The hopes of many a nation will be dashed at the first hurdle in the 2014 Fifa World Cup, the dreaded group stages. Here, we often see favourites go out and outsiders finding themselves in the knock-out stages. But picking the outsiders can be difficult, and so we present this guide to the betting odds for those who fancy a flutter.
Who are favourites to qualify from the groups in the 2014 Fifa World Cup?
A look at the betting odds for teams to qualify from the group stages in the 2014 Fifa World Cup.
The action is about to start in the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil, and many will supplement their enjoyment with a little flutter. Here we give a guide to the betting odds available in each group. The top two in each group qualify for the knockout stage.
Group A: Brazil, Cameroon, Croatia and Mexico
Not surprisingly, hosts Brazil are massively odds-on favourites to qualify from Group A, with some bookmakers quoting as low as 1/50 though 1/20 is available. Many have gone for evens for Croatia to join them in the next round but 6/5 is available. The best on offer for Mexico is 11/8 and Cameroon are the outsiders with odds of 4/1 or 5/1.
Group B: Australia, Chile, Netherlands and Spain
World Cup holders Spain find themselves up against the Netherlands, the beaten finalists in 2010, and both teams are odds-on to qualify with Spain favourites at odds from 1/8 to 1/5 and Netherlands second favourites with odds from 8/13 to 8/11. The toughness of this group is shown with Chile also odds-on at about 5/6 or 19/20. The outsiders are Australia with odds from 9/1 to 12/1.
Group C: Columbia, Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan
Columbia are odds-on favourites to qualify with most going for 1/4 though 3/10 is available. It is a tight pick between Ivory Coast and Japan with both around evens and even Greece is given a chance with odds of about 2/1.
Group D: Costa Rica, England, Italy and Uruguay
This group is a tough call with three odds-on teams and not much to choose between them. Italy are narrow favourites at 4/9 followed by England and Uruguay both at around 4/7. Costa Rica are likely to lose all three matches against such opposition and that is reflected in their odds of 10/1 to qualify.
Group E: Ecuador, France, Honduras and Switzerland
The two European teams look likely to go through with France favourites at 1/5 followed by Switzerland at 2/3. Ecuador are given a chance with most bookies going for evens and Honduras are the outsiders at 7/1.
Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria
If Argentina fail to win this group, it would be one of the biggest upsets ever; it is hard to see how they will drop a point, and that’s reflected in odds from 1/50 to 1/20 to qualify. The bookmakers fancy Bosnia-Herzegovina to join them in the next round with 11/13 the best on offer. Most have gone for 5/4 for Nigeria to qualify, but 13/9 is available. And if you fancy Iran to pull of an upset, 6/1 or even 13/2 can be got.
Group G: Germany, Ghana, Portugal and USA
A European top two is fancied by the bookies with Germany at 1/8 to 1/6 and Portugal at 1/2. Ghana is rated at 3/1 and, surprisingly, the USA are the outsides with 10/3 the best available, and that could be worth a flutter.
Group H: Algeria, Belgium, Russia and South Korea
Some fancy Belgium as outsiders to be surprise overall winners this year and that is shown with odds of 1/8 to 1/4 to qualify. Russia are also odds on at 1/2, which seems a little harsh given the group also contains South Korea, odds for which range from 6/4 to 24/13. Algeria are the outsiders at 11/2.
The draw for the Round of 16
The groups are paired for the Round of 16, with the winners of A playing the runners-up of B and the winners of B playing the runners-up of A. Similarly, groups C and D are paired as are groups E and F and groups G and H.
Favourites to win the World Cup
Brazil are favourites to win the tournament on their home soil with 3/1 the best available. Argentina are listed at around 9/2 with Germany and Spain the favourites from Europe, both at around 6/1. Belgium could be worth a gamble, but shop around as odds vary wildly from 14/1 to 22/1. France and Italy are both in the 25/1 range with England and Portugal slightly further out at 28/1, along with Uruguay, Netherlands and Columbia.
If you want to waste your money, you can get odds of 4000/1 for both Costa Rica and Honduras and 3000/1 for Iran. Algeria and Australia are both at 2500/1 and Cameroon at 1000/1. However, if you really want to go for an outsider, South Korea at 500/1 doesn’t look bad.