by Trevor Whenham - 06/02/2006
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)
If you can't get enough action on the world's biggest soccer tournament to keep you happy just from betting on the winner of each game and who you think will win the groups and the title, then what you need are World Cup props. By the time the tournament really gets rolling you will be able to lay prop bets on almost anything you can imagine, and a lot of things you could never think of. For now, though, Bodog offers several categories of interesting props that can help us find extra value for the teams we like. Here's a look:
Stage of Elimination - For many of the competitive (or less competitive) teams, you can bet on which round the team will end their run in. If, for example, you didn't like Japan's chances of making it out of the first round, you could make a few bucks by betting that the first round will mark their demise. If you are a believer in the power of Brazil, then you could profit by determining which teams are likely to face Brazil in the second round (one team in group E) and betting they will lose in round two. This bet will often be a way to get better odds on a team you like.
Total Points - To put this bet into horseracing terms, it's the "pick three". You are betting on the number of points that a team will finish the first round with. Teams get 3 points for a win, a point for a draw, and nothing for a loss. It's the pick three because you have to determine how you think the team will do in each of its three games, and then bet on the appropriate number of points. The odds are high enough that it is often possible to bet on more than one possible outcome for a team and still be profitable.
Top Goalscorer - For many teams you have the ability to bet on which player will score the most of their goals. Goals for the entire tournament count, not just the first round. This is a chance both to bet on your favorite player, or, in a case like Brazil, to try to extract more value from a team that isn't offering any value at all in their straight up odds. There's a chance for a great price here if you can pick a young or emerging player that will have a breakthrough tournament, as double digit odds aren't uncommon.
World Cup finalists - To go back to the horse racing terms, this bet is the quinella. It gives you the chance to bet on the two teams you think will be finalists. You don't have to choose who will win, so you are really getting two final outcomes. All of the outcomes pay at least 10/1. Again, if you're a huge Brazil fan, this gives you another way to try to extract some value. You could choose several teams to match up with Brazil and still get better odds than you will betting on Brazil to win it all straight up, and Brazil doesn't even have to win the final this way.
Winner and Top Goalscorer - This bet lets you combine your winner with the player on that team who will score the most goals to create a World Cup exacta. I keep using Brazil as an example only because it is the most obvious one. They are currently 11/5 to win the tournament. If you believe Brazil will win and you trust their offensive might, then you may want to combine a Brazil win with a goal scoring title for Ronaldo, Adriano or Ronhaldino. Those bets would pay 16/1, 20/1 or 25/1, respectively. The risk is obviously higher, but the payoff is much better than a straight up bet on Brazil.
Group to Produce Winner - As the name would suggest, this gives you a chance to bet on which group the winner will come from. Not to sound like a broken record, but there's an overlay that Brazil fans will want to jump on here. Brazil is 11/5 right now to win it all, but their group is at 5/2 to produce the winner. You can get better odds by betting on group F, and you get Croatia, Japan and Australia to boot.
Groups to Score Most Goals - This is a category I love. You are betting on which group will produce the most goals in the group stage. I like it so much because it's such an interesting puzzle. Predictably, group F is the favorite with Brazil in it. Other groups are just as interesting, though. Group B, with England and Paraguay, should pot a lot of goals, and Saudi Arabia has historically let in a lot of goals, so group H could be a high scorer. Everyone can have a different opinion about this one. That might not make it profitable, but it will definitely make it fun.
Continent of Winner - Europe is at 1/3 while Oceania is at 100/1. Turns out all continents aren't created equal.