany and the Netherlands are each in with a shout of triumphing in South America, with a breakdown of the most recent odds and semi-final predictions detailed ahead.
All World Cup odds are provided by OddsShark.com.
Brazil vs. Germany
No one man is an island, but Brazil's reaction to the news that Neymar will miss Tuesday's semi-final against Germany might have you believe otherwise.
The Barcelona prodigy will undoubtedly be a big miss for Luiz Felipe Scolari, but in the interest of looking toward the future, Ben McAleer of WhoScored.com believes Willian should be the player taking his place this week:
At present, the Selecao are at odds of 3-2 to emerge as victors against the Germans, who are only slightly behind them in the stakes, pitched at 9-5.
Another big absence for Brazil will of course be Thiago Silva, however, with SportsCenter confirming that the team's appeal to see his suspension rescinded has been rejected, while Squawka add who will be taking the captain's armband:
It promises to be a fluid and open affair, one that, unlike a mountain of other ties during the knockout stages, may not have the legs necessary to see extra time.
But with one major absence each in defence and attack, Brazil may be frustrated by the rigid, disciplined approach of Joachim Low's setup, who have conceded during normal time in just one of their five matches thus far (Ghana).
Prediction: Brazil 1-3 Germany
Netherlands vs. Argentina
In a duet of fixtures that truly have the means to go in either direction, calling a winner between the Netherlands and Argentina is an incredibly difficult task.
That being said, it's Alejandro Sabella's men who have been installed as secure favourites for Wednesday's tie at odds of 7-5, despite the injury issues surrounding Angel di Maria, as confirmed by SportsCenter:
The bookmakers evidently feel that the South Americans may have an edge in terms of climate, and rightfully so, as the Oranje lie in the 2-1 underdogs role.
History would dictate that either of these teams has the capacity to feature in the Maracana finale, with Betting Expert depicting just how confident these organisations have been in their World Cup final endeavours over the decades:
Another interesting statistic, pointed out by OptaJohan, tells us that even Lionel Messi might have a hard time breaking down the Netherlands, however, something of a bogey side for the Albiceleste:
In the end, conditioning may decide such percentages, but the fact that the Dutch played until penalties in their most recent outing against Costa Rica could still have some effect on parts of Louis van Gaal's line-up.
If Costa Rica showed the capacity to shut out the Oranje attack for great periods, Sabella will also feel his side are capable of doing so considering Argentina are yet to concede in the knockout phase.
The Netherlands will be the most daunting attacking threat they've faced thus far, but should those key Dutch figures, the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie, be contained, a dynamic Argentinian outfit has the potential to make it to Rio.
Prediction: Netherlands 1-2 Argentina AET
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