The world’s most popular sport, soccer as it is called in the U.S. and football by the rest of the world is preparing for its worldwide tournament held every four years.
On June 12, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will kick off. The tournament consists of 32 of the best national teams in the sport and will conclude with the final on July 13.
Match 1 to start the tournament will be played on June 12 with Croatia taking on host Brazil in Sao Paolo. Currently Brazil is heavily favored in the match at -400, while Croatia is +1200 and a draw is +470, on Bovada and topbet.
Soccer has never been a top spectator sport in the U.S. due to not having timeouts. Television networks are reluctant to make it a fixture week in and week out because of a lack of advertising time they can offer potential advertisers.
Nevertheless, the United States National Team has done well of late under the tutelage of Jurgen Klinsmann.
The U.S. team starts it drive toward the coveted trophy as an underdog versus Ghana its long time nemesis. The U.S. does not play that match until June 16.
The Black Stars have knocked the United States out of the two straight World Cups. Ghana is favored at +155, while the U.S. is being offered for +190, while a draw is sitting on +220 on betonline and sportsbook.com.
Following the match against Ghana things will not get any easier as the U.S. must play both Germany and Portugal, where the U.S. will likely be even bigger underdogs.
Other matches of interest in the first set of matches include Spain versus the Netherlands, which is a matchup of the final in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in which Spain won. Spain is going off at -105 in this match.
In another big match to start the four round of competition will be Italy versus England. Italy is currently +155 and England +200 for their Saturday June 14 matchup.
Two regions of the world have dominated the sport’s top tournament, the UEFA, which is Europe, and CONMEBOL, which is South America.
Only one team outside of the UEFA and CONMEBOL has made it to the semifinals since the 1992 World Cup. That team was South Korea in 2002.
This year’s tournament is no different, as the two confederations dominate as the UEFA has 13 of 32 entrants in the World Cup. Fourteen of the teams in the current Top 50 FIFA World Rankings are in the UEFA confederation.
This season CONMEBOL will have 6 clubs in the World Cup, led by host Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador and Colombia.
The current top ten odds for the World Cup on Bovada, topbet, sportsbook.com and betonline line are:
1. Brazil 3 to 1
2. Argentina 4 to 1
3. Germany 5 to 1
4. Spain 13 to 2
5. Belgium 16 to 1
6. France 20 to 1
7. Italy 25 to 1
8. England 28 to 1
9. Portugal 28 to 1
10. Uruguay 28 to 1