It's the World Cup, so I thought we should have a competition. And I thought maybe I should share my bets too. My bets first, most of which are bigger-priced highly likely losers rather than shorter-priced possible losers!
I've backed Chile at 55/1 with Betbright, who are going to give me £5 for each win Chile secure. I doubt I'll get my money back, but could have a trading opportunity when they send Holland packing in the group. I've also backed Colombia at 55 on Betfair.
I've taken a whole host of players in this market, all at huge prices because, like the outright market, I don't think it's as cut and dried as the 'man in the street' (whoever he is) believes. I'm against Neymar, and prefer Fred, who I've backed e/w at 22/1 with Paddy. Their excellent offer of a £5 free bet every time your top scorer man notches is great fun as well as great value.
I've also taken Teofilo Gutierrez (Colombia) at 66/1 each way and Andre Schurrle (Germany) at 80/1, both with the same firm and the same concession.
Elsewhere, I've backed David Villa (Spain) at 80/1, Carlos Bacca (Colombia) at 150/1, and Vedad Ibisevic (Bosnia) at 150/1, all each way four places.
And I'm on Thomas Muller at 40/1, win only.
I think the most likely winners are Argentina, though they're no value at 4/1. However, if they get to the semi's, then I think one of Lionel Messi or Sergio Aguero will have been instrumental. That means they'll be a strong contender for the 'Player of the Tournament' trophy, the Golden Ball. Messi has been backed at 8/1 and Aguero at 25/1.
There's no value in the group winner markets in my view, but the straight forecast betting (first and second in the correct order) looks reasonable. I've taken three groups in a trixie: Germany/Portugal 7/4, Brazil/Mexico 15/8, and Argentina/Bosnia 6/4.
As you can tell, I'm sweet on a couple of the other South American sides doing well. And I think Brazil, who may not be the sort of dazzling free flowing Brazil to which we are accustomed, are thoroughly opposable.
World Cup Competition
So it's the World Cup! So let's have a competition. I'll put up £100 cash for one winner. To win it, here's what you have to do:
1. Name two teams to reach the semi-finals
2. Name two players to score 3 or more goals
3. Tie breaker - guess the total number of goals scored at the World Cup.
Now, here's the interesting part... points will be awarded for 1. and 2. based on the pre-tournament odds. So, for instance, nominating Brazil and Argentina, if correct, would score seven points (3/1 and 4/1). However, naming Germany and Spain, with only Germany getting to the semi's would score eight points (8/1).
You MUST correctly nominate at least one of your two teams to reach the semi's, and at least one of your two players to score three or more. Clear?
So, you need to be clever. (Or lucky!)
The odds are in the tables below, and this is the definitive list, irrespective of better odds being potentially available elsewhere. Judge's (i.e. my) decision is final, as always.
Entries close at kick off tonight, 9pm.
To enter, just leave a comment on this post, with your two teams and your two goalscorers, and your total goals estimate. I've put an example there to get you started.
Points for reaching semi-finals
Points for scoring 3 or more goals (click image to be able to actually see the players/points!)
Only these players count.
Players to have scored three goals or more, and their points score
Benzema (France) 25
Muller (Germany) 28
Robben (Holland) 66
Enner Valencia (Ecuador) 200
van Persie (Holland) 28
Rodriguez (Colombia) 150
Neymar (Brazil) 10
Messi (Argentina) 7.5
Schurrle (Germany) 80
Shaqiri (Switzerland) 200
Semi-finalists and their point scores
Brazil - 3
Germany - 6
Argentina - 4
Holland - 33