The world cup (finals) are held every 4 years, and are competed for by 32 teams. Qualifying is made up from 6 different FIFA continental zones from across the world, Africa, Asia, North and Central America and Caribbean, South America, Oceania, and Europe (UEFA). The tournament lasts for approximately one month.
One popular market that punters bet on, is the outright winner market. This market is generally available to bet on from the minute the previous world cup has finished. So it is effectively a live market for the whole 4 years.
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Picking a winner can look like a lottery, but history suggests this not to be the case, as there is only a small pool of previous winning countries. So far, there has been nineteen World Cups, and there has only been eight different countries win it, they are Uruguay, Italy, Brazil, West Germany, England, Argentina, France and Spain.
Of those eight previous winners, three of the countries have only won it once, and two of them (France 1998 and Spain 2012) have been in the last 16 years. Meaning the other sixteen world cups have been shared between five teams, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Italy and West Germany.
History and conditions have to be taken into consideration when predicting a world cup winner. The above suggests that not many teams are capable of winning such a tournament, and with the next one being held in Brazil, it is important to note that no side from outside South America has ever won the tournament when it has been held on that continent.
This suggests that conditions play a large part in World Cups, and this needs to be taken into consideration if you are thinking of backing a European team to win the World Cup in Latin America.
Popular World Cup Betting Markets
- Top Goal Scorer
- Winner/Top Goalscorer Double
- Name The Finalist
The Top Goal Scorer market is obvious, it is the who scores the most goals in the tournament. Check with your individual bookmaker about dead heat rules, as it is a market that sometimes has more than one winner.
The Winner/Top Goal Scorer Double is similar to a scorecast bet, where it is effectively two bets priced up as one. To win this bet you would need to name the world cup winner and who is the top goal scorer, an example of this bet would be Argentina/Lionel Messi at 16/1.
You don’t have to select a top goal scorer from his own country. For example you could pick Germany to win the world cup, and Neymar (from Brazil) to be top goalscorer. The basis of the bet though, is that there is a strong chance that whoever gets to the final may well have the top goalscorer in their ranks.
The Name The Finalists market is another obvious one. you simply have to name the two teams you think will be in the final. Bet example – Brazil V Argentina final at 10/1.
World Cup Each-Way Betting
Bookmakers generally offer 1/2 the odds for a top 2 finish (get to the final).
World Cup TV Coverage
If you live in the UK, then luckily you can watch all matches on terrestrial television, with the BBC and ITV sharing the coverage. Coverage of events such as the world cup is protected under the ‘Crown Jewels’ system, where it has to be shown on free-to-air TV.