Argentina are the new favorites to lift the World Cup trophy since Brazil lost Neymar to injury.
Fans and punters are gearing up for the World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday and Wednesday
•Online sportsbooks in Brazil provide punters with a vast array of betting offers
•Brazil are weakened by the absence of Neymar
•Argentina are now the favorites to win the World Cup
Following the quarter-finals this weekend, there are now only four teams remaining in the World Cup. Brazil, Argentina, Germany, and Netherlands will contest the trophy with only 2 games left to play for each of the squads.
Brazil lost their biggest star Neymar to a back injury, but still managed to beat Colombia for a semi-final place, while Argentina will have to do without Di Maria for at least the semis after sending Belgium home. Germany overcame neighbors France in an uneventful 1-0 victory, while World Cup 2014 underdog Costa Rica, failed to produce another surprise and lost to Netherlands on penalties.
During the two days of break in between the quarter-finals and the semis, punters have a lot of opportunities to bet on the World Cup at online sportsbooks in Brazil. There are plenty of pre-match betting odds as well as a wide selection of betting offers in other markets as well.
The new favorites
When the news of Neymar missing the remainder of the World Cup came out, Brazil were moved from being the favorites to lift the trophy into the third spot at almost every sportsbook under Brazilian gambling laws.
Then new favorites are Argentina enjoying 3.50 odds to win the World Cup, but Germany are right on their heels with 3.60, and the hosts got 3.75 odds for those who bet on sports in Brazil. Netherlands are now the outsiders with a line of 4.33 to lift the trophy on Sunday.
Semi-final betting and trivia
Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men will now face Germany, which revealed a solid performance against France, especially on the part of their goalkeeper – Manuel Neuer. The other semi sill see Argentina going against Netherlands, after the Albiceleste beat Belgium in a very tight game, while Holland went all the way to the penalty shootouts to beat Costa Rica.
For the first time since the beginning of the World Cup, Bet365 is favoring Argentina to win, mainly thanks to Neymar’s injury which caused Brazil’s chances to be regarded as smaller now. However, Alejandro Sabella will also have to do without one of his main men – Angel Di Maria, who joined Sergio Aguero on the sidelines.
Another reason why Argentina are favored to win the World Cup, is the fact that their semi-final is considered to be a bit easier than that of Brazil v Germany. Both the hosts, and the Germans will probably give it all for a place in the final, while Netherlands seem like a passable opponent for the Albiceleste. Having said that, this World Cup has already shown us that things don’t always go along with the expectations.
Currently, online bookies can’t really pick a winner in Brazil v Germany semi, giving Brazil 2.80 odds, while Germany receiving 2.75. Wednesday’s semi is a bit more clear cut with Argentina being the favorites at Bovada with 2.45 odds compared to a line of 3.25 for the Netherlands.
Brazilian captain Thiago Silva has been extremely important for the Selecao providing defensive leadership throughout the tournament. His very unnecessary suspension for the semi-final will of course provide a lot of difficulties for Brazil, already playing without the fire-power of Neymar. Brazil have appealed the suspension, the result of that is yet unknown.
Netherlands are currently the outsiders of the World Cup. Despite kicking off their campaign with a 5-1 win over reigning champions Spain, they failed to better that performance so far. Their quarter-final almost ended in a loss, when Costa Rica had a brilliant chance to score in later stages of the match. But the Dutch are through and have of course nothing to lose in the semi against Argentina.
Joachim Low’s Germany are going into the semi following a confident win over France. Germany scored early on, and managed to hold off the French offense for the remainder of the match. Knowing that Brazil are weakened by injury and suspension, they seem like a smarter choice for punters to make for who’s making it to the final.
Also worth mentioning are the new odds for the tournament’s top scorer. Since Neymar is most probably out for the rest of the competition, he’s no longer being offered odds on. Interestingly enough, despite Colombia’s elimination, their James Rodriguez is still the number one candidate for the Golden Boot with 1.66 odds. That’s quite understandable since he is still leading the scoring table with 6 goals, compared to 4 for the closest opponent.
Lionel Messi for Argentina is next with 5.00 odds, followed closely by Germany’s Thomas Muller at 5.50. Both forwards have scored 4 goals so far. Considering Netherlands are not favored to beat Argentina, it’s quite understandable why Robin Van Persie got long odds of 17.00 to become the top goalscorer, and his teammate, Arjen Robben, an even longer line of 21.00.