World Cup Betting Tips
by Trevor Whenham - 4/22/2010
Get more World Cup betting information including betting bonuses, World Cup odds and our famous World Cup picks, which in 2006 earned $100 bettors over ten times their initial investment. ($100 bettors earned $1,820 click here for details)
It's finally almost here - after what has seemed like endless waiting, the World Cup is now less than two months away. Whether you are a die-hard soccer fan or not, the tournament is a great betting opportunity - the best of the summer. The chance to profit from this tournament only comes around once every four years, so you need to be prepared to make sure that you don't miss your chance. If you aren't feeling ready for the tournament now, here are five things you can do to get ready to cash some winning World Cup betting tickets:
Start with the teams - It goes without saying, but the first thing you need to do is make yourselves familiar with the teams. There are 32 teams in the tournament, and many of them won't be particularly familiar to you. If you don't become familiar with all of the teams in the tournaments then it can be too easy to assume that the team you know is going to beat the team you don't know - even if that's not the case. You don't have to become experts in the inner workings of every team, but it is a very good idea to get to know which teams are involved, which ones are real contenders, and which ones are just happy to be there.
Look at the groups - Once you are familiar with the teams, the next step is to get to know the groups that they are playing in. The 32 teams are split into eight groups of four teams, and each team in each group plays all of the other teams in the group in the first round of the tournament. The groups are basically randomly assigned, though there are some restrictions to spread out the power. The top two teams in each group advance to the second round, and the other two teams go home. Obviously, then, the group a team is assigned to has a whole lot to do with their chances of success. An average team can look very good in a weak group, and a very good team can be in trouble if they are playing against other strong teams. For example, Group G, this year's so called World Cup Group of Death, has three very good teams - Brazil, Ivory Coast, and Portugal - and only two of those teams are going to be able to move on. That makes those teams - especially Ivory Coast and Portugal - harder to trust than they would be in an easy group. On the other hand, Group B sees one good team, Argentina, facing off against three outclassed teams, so Argentina should definitely be able to move on.
Get to know the ones to know - The next step is to learn which teams are viewed as legitimate contenders - either to win it all or to advance out of the first round - and get to know more about them. One easy way to identify the contenders is through the World Cup futures odds. There are 10 teams below 50/1 in the odds, so that would be a good starting spot. For these teams you'll want to do some research to get to know their strengths and weaknesses, their best players, key injuries that could be an issue, the coach and his accomplishments, the types of teams that they do well against, and the types that they have struggled against. The more you know about the teams, the more informed your choices will be about the team, and the better your chances for success.
Look back to look forward - The best way to get a sense of how the top teams are going to fare is to look at how they have been doing in recent games - past form as an indicator of future form. You can look both at how they played during the World Cup qualification process and how they have done in friendlies since. Whether they win or lose the games is one issue to consider, but more important - especially in the friendlies - is which players played, the style of play they embraced, and whether they were able to set the tone and control the pace of play. You can also look at the star players on the teams and how they have been doing in the leagues they play in when they aren't on their national teams.
Predict the future - Once you are comfortable with the teams, the groups, and who the serious contenders are, the final step is to put it all together. What I like to do at this point is to look at every game that is going to be played, predict a winner, and then see how that all turns out. Once you have picked all the winners in group play you can set up the matchups in the elimination round, and play it out like you would a NCAA bracket. Obviously you aren't going to blindly follow these World Cup predictions for your bets throughout the tournament, but by tracing out the World Cup bracket you have a better sense of what is going to happen - a starting point for the handicapping as the games are played. Doing it this way means that you aren't starting for scratch when every game is played because you have already thought about the games once.
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