Looking for value among the World Cup long shots

The 2014 World Cup will begin in Brazil in mid June and the excitement is starting to ramp up among not only soccer fans but betting enthusiasts as well.  The World Cup is well known as the biggest sporting event on the planet so it’s not a big surprise that it’s also the biggest betting event as well.  Given the worldwide interest in watching and betting on World Cup soccer its impossible to get a completely accurate figure about how much money is wagering during the tournament.  Considering that 3 billion pounds was bet at UK bookmakers during the 2010 World Cup—and keeping in mind that this is just the United Kingdom—the worldwide betting handle is astronomical.

Even if you haven’t paid much attention to World Cup betting, the favorites to win the 2014 tournament won’t be a shock—host country Brazil is the favorite followed by Germany, Spain and Argentina.  There’s a good chance that one or more of these teams will be in the mix for the victory but as every successful sports bettor knows longterm profits are all about finding value.  With all four of these teams at single digit odds a win won’t give you much return on your investment.

So what about the World Cup longshots?   Are there any teams available at higher prices that have a chance to win the tournament?   Finding value in the World Cup futures betting isn’t easy and to understand that you just need to look at a list of previous winners.  The previous roster of winners is dominated by familiar names.  There have been 19 previous World Cup tournaments and Brazil, Italy and Germany have combined to win 12 of these.

Even the World Cup runners up offer little in the way of surprises.  The four teams that have made the finals and not won a World Cup are the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic),  Hungary and Sweden.   With the exception of the Netherlands who have enjoyed recent success none of the other three teams have made the finals since 1962.

For that reason there’s little opportunity in the bigger longshots in World Cup play.  Simply put, there are a few top level teams that will be contending for the championship and the chances of a lower tier team even advancing to the finals are negligible.  That being said, there might be some good value in the 20/1 to 30/1 range—teams like France (25/1), Italy (28/1) and Portugal (30/1) are all available in this price range.

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