World Cup betting is a favourite for recreational players who’ll line up patriotically behind their nation – a boon to bookmakers who exploit this blind faith with poor value odds. There are, however, some reliable trends and golden rules which may help bettors navigate through the minefield.
World Cup Betting Tips – Nationality of Winning Nation’s Coach
One of the most striking World Cup trends which covers all 18 events since the tournament was established back in 1930, is that the coach of the winning team has always been from that nation.
England have been heavily tipped after a flawless qualification campaign, and in Wayne Rooney, have one of the world’s best strikers. However, their coach is an Italian, Fabio Capello, so anyone who has great faith in such trends may give England a wide berth.
There are of course a few caveats with this rule. Firstly, employing coaches who aren’t natives has only been a feature of the last twenty years. Secondly, the most successful soccer nations have such a wide base of coaches to choose from that resorting to a foreign national – as in England’s case – hasn’t been necessary.
Another important point to note is that the World Cup isn’t the only major international soccer event. At the European Championships, which follows a similar format, Greece showed in the 2004 tournament that it is possible to succeed with foreign help. German, Otto Rehhagel, guided the Greeks to an unlikely success, the first foreign coach to do so. He has guided Greece to South Africa in 2010 where he will be looking to buck the trend again.
World Cup Betting Tips – Winner Usually Comes From Host Continent
Looking back at the previous 18 World Cups, on only two occasions has the winner come from a different continent to the host. In 1958 Brazil, inspired by a teenage Pele, won the first of their five titles in Sweden.
In 2002 Brazil won again, this time in South Korea/Japan, but this result is less relevant given that the hosts were the only Asian teams in the tournament, and realistically had little chance, though interestingly South Korea confounded all predictions by making it to the semi-finals.
The relevance of this trend for the World Cup 2010 is that it suggests that the six African nations should do well. Pinnacle Sports has odds on African Teams Progressing, with odds of 1.06* that an African team will make the knock-out stage; 1.465* the quarter-finals; 2.610* the semi-finals and 5.040* an African team will appear in the final. Another key point which has been missed is that Africa is a very diverse continent, with South Africa very different to say Nigeria or Cameroon.
World Cup Betting Tips – Defence More Important Than Attack
Many punters will study the 32 teams playing in the World Cup and try to identify which team has the best chance of scoring goals, naturally associating this with the best chance of overall success. This isn’t always the case, as illustrated by the fact the Top Scorer at the World Cup has come from the winning team in only three of the 18 tournaments to date.
In 2006 it was Italy’s defence that was pivotal with Gianluigi Buffon winning the Lev Yashin award for best goalkeeper, keeping five clean sheets from seven games, which included a 453 minutes stretch without conceding, and captain, Fabio Cannavaro – who plays in central defence – the runner-up in the Golden Ball award for the best player at the event.
World Cup Betting Tips – Other Key World Cup Trends
No team has successfully defended the World Cup since Brazil in 1962, so are Italy value with odds to win the World Cup of 15.00*? Only once in the last 21 Group games has the World Cup host lost, so South Africa may be a value bet on the Group A.
*Odds subject to change
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