World Cup Betting Trends for Semifinals
by Trevor Whenham - 7/6/2010
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As we get ready for the two semifinal matches at the World Cup, here’s a look at some of the betting trends that have emerged among the four remaining teams:
Totals - The total in these two games is set at 2.5, and that’s where the large majority of the games have been throughout the tournament. When Germany decides to go ‘over’ they take responsibility for it by themselves - they have scored four goals in an incredible three different games. You want to be careful in assuming that they will automatically explode offensively, though - they have been on both sides of 1-0 results this tournament as well. Netherlands has also gone ‘over’ the total three times, though it has been in a 2-1 win each time. Uruguay also has a 3-2 record against the total, but they have gone ‘under’ more times than ‘over’. Spain has been the star in terms of totals - they have gone ‘under’ in four of their five games.
Going for the draw - The semifinals obviously won’t end in a draw, but they can from a betting perspective - the outcome of draw bets are determined after regulation time and injury time. Interestingly, despite the fact that there were 14 draws in the round robin and three more betting draws so far in the elimination rounds, Uruguay is the only team that has had a draw so far. They have had two. Netherlands hasn’t lost a game yet, and both Germany and Spain lost in regulation time.
Multiple goal wins - You can get some fat odds if you are willing to bet that your favored team is going to win by multiple goals. The explosive Germans have been the best bet so far on this front - they have won by three goals once and four goals twice. Despite being the only team in the tournament to win all five games, the Dutch have only won by multiple goals once in their opener against Denmark. Spain has also only won once by a wider than necessary margin - a 2-0 win over Honduras. The same goes for Uruguay - their only excessive win was when they rudely beat up on their hosts 3-0.
Multi-goal games - A team can be particularly dangerous when one of their players is in top form and scores more than once. Uruguay has had two players score twice in a game, and have won both games. One of the multi-goal scorers won’t be doing it again, though - Luis Suarez received a red card in the quarterfinals and is serving a suspension. The story is the same for Germany - they have had two players score two goals in a game, they won both games, and one - Thomas Muller - will be sitting out due to two yellow cards. The Dutch have had one multi-goal performance - Wesley Sneijder scored both goals in the comeback win over Brazil. Spain has also had one multi-goal performance. It goes without saying that it was by David Villa because he has scored all but one of Spain’s six goals.
Scoring first - Some teams need to score first to get into a game, while others are fine with coming from behind. The Dutch have scored first in all but one game, but that one game was their stunning comeback against Brazil, so they are obviously also okay with coming from behind. Uruguay has scored first three times, and played France to a scoreless draw. Ghana scored first in the quarterfinals, but they fought back to tie it up and win in penalty kicks, so Uruguay is fine with the comeback as well. Spain has scored first in every game that they have won, and lost the only game in which the other team got the jump. Germany also lost the only game in which they didn’t score the first goal.
Familiar surroundings - All four of these teams are playing a long way from home, so there is obviously no home field advantage. Teams could have an edge if they are familiar with the field they are in, though, or if one team has been more successful than the other on the field. The Netherlands and Uruguay game is being played in Cape Town. Both teams have played on the field once, so there is no edge. Netherlands beat Cameroon 2-1 while Uruguay and France tied 0-0. Germany and Spain square off in Durban. That’s the site of a game for each team, though Germany will have much better memories - Germany beat Australia 4-0, while Spain lost 1-0 to Switzerland.
Early versus late games - Both of these games will be played at 2:30 p.m. ET, which is 8:30 pm in South Africa. Spain has played all but one of their games at this time - their loss came at the earlier 4 p.m. start time, which is 10 a.m. ET. Uruguay doesn’t seem to have a preference - they have won both afternoon games, and have two wins and a draw in night games. The Dutch have played all over the clock - they won two with 1:30 p.m. start times (7:30 a.m. ET), two 10 a.m. ET games, and on 2:30 p.m. ET game. Time clearly doesn’t bother them. The Germans don’t seem to be early starters - their loss came at 7:30 a.m. ET, while they have won twice in each of the two later time slots.
Geographical origin of opponents - Germany and Spain have each played two European opponents, and each have a 1-1 record. The loser of this one isn’t going to be happy with winding up sub-.500 against their home continent. Netherlands has only played one South American squad, but it obviously went well - they beat Brazil in the quarterfinals. Uruguay has managed to avoid all but one European squads so far - they played France to a listless, awful draw on the opening day of the tournament.
Head-to-head - Germany and Spain have previously met three times in the World Cup, and the Germans have the clear edge - they have won twice and played to a draw once. Spain has come out on top most recently in a big game, though - they beat Germany in the finals to win Euro 2008. Netherlands and Uruguay have only met once in World Cup play, and it’s hard to draw much of a conclusion from it - Netherlands won 2-0 in 1974. That might be a good omen for the Dutch - they made the finals that year.
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