The 2014 World Cup opens on Thursday with host nation Brazil pegged as 3/1 favorites to win a record sixth World Cup title and heavy 1/5 favorites to finish atop Group A.
Brazil are followed in Group A betting by Croatia at 8/1, Mexico at 9/1 and Cameroon at 25/1. Croatia and Mexico are neck-and-neck in props betting on which squads will advance to the round of 16. Croatia are an EVEN money bet to advance, while Mexico are 5/4.
Defending champions Spain are a 2/3 favorite to finish on top in Group B, but must first face a pair of tough opponents including the Netherlands, the squad that Spain defeated to win the 2010 title.
The Netherlands have odds of 3/1 in Group B betting, followed by Chile at 15/4 and longshot Australia at 66/1.
Leading the way in Group C with 20/21 odds is Colombia, who slipped three positions this month to No. 8 in FIFA’s world rankings. They are followed at 3/1 by Ivory Coast, who are also favored to be the top African squad at the World Cup.
Japan has odds of 4/1, while Greece, No. 12 in FIFA’s World Ranking, sit at a disappointing 7/1.
Group D is possibly the toughest group to pick and the odds reflect this parity. Italy are an 8/5 favorite, followed by Uruguay at 9/5. England, seeking their first World Cup title since 1966, have odds of 9/4, while Costa Rica trails the pack at 50/1.
Top spot is also up for grabs in Group E, where France are a 4/5 favorite. The French are seeking to make up for a terrible performance in 2010, but face a real threat from Switzerland, who sport 5/2 odds. Ecuador is not far off at 4/1, while Honduras are the Group E underdogs at 28/1.
Argentina is a heavy 1/5 favorite to finish first in Group F. The next best bet are World Cup debutantes Bosnia and Herzegovina at 6/1, followed by Nigeria at 10/1 and tournament longshot Iran, who trail at 40/1.
Considered to be this World Cup’s group of death, Group G features three-time champion Germany, 2/3 favorites to finish atop Group G, followed by perennial underachiever Portugal at 5/2. Ghana and the USA both trail at 9/1.
Belgium, whose youth movement has been paying immediate dividends, is a heavy 4/7 favorite to lead Group H. Russia sits at 12/5, followed by South Korea at 7/1. Algeria, who will be hard pressed to record any points in group stage action, sit at 22/1.
Odds to Win 2014 World Cup Groups as of June 8 (aggregated by Odds Shark):
Group A Winner Odds
Group B Winner Odds
Group C Winner Odds
Ivory Coast +300
Group D Winner Odds
Costa Rica +5000
Group E Winner Odds
Group F Winner Odds
Group G Winner Odds
Group H Winner Odds
South Korea +700