The ‘Wait Until Next Year’ World Cup Preview and Betting Hell Special (Part Three)

by Steve

Finally, my odyssey of predictive punditry has come to an end. In no time at all we’ll see just how far off the mark I was with my tips and thoughts on the 2010 World Cup. But let’s not get carried away just yet, following my group predictions in Parts One and Two, here are my tips for the overall competition.

World Cup winners

It seems those in the know have narrowed this down to Brazil and Spain. I’m leaning towards the latter as I think, if anything, they have improved since Euro 2008 and look stronger than ever before. I do, however, think that Holland at 10-1 and Italy at 16-1 are not to be overlooked. While Holland generally play well before imploding, they could and should come close. Meanwhile 16-1 is a massive price for the World Cup holders. They may be unfancied, but weren’t they also in 2006?

Top scorer/Golden Boot

This is a hard one to get right, as it only takes five or six goals to win. So, an easy group, or an unlikely hat-trick can throw up some unlikely candidates. With that in mind, I’ve gone for two rank outsiders who, from what I’ve read and what I’ve seen, could well be there or thereabouts. Lucas Barrios is a 100-1 shot, but had a strong season for Dortmund, and is in a weak group. He could easily score a few. Meanwhile, Peter Crouch at 40-1 is worth an each-way bet, as while he is likely to start on the bench, he has a great international record, and is proven against the lesser nations. He could well fill his boots against Algeria and Slovenia.

Highest scoring team

I think this is my favourite betting market as there seems a lot of scope for one of the outsiders to win this – much like the goalscorer market, it only takes a game or two with plenty of goals to catapult an unlikely candidate to the top. So, I’m rooting for Mexico at 80-1, who have scored plenty in their build-up games, and Chile at 40-1, who favour attacking football and are prone to throwing caution to the wind.

Generally speaking, with the funny new ball, a few rank outsiders and some attacking teams, there should be goals! goals! goals! So, I’m having a bet on there being over 161.5 goals in the tournament.

Well, there you go! That’s how I see things going, and a month or so from now I’ll either be lording it up with my new-found riches, or eating a big slice of humble pie. Now, I know what my money is on!

For the sake of record, and for anyone interested, here is my betting ‘portfolio’, although it really doesn’t deserve such a high-falutin’ title…

Betting Portfolio

  • Spain to win the World Cup at 4-1 – 5pts
  • Holland to win the World Cup at 10-1 – 5pts
  • Italy to win the World Cup at 16-1 – 5pts
  • Lucas Barrios to win the Golden Boot at 100-1 – 5pts (it was a free bet, don’t worry!)
  • Peter Crouch to win the Golden Boot at 40-1 – 1pt each-way
  • Over 161.5 goals in the tournament at 5-6 – 5pts
  • France to fail to qualify from the group stage at 2-1 – 1pt
  • Mexico to win Group A at 3-1 – 1pt
  • USA to beat England at 13-2 – 1pt
  • Serbia to win Group D at 3-1 – 1pt
  • Denmark to qualify from Group E at 11-10 – 1pt
  • Holland and Denmark to draw at 11-4 – 1pt
  • Portugal to beat Brazil at 7-2 – 1pt
  • Chile to qualify from Group H at 4-6 – 1pt

Who do you think will win the World Cup? How about top scorer? Any top tips? What are you looking forward to the most? It is nearly upon us, people! I am VERY, VERY EXCITED!

Image from Shine 2010 via Flickr