World Cup Final Betting Preview: Netherlands - Spain

No shortage of tasty options available for biggest game in the world...

Kick Off: Sunday, July 11, 2010, 20:30 CET
Soccer City, Johannesburg

After 63 games, spectacular goals, dodgy refereeing decisions and daily arguments about the football it all boils down to this. The 19th FIFA World Cup final and a shot at immortality for the two nations who have never won the crown in their distinguished history.

As you can imagine the bookmakers are getting into the spirit of the final by offering hundreds of different markets on the game. You can even place a bet on referee Howard Webb leaving the pitch because of injury!

We'll be taking a look at the more profitable markets and steering clear of the more wacky choices. It may be the biggest game on earth, which can go either way, but opportunities remain available for the canny punter.

The Dutch enter the game having extended their unbeaten run to 25 matches. The Netherlands are one win away from emulating the great Brazil side of 1970 who won all their qualifiers and World Cup games en route to keeping the Jules Rimet trophy in 1970. Impressive company but the bookies aren't convinced pricing Bert Van Marwijk's side at 3.77 to win over the 90 minutes.

We'll have a new name on the trophy no matter what come Sunday evening. History will be made as the first European winner will be crowned as champions outside of the continent. Spain need to rewrite the record books as no team has won the World Cup having lost their first match. The European Champions have hit form at just the right moment and are favourites at 2.08 to bring the trophy home for the first time.

Netherlands Tips
By far the most profitable bet with the Dutch has been to back them to win the second half. Six of their last eight games have been won after the break including four of their World Cup matches. Against Brazil they were priced at 4.0 to win the second 45 minutes and duly played their best football of the tournament. They've scored twice as many goals as their opponents in the second half (8-4) and are wonderfully priced to do so again on Sunday.

* Netherlands to win second half - 3.75

Wesley Sneijder has been his country's star man scoring five goals to put him level with David Villa for the Golden Boot. Two of those goals have been dubious to say the least and luck certainly seems to be on his side. From just 10 shots on goal he's bagged five goals. Three have been inside the box including one with his head and two from outside the penalty area. He's been versatile in other words.

* Wesley Sneijder to score first/any time - 9.0/3.50
* First goal to be a shot from outside penalty box - 5.0
* First goal to be a header - 5.0
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Spain Tips
The favourites have leaned heavily on their Barcelona contingent to bring them to the final. All of their goals have come from Blaugrana stars with new signing David Villa chipping in with five priceless strikes. Villa has forced 26 shots with 17 of them being taken from outside the danger area as he cuts in from the left. We saw how shaky Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg was dealing with Diego Forlan's goal in the semi-finals. Villa has already scored twice from outside the penalty area and will test the shot-stopper from everywhere.

* David Villa to score first/anytime - 4.50/2.10

Four of Spain's five World Cup wins have been by a single goal margin. World Cup finals aren't in the habit of producing hidings. This bet paid off handsomely last time round against Germany and should be grabbing you by the short and curlies right now. The four most recent games between the pair have all been settled by the odd goal.

* Spain to win by one goal margin - 3.40 Bet Now

Two of the last four World Cup finals have been forced into extra-time and then penalties. Neither of these sides have had to play the added 30 minutes or go to spot-kicks... yet. Spain have lost two from three while the Dutch lost their solitary shoot-out when we consult the World Cup history books. It would be unknown territory for both teams. Spain won their most recent shoot-out against Italy in Euro 2008 while Holland lost to Russia in extra time in the same tournament.

* Spain to win in extra-time - 9.0
* Spain to win on penalties - 10.0

* Netherlands to win in extra-time - 13.0  
* Netherlands to win on penalties - 10.0

Extra Bets
Titan Bet have a raft of new markets for the match and cards are worth considering. We flagged up Mark van Bommel in our Howard Webb special as a strong contender for the first booking at 8.0. Don't discount Wesley Sneijder who has committed more fouls than Van Bommel (13) and picked up a solitary booking just like his team-mate.

* Wesley Sneijder to get first card - 17.0

Hardman Nigel de Jong has two yellow cards from seven fouls committed. He's worthy of a small punt at 9.0.

For Spain consider Sergio Ramos who has racked up 15 fouls and is priced at 11.0 to enter the book first. Xabi Alonso, who will know referee Howard Webb well, is one of just three Spain players to be booked and is 10.0 to be cautioned first.

The sensible bet is for the Dutch to get the first card to add to their tally of 15. You'll get a short price of 1.57 on that one.

Betting Verdict
Despite the glut of attacking talent in both teams this will surely be a tight contest. The Netherlands have shown they are capable of overcoming a deficit but Spain have grown stronger as the tournament has gone on. They restricted the goal happy Germans to just three shots in total last time out.

You can play it safe and back under 2.5 goals at 1.60. The more enterprising bet is under 2 goals at 1.92. Even if this ends in a dull stalemate over 90 minutes we will be quids in. One goal should be enough and it will likely come from Spain.

Best Bet
* Spain to win by one goal margin - 3.40

Match Odds: Netherlands 3.77, Draw 3.45, Spain 2.08Bet Now

Outside Value Bet
* Red Card to be awarded - 3.50

Howard Webb hands out red cards as often as Paul the Octopus gives losing tips. That's to say not very often. Holland have committed more fouls than any other team in the tournament and Mark van Bommel and Nigel del Jong won't be winning any fair play awards in this lifetime. If Spain are on form the midfield enforcers won't get near them and that could spell trouble.

Local Insight
Ivar Matusevich, Spain

"Spain's national team has been the best in the world for the past two years. Barcelona's style was imported very naturally and against Germany we saw six Barca players plus newboy Villa in the XI. That means that they don't have doubts about the way of winning with players like Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso improving an already outstanding side. We expect and believe in a Spanish victory."

Prediction: Netherlands 0-2 Spain (Villa both)

Odds on Spain 2-0 win: 7.50

Match Odds: Netherlands 3.77, Draw 3.45, Spain 2.08

Wout Stravers, Netherlands

"Just like the match against Brazil we are the underdogs again. The Netherlands proved that they can defend like a team and rely on their attacking stars to deliver at the other end. Against Spain it will be the ultimate test but I expect the favourites will struggle to have the game in their hands. With Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong in a defensive key role on Sunday Holland will go all the way for the first time ever with a glancing goal from Robin van Persie securing the win.

Prediction: Netherlands 2-1 Spain

Odds on Netherlands 2-1 win: 13.0

Match Odds: Netherlands 3.77, Draw 3.45, Spain 2.08

* Follow all's World Cup betting content here

Place a bet now on the World Cup with's official betting partner Titan Bet who are offering an exclusive bet £25 get £25 offer for readersBet Now

Odds correct at time of publication. encourages all readers who bet to do so sensibly.

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