World Cup South Africa Predictions: Interesting Props
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 6/2/2010
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Leave it to the world’s biggest sporting event to have sportsbooks rolling out just about any betting prop someone could think to wager on. Only the Super Bowl rivals the World Cup in sheer amount of ways to bet on games, players, penalties and cumulative stats. Here are three of the more interesting World Cup prop bets and some World Cup predictions for South Africa. All odds are from Sports Interaction.
When Will the Fastest Goal be Scored?
‘Over/Under’ 1 minute 40 seconds
The fastest goal ever scored in the World Cup was 11 seconds in when Hakan Sukur took advantage of a South Korea defensive mishap and struck in the 2002 World Cup third-place game.
The fastest goal ever in a qualifying match was eight seconds in and the fastest goal ever in a World Cup Final was 90 seconds in. So quick goals do happen. In the 2006 World Cup 16 goals were scored in the first 10 minutes of action over the 64-game tournament.
Only one of those goals, however, came under 1 minute and 40 seconds. That was when Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan stunned the Czech Republic with an early strike just 70 seconds into the game. The beauty of a prop bet like this is a bettor taking ‘over’ only needed that one goal.
Many people associate fast goals with bad teams rather than good teams. In truth these fast goals are true aberrations of soccer and can happen against anyone. When Sukur struck for Turkey in the fastest World Cup goal ever, it was against South Korea on its home field in a third-place game meaning South Korea was good enough to reach the semifinals. The Ghana goal in the 2006 World Cup came against Czech Republic, who was ranked No. 2 in the world at the time, and it came against the top goalie in the world at the time in Petr Cech. So lightning-quick goals can happen with world-class talent on the pitch and, of course, it can also happen in mismatched games.
This World Cup has plenty of teams capable of an early strike with the firepower from teams like Spain, Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast and England. And it has more lower-level teams than usual capable of defensive lapses like North Korea, New Zealand, Honduras and Algeria.
With 64 games total in this World Cup the ‘under’ gives bettors plenty of options for a quick payday.
When Will the Fastest Red Card be Issued?
‘Over/Under’ 23 minutes 30 seconds
Like most exotic prop bets like this one, handicapping can be tough. But there is some research that can be done on fastest issue of a red card. The fastest red card ever issued was in 1986 when Jose Batista of Uruguay was sent off 56 seconds in.
There are 32 teams in the World Cup and 732 total players on World Cup rosters, but something about the recent retirement of Zinedine Zidane and Cafu in 2006 makes the ‘over’ look like a good bet here. France’s Zidane owns the World Cup record for most cards all time and Cafu, from Brazil, holds the record for most cautions all time. Both retired after the 2006 World Cup. Even more importantly were the amount of red cards in the 2006 World Cup. A record 28 red cards were issued in 2006. A lot of discussion was made about it and those talks have likely filtered down to the officials who will be more judicious with handing out cards, especially less than 23 minutes and 30 seconds into the game.
Will there be a Hat Trick?
A hat trick, where one player scores at least three goals, may seem like a tough and rare achievement, especially on the World Cup stage, but in World Cup history 48 hat tricks have been scored. Only one World Cup of the 18 editions has failed to produce a hat trick. The only one where no goal scorer topped three goals was four years in Germany.
With the track record of hat tricks in World Cups, -400 does not seem like that steep of a price to pay. But a closer look at recent World Cups shows just how rare these hat tricks are becoming. To lay -400 odds a bettor would hope to be wagering on a common occurrence. But the last time hat tricks were common was in the eighties were four hat tricks occurred in the 1982 World Cup and the 1986 World Cup.
Since then there have been two hat-tricks in 1990, two in 1994, one in 1998, two in 2002 and none four years ago in Germany. Consider the fact that 64 games are being played and an average of 1.4 hat-tricks a World Cup over the last five World Cups is hardly worth laying -400. The play here is ‘no’ hat trick.
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