Betting Special: Value could lie in backing a South American World Cup winner

With the draw for the tournament just days away, punters can now bet on a number of specials from winning continent to who England will draw in the group stages
After a long qualification process was concluded last month we now know the 32 teams who will compete in Brazil next summer for a chance to win the biggest prize in international football.

Hosts Brazil are the tournament favourites at 16/5 (4.20) with bet365. An impressive Confederations Cup win will encourage punters who have already invested in Luis Felipe Scolari's men for glory on their own turf, with Germany (5/1), Argentina (11/2) and defending champions Spain (6/1) next in the betting.

As with the majority of big events, there are always some markets outside the obvious where eagle-eyed punters may be able to turn a profit.

These include the opportunity to back any team that England could possibly be drawn against in the group stages at 13/2 (7.50).

England will be drawn from the fourth pot of teams; the top seeds include Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany, so it is more than likely that Roy Hodgson's men will be second favourites to win their group.

The stage of elimination market could prove popular but it doesn't make pleasant reading for England fans at present. The Three Lions are 9/4 (3.25) to fail to make it out of their qualification group and the same price applies to an exit at the last 16 stage.

There is likely to be significant interest in that selection, especially given that Hodgson's men will be drawn from outside the group of top seeds, unlike in South Africa where they were one of the top seeds.

Those more optimistic about England's chances this summer can back a quarter-final exit at 3/1 (4.0). That's the round that has seen the Three Lions sent home more than any other in World Cups, with them being eliminated in six of their 13 appearances at this stage.

A semi-final appearance is available at 13/2 (7.50), runner-up at 12/1 (13.0) and a victory is the 25/1 (26.0) outsider.

England's leading goalscorer market is headed by in-form Manchester United man Wayne Rooney at 9/4 (3.25) with Daniel Sturridge deemed his only real close competition at 7/2 (3.50). Rooney's Manchester United team-mate Danny Welbeck is a 7/1 (8.0) chance to finish top of the scoring charts while captain Steven Gerrard is 10/1 (11.0).

Picking the winning continent could be where the value lies, Europe are leading the way at 8/11 (1.73) with South America an 11/10 (2.10) chance. An unlikely win from elsewhere in the World is a 25/1 (26.0) shot.

History though, does not indicate that European teams should be favourites in this market. Of the four World Cups to be held in South America, all four were won by South American teams. Furthermore, of the three tournaments held in Central America, South American teams proved victorious in all of those too.

Given the quality of players on show in two of the leading teams (Argentina and Brazil) plus the inclusion of another top seeded team (Uruguay), plus Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Honduras and the fact a European side has never won a World Cup being held in the Americas, it could be argued that the value is with backing the odds-against 11/10 (2.10) quotes from bet365 for another South American winner in 2014.

South American Winner at 11/10 (2.10) with bet365

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Jim Knight is Chief Betting Editor at and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast

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