The 2014 World Cup is one of the more highly-anticipated sporting events over the last quarter century thanks in large part to arguably the most
influential soccer country playing host. Brazil needs no excuse to party, but come this summer there will be an abundance of reasons to share joy in the
worldís game, with its best on display for the right to be crowned world champion.
Here we take a look at the favorites to raise the trophy in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil Odds to win 2014 World Cup
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World Cup Champion Odds: +300
The host with the most (chances to win). Locals canít deny it. Experts have been suggesting it. This is Brazilís tournament to lose. In 2006 and 2010, A SeleÁ„o
had dialed back expectations with footballers that simply didnít have enough to win on the worldís stage. The current team could be described as the
exact antithesis. With fully-blossomed superstar Neymar leading the charge, the hometown boys have a glorious chance to be crowned world champions on
home soil. All four times this tournament has been held in South America, the trophy was kept on the continent. Brazilís attempt to extend that streak
to five straight would mean their sixth World Cup win.
Argentina Odds to win 2014 World Cup with Picks and Predictions
World Cup Champion Odds: +500
Often overlooked because of their neighbors and fierce rivals to the north, Argentina will be a force in this tournament. You know Lionel Messi. Thatís a
given, but La Albiceleste have world-class skilled attackers in bulk, notably Manchester Cityís Sergio AgŁero and Napoliís Gonzalo Higuain.
However the main issue is never the talent. Itís the proper mix of youth and veteran leadership and the right chemistry that always seems to be missing
from this squad. Can they shake past failures and rise above to steal the thunder and limelight from Brazil as hosts? An Argentina-Brazil Final would be
ever so tasty.
Germany Odds to win 2014 World Cup
World Cup Champion Odds: +550
Germany have enjoyed as much recent success on the world stage as any other country not named Spain. Just consider these results: Third-place finishers as
hosts at the 2006 World Cup along with the runners-up spot at Euro 2008 and again a third-place finish at the 2010 World Cup. Germany not being able to win
Euro 2012 as one of the co-favorites perhaps lessens the favorite tag this time around. Without a doubt the Germans have as much talent as anyone and
perhaps even a chip on their shoulder to finally not be denied.
Spain Odds to win 2014 World Cup
World Cup Champion Odds: +700
The last four years have simply been the Golden Era of Spanish football. Spain finally broke its near 50-year title slump when they won Euro 2008. They
turned in quite an encore in South Africa as World Champions in 2010 only to do the treble as winners yet again at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. However
the argument is being made that Spain are near the end of this unmatchable run. Plus, the easiest way to sell Spain not winning is to acknowledge that no
European country has ever won a World Cup hosted in the Americas. Zero-for-seven. If any team can break that slump, itís indomitable Spain. But history is
not on their side.
Belgium Odds to win 2014 World Cup
World Cup Champion Odds: +1400
Can you be so underrated that youíre overrated? That may be the case with Belgium. This youthful, spry European footballing nation has been tipped on so
many occasions to be the dark horse of the tournament. Can you blame them when seeing the likes of their many talents plying their trade each week so
beautifully in the English Premier League? It is hard to fault the optimism. If nothing else you will see Belgium put on a show in Brazil as they are
extremely fun to watch. Intriguing if nothing else.
France Odds to win 2014 World Cup
World Cup Champion Odds: +2200
France are a team you must not sleep on. They arenít a sexy pick like Brazil or Argentina, and they donít possess the track record in recent tournaments
like Spain or Germany. However, the current collection of French players offers as versatile a group as there will be in Brazil. Juventus midfielder Paul
Pogba might just be the best young player in the world. He, along with striker Karim Benzema of Real Madrid and Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich, will have Les Blues firing on all cylinders amidst a renewed hope for the national team.
Italy Odds to win 2014 World Cup
World Cup Champion Odds: +2500
The Italians simply know how to win. While at face value the current team doesnít resemble the winning unit that won in Germany in í06, Italy is always up
for consideration. Mario Balotelli is known as much for his stunning efforts on the pitch as his controversial news off it. A wild card for sure, but if
you followed Euro 2012 and his famous two-goal effort to stun Germany in the semi-finals, then you know his play can single-handedly win Italy a match on
the big stage.
Colombia Odds to win 2014 World Cup
World Cup Champion Odds: +2500
All of Colombia was undoubtedly heartbroken at the news of talisman Radamel Falcao tearing his ACL last month during play for club side Monaco. Itís
ambitious to think he can recover in time. However, the chances of Colombia living up to expectations as a second dark horse of the tournament likely went
out the door when their star man injured his knee. But donít count out this well-balanced football country that can still boast the likes of Jackson
Martinez, James Rodriguez and Fredy Gaurin.
Strike Point Sports
has established themselves as one of the top soccer handicappers with their success on the big tournament stage. From the 2006 World Cup, Euro 2008, 2010
World Cup and Euro 2012, SPS earned $100 clients over $8,200 in profit from these four major events. This summerís World Cup is going to
be another moneymaking opportunity, and they are looking forward to their soccer selections
and another winning tournament.
Visit Docís Sports for coverage of the 2014 World Cup and more articles leading up to this summerís major soccer tournament.