Spain overpriced for FIFA Fair Play Award hat-trick

spain fair
It is very hard to receive yellow and red cards when one is in possession of the football so one thinks that 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil bookmakers have got the right favourite in betting on the FIFA Fair Play Award but that they have not gone sufficiently short to prevent one having a punt.

William Hill is offering odds of 6.50 that Spain wins the FIFA Fair Play Award in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and, even though the Spaniards head the betting market, they are a pretty big price on all known form for such a prize.

The FIFA Fair Play Award has existed since the 1970 FIFA World Cup Mexico when the honour went to Peru. Since then the FIFA Fair Play Awards has gone to Argentina (1978 FIFA World Cup Argentina), Brazil (1982 FIFA World Cup Spain), Brazil (1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico), England (1990 FIFA World Cup Italy), Brazil (1994 FIFA World Cup United States of America), England and France (1998 FIFA World Cup France), Belgium (2002 FIFA World Cup Korea and Japan), Brazil and Spain (2006 FIFA World Cup Germany) and Spain (2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa). So Spain has won the FIFA Fair Play Award in each of the last two FIFA World Cups, which coincides with their period of dominating matches through their possession-based style. Also worth noting is that Spain was one of the best behaved teams in the UEFA Euro 2008 and UEFA Euro 2012 tournaments as well.

Of the 31 teams that had to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, Spain’s cards-per-game average was the second lowest. Spain received eight yellow cards and zero red cards in its eight 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifying matches against Belarus, Finland, France and Georgia. The FIFA Fair Play Award goes to the side with the competition’s best disciplinary record but only teams that reach the knockout stage are eligible. One thinks that Spain will reach the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 and keep its nose clean, irrespective of which sides that it encounters.

Spain is not the only value bet in the market on the FIFA Fair Play Award in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. One can make a good case for Bosnia and Herzegovina being overpriced at odds of 26.00 with William Hill based on its disciplinary numbers in qualifying for its first major event. Bosnia and Herzegovina picked up nine yellow cards and zero cards in its 10 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifying games versus Greece, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Slovakia so its mean was the lowest of the 31 teams that had to earn its ticket. There are two obvious concerns about backing Bosnia and Herzegovina, though. First, Bosnia and Herzegovina is in the same 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil group as Argentina and the temptation for some of its players to lash out against the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Lionel Messi may be too great to resist. And second, qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil knockout stage is going to be a test for Bosnia and Herzegovina – possible but not easy.

One should seriously consider backing Spain at odds of 6.50 to make its three FIFA Fair Play Award wins in a row and, if one rates Bosnia and Herzegovina’s chance of making the last 16, then nibbling at odds of 26.00 makes a lot of sense.

Tips Summary

Spain to win the FIFA Fair Play Award
12th June 21:00 GMT
Odds: 6.50
Where to Bet: William Hill

Bosnia to win the FIFA Fair Play Award
12th June 21:00 GMT
Odds: 26.00
Where to Bet: William Hill

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