After this evening’s World Cup draw, hosts and record winners Brazil remain 3/1 favourites with bet365 to win the tournament next summer.
The hosts, automatically drawn as the first seed in Group A kickoff the tournament against Croatia on Thursday 12 June.
Like Croatia, Mexico qualified for the World Cup through the playoffs, they too are in Group A, as are Cameroon, who coming through the African qualifying section automatically had to come through a playoff match to qualify.
Argentina, my personal favourites at this point and for some time have seen their odds drop to 9/2 second favourites after being drawn in Group F along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria. Alejandro Sabella’s side could have a comfortable journey through to the quarter-finals before then playing the runners up from Group H; between Germany, Portugal, Ghana and USA.
Germany are the third favourites but three matches on the north east coast in the group stage which the European coaches feared may be a disadvantage to Joachim Löw’s side. In normal circumstances I’d expect them to win the group comfortably.
Don’t rule out Spain, despite an ageing squad and unconvincing performances in the Confederations Cup in Brazil this past summer. Their squad still plays at the top level and they have a number of top youngsters coming through. Vicente del Bosque’s side open with the Netherlands before playing Chile and Australia. With the top 2 in this group playing the top 2 in Group A and with Brazil favourites to win this, Spain will be wanting to win the group instead of finishing runners-up. The Netherlands did eliminate Brazil 4 years ago in South Africa but the two nations have gone in different directions since then.
Outsiders Belgium and Colombia should be pleased with their draws whilst France will be delighted with theirs after struggling to qualify for the tournament in the first place.
England handed one of the toughest groups possible. Opening with Italy, then facing Uruguay before finishing with Costa Rica. Right now I’m not expecting Roy Hodgson’s side to make it out of the group. With this group, Costa Rica’s odds have dropped to 1500/1 with Bet365 – the 32nd favourites in the tournament – if you know your football betting, you’ll know the bookmakers odds suggest this is the “group of death” in the tournament.
I think only Netherlands and Croatia have it tougher of the nations that came out of the same pot as England.
The draw means a lot in terms of odds. We’ve seen Argentina’s drop with their comfortable draw, whilst only 5 nations have shorter odds than France after they face Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras. Didier Deschamps’ side are widely expected to win this group and provided there are no performances and bust ups like in 2010 progressing from the group really should not be a problem for Les Bleus.
France aren’t amongst my picks for the tournament but if you like to bet on football I wouldn’t look past the top four favourites in this one, and the two South Americans look very strong choices currently.