The greatest football spectacle on earth begins today in Rio De Janeiro and I am sure most of us cannot wait for the action to begin. The opportunity to see the best players in the world competing against each other to win footballs greatest prize over the next month will be a hugely enjoyable football extravaganza.
Although we are in the process of developing the FTS site ready for next season and making some big changes, I have had permission form the developer to be able to do some World Cup Blogs. I will cover FTS developments at a later date when the site is complete, these posts will purely focus on the World Cup.
I expect you have been inundated with emails for tips, services offering their world cup insights for a few quid.
I will share my views each day, recap on games I get to watch and post some advice, which is purely that – advice!. It is a World Cup, international form is hard to assess and value is hard to find. People claiming unbeatable angles against the bookies in World Cups are mainly wronguns. That said there will be some value among the way and I will be treating it purely as some fun bets for interest through the tournament so do not hang your hat on anything in these posts over the next month.
The one area that you can utilise is the wealth of bonuses as bookmakers compete for your business. I have already seen a load of offers and whilst not my area of expertise those of you used to bonus bagging as it is called could do well to take half an hour each morning to see what is on offer and grab some risk free money.
So 32 teams will do battle starting with the opener tonight as Croatia take on hosts Brazil.
We can rule out a vast majority of countries from the outright winner market without being any sort of genius. Quite simply an outright shock is not going to happen. The South American dominance on their own continent is a factor although I believe this is now not as strong as it was in previous South American World Cups with the game being so global now and many of these players based full time in Europe. That said, I do feel the likely winner will come from Brazil or Argentina.
No doubt we will have a national pride and belief in our England side and it does look a refreshing side, with some young talent and without the ridiculous expectation of a win, England won’t win it simple! A quarter final place would be a good achievement and anything beyond that exceptional.
My approach is that there is no real value for a betting point of view in the outright market. Backing both Brazil and Argentina offers no value. I have no confidence to pin my mast to either of them as a definite pick and even if I did at the prices it does not appeal to me. Of the Europeans I have Spain well ahead and the match bet against Germany looks interesting as I see Spain as a far better proposition then their German counterparts so that is one you may wish to consider.
So I am looking for teams that may progress and trade lower offering me profit or a free bet later in the tournament. I have 4 teams, 3 of which I am sure will be on many peoples shortlist and perhaps one shock selection. It is a World up after all and as I say you do not need to be a genius to list teams expected to be there towards the end.
Belgium at 26.0
Uruguay at 34.0
Chile at 50.0
Ecuador at 390
All those are current Betfair prices and a small bet on each has been placed as I say with a view to catch a nice trade. I will update on their progress as the tournament progresses.
Other Pre Tournament Bets I like so far are as follows (As I say purely my opinion so follow at peril, I am doing everything on Betfair and may trade any bet)
Netherlands to Qualify form Group B 1.77 – Bet to win my stake on Chile, I think Spain will go through but Chile are right in it, if Chile progress I lose Netherlands bet but have trading opps on Chile, if Netherlands qualify my Chile bet is sunk but covered by this bet.
Golden Boot Winner -Sergio Aguero at 14.5
Looking at tonights game I cannot see past Brazil in anyway. They have not been defeated in their opening WC group game since 1934 and I do not see that changing tonight. I think a lot is being made of the pressure, these are world class payers who feature on big stages and I expect them to get the job done in minimum fuss. Odds of 1-3 clearly make no appeal.
Brazil have the individual talent to unlock what I am sure will be a stubborn Croatia side. Aside tha,t the last 12-18 months has seen a terrific defence from Brazil who in the Confed Cup last last summer kept 6 clean sheets from 7.
Croatia are without their star striker Mandzukic further lessening their chances of an upset.
Under 2.5 goals is inferred favourite at 1.84 as 1-0 is the most popular opening game scoreline which does not appeal and even the CS market is skinny as people expect a low scoring affair. I will have a small fun bet on 2-0 for interest.
We have a glut of matches to come and I will post daily so we will get some better opportunities than tonight presents.
Enjoy the spectacle and Come On England!