The Confederations Cup starts Saturday, but here's an early look at the vast odds available in various sectors. We start with the odds for who is going to win the tournament.
The excitement for this year's Confederations Cup is building, and with that comes a lot of action on the competition. William Hill offer a slew of odds available, including the outright winners market.
At a current listing of 2.50, Brazil is one of the two favourites coming into the quadrennial event. The host nation will be taking this tournament very seriously as it does not participate in World Cup qualifiers and is relying only on friendly matches against top teams in addition to this competition to determine who is going to make the final roster for next year's World Cup. The Brazilians have won the last two Confederations Cups and will be looking to make it a fourth on home soil.
Spain comes in next with odds of 2.75, and it certainly would be no shock to see the reigning World and European Champion add this trophy to its collection. The best it has done in this competition is the third place spot it landed in 2009 after a shock defeat to the U.S. in the semi-final stage that ended a remarkable 35-game unbeaten streak.
The Euro Cup finalists come in next with odds of 8.00. Italy was eliminated in the group stage at the 2009 edition after losing to Egypt and being dominated by Brazil in a 3-0 loss. If Mario Balotelli (out for the first match due to due to suspension) and Stephan El Shaarawy can produce while Gianluigi Buffon holds it down in goal, Italy may have a shot. But in a group that features Mexico, Japan, and host Brazil, it will be a very difficult task.
Uruguay comes at 9.00 and has a great chance to get into the next round. The game against Tahiti practically ensures it of three points, though the decisive games against Spain and Egypt will tell where the 2011 Copa America champ will end up. Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is a hot target on the transfer market and I expect him and Edinson Cavani to have a big tournament here and grab the second spot.
Mexico at 12.00 hasn't performed all that well in World Cup qualifying with only one win and four draws to show for it. I don't see see El Tri getting out of the first round here with the tough cast they're up against.
African Cup champ Nigeria is at 21.00 and actually did not fly to Brazil due to a dispute about bonus payments the players believed they were ensured after a pair of World Cup qualifiers last week. The Nigerians will arrive in Brazil on Saturday, 48 hours before their first match. Lucky for them it's against Tahiti.
Asian representative Japan is at 34.00, surprisingly higher than Nigeria, and the team will be fully focused on the competition after becoming the first side to qualify for the World Cup last week after drawing Australia. Manchester United star Shinja Kagawa is back after a two-month layoff due to injury, and Keisuke Honda is expected to play here as well.
But the big money offering clearly rests with Oceania winner Tahiti, which is paying out an unreal 4001.00 to win the tournament. Any dollar spent on the Tahitians is a dollar wasted, though if Nigeria is tired upon arrival in Brazil due to its one day strike, taking a draw or handicap bet with Tahiti could pay dividends.