The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is two months away and, while some of the infrastructure projects are running well behind schedule, Playing The Long Ball is on track to cover the most interesting exotic markets before a ball is kicked.
The latest 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil exotic market in one’s sights is the one pertaining to the lowest scoring group in the first stage. And, in one’s opinion, bookmakers have not installed the correct pool as the favourite because they have not analysed the recent tournaments and found a trend that suggests there is a trick to betting on this line.
Bookmakers have pegged Group C as the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil pool most likely to be the lowest scoring of the eight sections, with 888sport and Unibet offering odds of 3.25 that the group comprising Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Greece and Japan will produce the fewest number of goals.
One can only think that bookmakers have installed Group C as the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil lowest scoring pool favourite because it is a section that does not include any of the big names and, with all due respect, it will not enthral punters from outside Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Greece and Japan.
But having conducted analysis not only of recent FIFA World Cup competitions but also qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil there is a strong case for Group D being the favourite to be the lowest scoring of the tournament.
There is no chance that 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D will fly under the radar of most punters since it comprises Costa Rica and three former champions – England, Italy and Uruguay. It is the presence of England in this pool that makes odds of 9.00 with 888sport and Unibet about it being the lowest scoring section of the eight very attractive.
England has qualified for six of the last seven FIFA World Cups, with 1994 FIFA World Cup United States of America being the odd one out. Remarkably, England has featured in the lowest scoring group in five of the six tournaments in which it has competed since 1986 and it was just one goal away from boasting a perfect six out of six record.
Group F of the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico was the lowest scoring pool, with England, Morocco, Poland and Portugal managing nine goals between them. Group F of the 1990 FIFA World Cup Italy was the lowest scoring pool, with Egypt, England, Ireland and the Netherlands managing seven goals between them. Group G of the 1998 FIFA World Cup France was the lowest scoring pool, with Colombia, England, Romania and Tunisia managing 11 goals between them. Group F of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea Japan was the lowest scoring pool, with Argentina, England, Nigeria and Sweden managing nine goals between them. Group B of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany was the lowest scoring pool, with England, Paraguay, Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago managing 10 goals between them. Group C of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa was not the lowest scoring pool, with Algeria, England, Slovenia and the United States of America managing nine goals between them – one more than the eight goals scored by the Group H sides.
It would appear that England equals a low-scoring FIFA World Cup group. Factor in the results of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifying competition and the way that Group D is likely to play out – having three relatively strong teams in the same pool means that those sides may play cautiously against each other because defeat is death in a four-team round robin – and one cannot comprehend how bookmakers have got the top-heavy section marked as anything other than the obvious favourite to the lowest scoring of the eight.
One cannot be overly confident about such a bet because, in all honesty, it would only take one blow-out result to put pay to the punt. But 888sport and Unibet are out of their minds to be offering odds of 9.00 when, in one’s opinion, they should be looking to lay the option at around 4.50.
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