by Jordan Adams - 05/24/2006
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By now you know Brazil is the favorite to win Germany's 2006 World Cup. You may also be aware of the depth of teams that can be extremely competitive and vie for FIFA gold. With that information intact, you can now place World Cup futures bets for several new props at Bodog: Which group will produce the winner of the World Cup and which teams will meet in the Final?
It's debatable as to which group is the most difficult. Brazil sits atop Group F and while this foursome isn't the deepest, it is easy to envision the winner coming from this grouping. Brazil is the favorite of the tournament, thus Group F is the favorite to produce a winner in the World Cup. The odds are exactly those of Brazil's individual team odds at 5/2.
The rest of the groups aren't that dissimilar in odds. Group C (4/1) holds two of the top nine teams in the world with the Netherlands and Argentina. Group B (5/1) has perennial power England loaded and ready for a run. Group A (6/1) contains host Germany, a top five contender. Group E (7/1) boasts three teams capable of advancing in Italy, Czech Republic, and the United States. Groups G and H (10/1) have only one true contender in France and Spain, respectively. Finally, Group D (11/1) has Mexico and Portugal atop but none capable of winning gold. These odds are pretty clear-cut. If you're sold on a team, its group is the obvious bet.
When talking about the potential match-ups for the World Cup Final on July 9, now some serious thought must be applied. For instance, the best odds fall at 10/1 on two possible match-ups: Italy vs. Brazil and Germany vs. Brazil. Consider this. In order for any of these two match-ups to occur, both teams would have to win their group. While that may not seem too difficult for Brazil or Germany, Italy, if finishing as runners-up, would play Brazil in the round of sixteen. If Germany, for some reason, advanced as runners-up they would run into Brazil before the final if things played out that way. The same philosophy applies to potential match-ups Argentina vs. Brazil (12/1) and Netherlands vs. Brazil (16/1).
Another match-up listed as 10/1 odds takes different form. England vs. Brazil could not occur if both teams won their group stages. One of the two would need to finish as runners-up so that they would be placed on opposite sides of the elimination bracket and have a chance to meet if they both won out. Consider that, despite this being a match-up with the best odds, both teams are highly favored to win their groups. Anyone still feel ambitious enough to take this option?
If you feel Brazil is not going to repeat, or at least fail to get to the Final, then several possibilities might suit you with seemingly better odds. Germany vs. England (16/1) and England vs. France (26/1) would be ideal if both won their group and kept on winning until they met in the Final.
There could be some tricky match-ups that could manifest depending upon which nation wins in groups that do not have sure-fire favorites. Argentina/Netherlands and Italy/Czech Republic both are favored to advance in Groups C and E, respectively. Now who wins the group and who finishes as runners-up will dictate the further rounds. Whichever scenario plays out, here are several match-ups that could play out with a bit of risk with odds: England vs. Italy (20/1), Germany vs. Argentina (35/1), England vs. Netherlands (35/1), Germany vs. Italy (35/1), and Italy vs. France (40/1).
The possibilities are even greater than previous described. Spain, Czech Republic, and Portugal haven't even been mentioned, but that's purely because of personal preference. Even bigger risks could be taken if you think a major upset could occur and a dark horse will arise. The 2006 World Cup will be extremely competitive. Whether parity takes place in Germany is up for debate. That's the beauty of these proposition wagres. It's all decided by one's own personal choice. As the knight in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" said about selecting the cup for the Holy Grail: "choose wisely."