Brazil likely to raise the trophy at home
According to online bookmakers, Brazil is the clear favorite to win the 2014 World Cup with early odds of 3/1. This should come as no major shocker considering the fact that Brazil has a star-studded lineup which includes Paulinho, Neymar, Fred and many other young football players which are looking for the chance to shine on the biggest stage in the sport. There is also the fact that Brazil will host the World Cup for the second time in FIFA history.
The closest teams to raise the trophy in Brazil are those representing Argentina and Germany, as both of them are now at 5/1 odds to win the World Cup. This means that Spain is no longer one of the top favorites and has dropped to 7/1 odds according to online sportsbooks. The line is expected to go lower as the draws for the tournament get closer so a this would be the ideal time to place a wager on the defending champions if you believe that they have what it takes to repeat their great performance from 2010.
Normally, early betting odds favor the lower end of the top five teams since the odds are quite likely to improve once the tournament starts. Bets placed now on Spain can have a better return than if you would wait for the World Cup to start and see that the defending champions are well on their way to another title.
Betting on the dark horse
The dark horse contenders also have some very attractive odds right now, which certainly deserve some consideration. Belgium is at 14/1, followed by Colombia with 16/1 odds to raise the trophy in Brazil next year, while France is lower down the list at 18/1. Despite making it to the finals in 2010, the Netherlands only have 20/1 odds to go all the way in 2014.
Uruguay, Portugal and Italy are tied at 25/1 odds and then anything lower down the list are pretty long shots that might offer a great return on a bet, but it is highly unlikely they will make a deep run in the World Cup. These teams include England, which seems to be cursed in the FIFA World Cup and has 33/1 odds as of now. England remains a highly unpredictable team for this tournament as the squad for Brazil can actually go the distance or just flame out in the group stages. It is recommended to stay away from England for now.
Long shots and best bet
Chile is the next on the list with 40/1 odds to win the FIFA World Cup in Brazil next year. Switzerland and Russia are next at 66/1 and the remaining teams have 125/1 odds as Japan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ivory Coast are the least likely to win.
Bookmakers expect Brazil to get most of the action since they are the favorites and the hosts. However, the best value for money right now is Argentina with its 5/1 odds since their group is fairly weak and they will likely play against Switzerland in the second round. Belgium will likely be their opponents in the quarters and if Argentina makes it through to the semis, a match against Spain will be one of highlights of the World Cup. The winner of that will probably face Brazil or Germany in the finals and with a healthy Lionel Messi on the team, Argentina looks like it has what it takes to raise the trophy.