The latest soccer World Cup odds show that
Brazil will be feared more than any other team when the tournament kicks
off in Germany. World Cup betting has Brazil at a best price of 11/4 to
win, and some online sportsbooks have them as low as 9/4.
When you consider that the next team in the betting for the World Cup is
available at odds of 8/1 (Germany, England, and Argentina are all
trading at that level) you realise the extent to which Brazil are
favoured to win the 2006 World Cup. But are these odds justified?
Brazil have the best record of any nation at the World Cup, having won
the tournament an unmatched five times. They have also repeated as
champions in the past, back in the glory days of Pele, when they won in
1958 and defended successfully in 1962.
It remains an incredibly difficult task to win back-to-back World Cups,
and the real reason Brazil is such a strong favourite in World Cup
betting is the quality of this specific team.
Led by the best footballer in the world, Ronaldinho, Brazil also have
Kaka, Ronaldo, Robinho, and Adriano - and that's just the list of
players competing to start up front. Ronaldo has been a sensation at the
last two World Cups, winning the golden boot with ease in the 2002 World
Cup in South Korea, but he might not even get to start in the 2006 World
Cup, at least based on his lethargic club form with Real Madrid (where
he has earned the nickname "Fatty" bestowed on him by irate fans).
But Brazil are no certainties to win. Their defense looks unimpressive,
particularly goalkeeper Dida who is very suspect under pressure. There
are a couple of relics lining up in front of him as well, and any team
that plays Roberto Carlos has an instant defensive liability.
There will be no lack of entertainment or goals from this lineup, and
for the good of the World Cup as a spectacle one hopes that Brazil will
progress right to the end. But they offer little betting value at this
price, and we would look elsewhere for the World Cup 2006 winner.