Group D Betting Preview: World Cup 2014 odds, predictions

Group D may be the second strongest group in the tournament and three teams have legitimate World Cup betting odds to win it.

Uruguay was not impressive in qualifying, but they have a dynamic offense and were semifinalists in 2010. Italy wants to forget their disaster of the last World Cup and England has made it past the quarterfinals just once since 1966.

Costa Rica is the major long shot on most World Cup betting odds menus and with good reason with their lack of world-class talent.

Odds to win group: +163

Odds to finish bottom of group: +1400

Odds to win World Cup: +2500

Uruguay is a solid squad, especially up front, that almost missed out on playing this summer and had to win an intercontinental playoff tie just to qualify.

Luis Suarez, who has the third best odds to win the top goal scorer, Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan are the heart of the dynamic attack, but the squad has issues in the midfield and on defense.

When Brazil last hosted the World Cup Uruguay won the tournament. In facing teams in the South American qualifying process Uruguay was 3-2-1.

Odds to win Group D: +163

Odds to finish bottom of group: +1200

Odds to win World Cup: +2500

Italy really was embarrassed after their terrible showing in the last World Cup and this time around they have the squad to go far this summer. Mario Balotelli is one of the most temperamental players in the game, but can be one of the best in the world when he is on. He will need to lead the Italian attack, which is not a dynamic one.

Italy went undefeated in World Cup qualification and in a couple of tune up friendlies they played to a draw against Germany and only lost 1-0 to 2010 WC champion Spain.


Odds to win group: +225

Odds to finish bottom of group: +800

Odds to win World Cup: +3300

England, once again, has a solid squad, but there are many questions for the ThreeLions. Can Joe Hart be a No. 1 goalkeeper? Can Wayne Rooney shine on the world stage?

Can the squad break their streak of advancing past the quarterfinals just once since way back in 1966? Big questions.

The Three Lions have a solid offensive attack with Rooney and Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard is the leader of a good midfield, but the defense and goaltending are concerns. Hart has to be THE guy in goal and play like he can, not like he did in the middle of the season for Premier League champion Manchester City when he was benched for a spell.


Odds to win group: +5000

Odds to finish bottom of group: -500

Odds to win World Cup: +250000

Costa Rica has a great FW in Bryan Ruiz and a defense that went 476 minuses in WC qualifying without giving up a goal, but not much else. They are really outmatched by the other solid squads in Group D and they not only have the worst World Cup betting odds to win Group D, but the overall tournament as well.

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Live Soccer Betting – How bookings can affect the outcome of a soccer game? – Part Two

How cards impact on a manager’s tactics

When a team loses a player to a red card, the manager must react to the situation and change his tactics accordingly. Like a manager, a bettor should judge how important the player sent off is to the team, how the card impacts the shape of the team, what can be done to mitigate the situation and what bearing the sending off will have on the opposition.

A perfect example of how a red card affects the game can be seen when analysing the last 16 Champions League second-leg game between Manchester United and Real Madridin 2013.

The Reds were controlling the game – United nullified Madrid’s potent attack by using Danny Welbeck to restrict Madrid’s most creative player Xabi Alonso – after Sergio Ramos had scored an own goal to give Alex Ferguson’s team a 2-1 aggregate lead.

However, the game turned when United winger Nani was sent off for a dangerous challenge on 56 minutes. Not only did United have a man less, but they also had to move Welbeck to left midfield, in order to preserve their second bank of four – allowing Alonso to roam free and become more creative.

Known for reacting to situations quickly, it took Madrid’s manager Jose Mourinho just four minutes to make a substitution – replacing Alvaro Arbeloa with Luka Modric, and swapping Sami Khedira to right back.

The change turned the game as Modric controlled the centre of midfield with intricate passing sequences, and scored the equaliser with a long-range strike. After equalising, Real were in theascendency and retained the ball superbly, scoring their second goal within 13 minutes of Nani’s red card.

Ferguson had the better of Mourinho when it was 11 vs. 11, however the red card changed the game and after the sending off Mourinho reacted both immediately and intelligently.
Are away teams at a disadvantage?

It is known that teams playing at home perform better than away – read about Home Field Advantage here – but how much help do they get from the referee?

Studies highlight that the probability of receiving a red card is different between home and away teams. Data collected from the Champions League from 2002-2007 showed that in only 24.3% of games did the home team incur more yellow cards than the away team.

In that period home teams received a red card in 6.42% of games, while the away teams received them in 11.82% of games. This means that away teams picked up red cards 84% more often than home sides. Interestingly, in 82.89% of games there were no red cards.

Research on the Bundesliga (Anders & Rotthoff) from 2004 to 2009 highlighted that the effect of cards on the home team is different to that of the away side.

Titman et al. (2012) found that a home red card increases an away teams’ scoring rate by 60% and decreases the home sides’ scoring rate by 17%.

In comparison, a red card for the away team sees the home team’s chances of scoring increase by 69% and the away team’s chances decrease by a massive 42%, which shows the handicap for away teams is more severe.

Final thoughts

This article contradicts the repeated soccer cliché that playing against ten men is more difficult than eleven. Unlike a goal, a red card merely presents an opportunity and a challenge to the respective teams.

Over many games a team will benefit from facing a team with fewer players, but in a one-off game the team need to exploit their advantage, which may require a different tactical approach. Basically, a red card is a potential game changer, but the game still has to change.

The data on the impact of red cards to goal probability should be of special interest to live soccer bettors, as this can be used in conjunction with subject analysis of specific game dynamics to help gainanin-play advantage.

With the knowledge that referees tend to favour home teams when disciplining players, it is important to look at influences on the referee. Because of inconsistencies across individual referees’ tendency for cards, profiling referees is important, however this is more than likely accounted for in the bookmaker’s prices, so investigating influences on the referee themselves could be profitable.

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Live Soccer Betting – How bookings can affect the outcome of a soccer game?

A red card is one of the most significant events that can impact the outcome of a soccer game. This article examines the importance of bookings (both red and yellow), how they affect game probabilities, how managers adjust and why they place away teams at a disadvantage.Read now to understand how bookings affect live soccer betting.
The red card: a soccer game changer

While everyone understands the circumstantial effect of red cards – the immediate loss of a player –statistical analysis helps us better understand the extent to which teams are negatively impacted when they receive a red card.

Unsurprisingly, the team that had a player sent off gained fewer points per game. Over the 60 Premier League games where a team saw a red card in 2012, 20% dropped points at the final whistle when compared to their predicted points (based on the score prior to sending off).

For the 20 teams that were drawing at the time of receiving a red card in last seasons Premier League,65%went on to lose, 30% held on for a draw and just 5% –one team – managed to win.

The negative impact of a red card on a team is also evident in the amount of goals they score and concede. A study by Titman et al. (2012) highlighted that teams playing against a red-carded rival benefited by a 64.5% scoring rate increase.

Previous research looking at a number of Premier League seasons also indicates that the longer teams have a player deficit, the worse off they will be. If a team receives a red card in the first minute, their average goal difference in the game would be reduced by about 1.5 goals. This is reduced to 0.85 and 0.62 if a team is effected by a red card at half-time and 60 minutes respectively.

These figures can enable live bettors to gauge whether live odds have accurately changed to reflect red card incidents, and potentially to measure the significance of yellow cards, the most common precursor to a red.
Don’t underestimate the importance of yellow cards

With the knowledge that red cards can dramatically change the expected course of a match, and given a yellow card can lead to a red, bettors should understand the importance of a yellow card as more than a pause in play.

As yellow cards increase during a game, the in-play probability of a player being dismissed grows. Titman et al. (2012) stated a yellow card to any player on a team in the Premier League more than doubles the hazard of a straight red card to any other player on that team.

Interestingly, Titman also discovered that a team’s booking rate increases by 25% if the opposing team receives a yellow card, which reinforces the notion that referees have a tendency to ‘even up’ decisions during the game.

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Sports Betting – Understanding Point Spreads

When it comes to betting on football and basketball, a bettor must have a solid understanding of the point spread if they hope to have a profitable season.

The point spread is a handicap placed on one team, for betting purposes only, and it is designed to give both teams in any game an equal chance at winning in the eyes of sports bettors.

How the Point Spread Works

When two teams meet on the playing field or on the basketball court, one team is typically better than the other. If all sports gamblers had to do was to pick the winning team in a game, everybody would simply wager on the best team and collect their money.

Using an example from Week 2 of the 2007 NFL season, the Atlanta Falcons were visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars. There was little doubt Jacksonville was the better of the two teams and if all one had to do was to pick the winning team, nearly every bettor would have taken the Jaguars.

What the sportsbooks and bookies did, however, was to create a point spread, to make both teams equally attractive in the eyes of bettors.

In this case, Jacksonville was installed as a 10 point favorite, which is commonly written as Jacksonville -10. Atlanta, the underdog, is commonly written as Atlanta +10.

If you bet the favorite, Jacksonville, the Jaguars have to win by 11 points or more in order for you to win your bet. Remember, the Jaguars are favored by 10 points, so we subtract 10 points from their final score for betting purposes. If Jacksonville were to win 24-13, Jaguar bettors would win their wager. If the Jaguars were to win 23-14, Jacksonville bettors would lose because they did not win by more than 10 points.

If you bet the underdog, the Atlanta Falcons, you win your bet if the Falcons win the game or if they lose by 9 points or less. Because the Falcons are the underdogs, we add 10 points to their final score for betting purposes.

If the Jaguars were to win the game by exactly 10 points, 24-14, it would be a tie or a push and all wagers are refunded to bettors.

Jacksonville did defeat Atlanta as expected, but the Jaguars failed to cover the point spread when they won by a score of 13-7.
Money Lines Versus Point Spreads

In the case of football and basketball, not only will you see a point spread, you will usually be given the option to also wager on the game with the money line in which all you have to do is pick the winner of the contest. There is one drawback, however, and that is if you want to bet on the team expected to win, you can find yourself risking much more than you stand to win.

Deciding when to bet using the point spread and when to use the money line is just one of the decisions bettors have to make on an ongoing basis.

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The Reality of Winning at Sports Betting

Walk into a Las Vegas casino and you’re surrounded by bad bets at every turn. The house has an edge at every game they offer, and it’s usually signifi cant – a 5% edge on roulette, from 1.4% to 16% on craps (depending on the bet), and typically between 1% and 3% for blackjack. The house edge in blackjack can be signifi cantly lowered through card counting and skilled bet sizing, but it’s considerably harder to count cards and get away with it than you’d think from television and movies.

The house edge describes the expected value (EV) on a wager. With perfect basic strategy, the house edge can be reduced to about 1%. This means they pay out an average of $99 on a wager of $100. Statistically, the house wins on every hand regardless of the outcome, which adds up to millions of dollars when applied to the thousands of bets placed every day.

There are two types of bets in a casino where the house edge can be overcome. The fi rst is the poker room. The house takes a rake – a capped percentage from every pot which is essentially “paying rent” to the casino for putting the game together. In poker, the players are in competition with each other and not the house, and it is mathematically proven that a skilled player can win enough to overcome the money he loses to the rake each hand.

The second place a gambler can overcome the house edge – you guessed it – is the sportsbook. If you remember from the previous articles in this series, (if you missed them, see the MMA Wagering Guide on MMAjunkie. com, or the back issues of FIGHT!) the house edge is built into sports betting lines via the spread between the outcomes. In MMA, an “even” fi ght would be listed with -110 odds on each fi ghter, meaning you must risk $11 to win $10. If the fi ghters are truly an even match, the house edge works out to 4.54%.

This house edge in sports betting functions much like the rake in poker. The sports bettor isn’t playing against the house; he’s playing against other players (other sports bettors). The bookmaker’s ultimate role is to function as a broker between players betting on either side, and the bookmaker takes a fee for this service. Sports betting lines are set so that the sportsbook gets suffi cient action on both sides of the bet to present a reasonably balanced position for the book. However, while most books would love to get equal action on both sides of a line, it’s just not practical. Books take unbalanced action on almost every bet, but they don’t take so much unbalanced action that they’re exposed beyond the profi t they expect to make from their house edge.

Consequently, you’re not trying to beat expert linemakers or the casino when you’re placing a sports bet, you’re trying to beat the other players in the market. If you can beat the bookmaker’s other customers 53% of the time or more, you can overcome the house edge and make money betting on sports.

Look at the historical house edge in NFL home underdog point spreads – home teams who were predicted to lose outright. Based on statistical analysis of all 6,167 NFL games played from 1983 through 2007, home underdogs have a house edge of -0.18%. As a result, there is a positive expectation for the player just blindly betting every home underdog point spread! By simply selecting and blind betting home underdogs in the NFL, a better can not only overcome the house edge, but actually turn a profi t.

Generally, the easiest way to become profitable betting on sports is to fi nd a sport where you have an edge over the general betting public. This edge is most easily found in smaller and more exotic markets. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve made good money in the past wagering on women’s basketball, a sport I have no interest in watching. For leagues like the NFL, where millions of dollars are wagered on any given Sunday, the betting market has become highly effi cient and serious edges are hard to fi nd. However, in a relatively young, lower-volume sport like mixed martial arts, it’s much easier to fi nd an edge. That’s right – betting on our favorite sport is actually one of the easiest ways to win at sports betting.

Linemakers are still adjusting to mixed martial arts betting. Combat sports are nothing new to the sportsbooks – boxing and sports betting are old friends. But linemakers still make serious mistakes in setting MMA lines. Recently, linemakers set Joey Villasenor as a serious underdog to Phil Baroni for the fi rst EliteXC on CBS event, when it was clear to the educated fan that Villasenor should have been a solid favorite. Those who identifi ed the mistake were able to easily profi t, as I pointed out in my Performify’s Picks column on MMAjunkie. com. In comparison, try fi nding New England as a heavy underdog to Oakland in the NFL last year – linemakers just don’t make those kinds of mistakes in the major sports.

Additionally, the public still makes tremendous mistakes betting on MMA fi ghts. Ultimately, in sports betting, if someone else is making a mistake, it’s something you can capitalize on.

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Should we back the underdogs?

In general most of the punters around the world prefer to bet on the favorites and avoid betting on underdogs. The most likely reason for such behavior is the natural desire to make more winnings, albeit the fact more of the bets are on smaller odds. However, what would happen if the bettors choose to bet on the outsiders in their matches against far stronger teams? This is the topic we are going to discuss in this post.

A few days ago while I was browsing the internet looking for interesting betting articles I came across an article showing the results of bets placed only for the outsiders. In this article an outsider is considered as a team whose odds of winning is higher than 3.5, regardless home or away the match is played.

A quick look at the results shows that overall this is not a very bad idea, at least not for England from whose four professional divisions the results had been collected. In practice, it turns out that there are teams that brought more than 60% pure profit per season if a punter backs them when they are put by the bookmakers in the role of outsiders. Of course, there are many teams that made losses too and if the punter continues backing them he or she will lose the entire betting bank.

Here are more details. The betting system I studied in the publication suggests using a small separate bank for each team in England. Through this bank a bet is made for every team when it is placed in the role of an outsider with odds of 3.5 or more. If betting on this team is so unprofitable that bankrupts its own separate bank, then no more bets for the team is being done.

When you draw the line and calculate all winnings and losses, you will get the following results. The bets are made for 123 teams, with each bet is one unit. At the end of the season, it turns out that the total profit is around 17 units. The bank that each team had was 8 units, which made a total of 984 units. This in turn makes profit at the end of the season around 1.7%, which is insignificantly small, but ultimately it’s something.

In any case, the approach to this system is interesting, but what is more important, it shows an excellent way to detect winning patterns, which is already good news. That’s why I intend to try finding more details about this system, for which I will write in more details later.

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Stoke and West Ham to finish without a winner

Stoke City welcomes West Ham in a match from the 30th round of the English Premier League. Until the last few rounds, both teams were in danger of being relegated into the Championship, but with some good matches they are on six points above the relegation zone. Stoke lost just four of their last ten matches in the league, while West Ham are even better with just three losses in the recent months.

Stoke recorded prestigious victories over Arsenal and Manchester United, while West Ham have made four consecutive wins in February.

Anyone who watched the matches of Stoke and West Ham and knows the work of both managers Mark Hughes and Sam Allardyce knows that these two teams are among the last few which practice the typical English football with many battles, crosses and not so many goals.

This is shown by the statistics, according to which in the last three head to head matches the two teams have scored only four goals and all three matches have ended with less than 2.5 goals scored by both teams. The last time when in a West Ham match as a guest were scored more than two goals came on the first day of 2014 when the Hammers lost by 2-1 to Fulham. The hosts from Stoke haven’t score more than a goal in their last two matches at Britannia Stadium.

What do the bookies offer for this seemingly obvious bet on under 2.5 goals scored by both teams? Bet at home offers 1.55, while the bet365’s proposal is 1.57. The most generous is William Hill, which offers 1.6.

The odds are not very good and a possible bet on the goal markets seems not justified. Unfortunately, all possible bets on the final outcome of the match are too unpredictable for making a really good bet.

However, if you want to bet on this match, my advice is to bet with small amount and to bet on a draw between Stoke and West Ham. The proposal for this bet with all three bookmakers is 3.2, which is not very good, but this is the world of betting.

The decision is yours.

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Martingale explained and how we can use it

If you love risky betting and one of your favorite betting money management systems is Martingale then this article is exactly for you. It will help you estimate more accurately the exact probability to fall in a streak of losing bets by which to lose money when betting with Martingale.

For those who don’t know, Martingale money management sports betting system guides you to continually increase the stakes seeking when finally hit a success bet to return of all invested money so far plus a predetermined amount as a pure profit. Probably this is the most famous betting system as it offers good opportunities for profit, though all who tried it one day loss their entire bank, because they fell in a too long losing streak.

Anyway, in sports betting everything has to be carefully evaluated before the start of betting with real money and this is why it is good to check out this Streak Calculator. it will help you calculate the exact probability of falling into a long streak of losing bets, which if you bet with Martingale would be fatal for your bank.

This Streak Calculator is very easy to use. You need to enter few numbers and that is. On the first line you should enter the value of the total number of bets you are going to do. On the second line you need to enter the length of the streak that you can afford without bankrupting and on the third one the percentage for losing every single bet. From now on you need only to click Calculate and you’re done.

The Streak Calculator automatically gives you the percentages to enter in a similar series of losing bets and thus lose all yours money.

An example at the end of the article. Let’s say you are going to make 100 bets and the biggest losing streak you can afford is 6 bets. Your chance for losing a single bet is 55%. When you enter the numbers you would find out that your real chance to enter in a series of losing bets is exactly 72%.

You can do the math by yourself does it worth to bet with Martingale or not.

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Wizards one win away from dumping the Bulls

The Chicago Bulls return home to the United Center on Tuesday facing a first round elimination after losing to the Wizards 98-89 at the Verizon Center on Sunday.

Trevor Ariza had a team-high 30 points for the Wizards on 10-of-17 from the field including 6-of-10 from long range and John Wall added a double-double for the hosts who bounced back nicely from their loss in the third game of the series. The Bulls starters struggled mightily and it was left for Taj Gibson to come off the bench for a game-high 32 points in a contest that was nowhere near as close as the final score line might indicate.

Monday the two-time defending champions, the Miami Heat, look to complete an opening round sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats at the Time Warner Cable Arena. LeBron James had 30 points, 10 rebounds and six assists on Saturday evening as the Heat eased by their hosts in a 98-85 triumph. The Bobcats continue to go in search of a first playoff win for the franchise, but appear to be over matched with James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade yet to be fully pushed.

That’s not the case in Indianapolis where the Indiana Pacers face a crucial fifth game in their series with the Atlanta Hawks at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Paul George dropped in 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Pacers at the Philips Arena on Saturday to tie the series at two games apiece. However the top seed in the Eastern Conference continues to look shaky at best over the first four games of the match up and the Hawks will look to grab a victory before returning to Atlanta for Game 6 on Thursday.

The Pacers are 251.00 to win the NBA Championship, while the Heat can be backed at 1.83.

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The very basics of Sports Betting

What is Sports Betting?

“Sports betting” is a general term that describes the act of placing a bet on the outcome of an upcoming sports match. For as long as there have been competitions, spectators (and sometimes even the participants themselves) have bet on the outcome of those competitions. The goal is always to correctly predict the outcome and win money for doing so.
Types of Sports Bets

Sports betting can include simple wagers such as “which team will win the next game” and an endless variety of other bets such as “who will score the most points.” If you take a look at any online sportsbook, you’ll see that the types of sports bets out there are limited only by the human imagination.

Straight Up Bets – These are the basic bets on the outcome of the match. Any time you place a wager on which team you think will win the next game, you are placing a straight up bet.

Totals – These are bets in which the sportsbook sets a total combined score for both teams and you try to guess whether the final combined score will be more than or less than that total. Many sportsbooks use half points to eliminate the possibility of the game ending on that exact points total.

Futures Bets – Futures are bets that look a little farther into the future. For example, you can place a bet on which team will win the Super Bowl even though the season has just begun. The more unlikely a team is to win, the higher the potential payouts for that team.

Proposition Bets – These bets cover just about everything else. A prop bet can be based on anything from which player will score the most points to whether or not the person singing the National Anthem will make a mistake.

Moneylines and Point Spreads

Sportsbooks use moneylines and point spreads to generate an equal amount of action on both sides of all bets, which reduces their risk. Whenever two teams face off in a match, there is almost always a favorite and an underdog. Sportsbooks use these two techniques to prevent everyone from betting on the favorite team every time.

Sportsbooks need to minimize their risk and if they have an equal number of bets on both sides of every game, they can just use the losers to pay off the winners. Whenever there is an unequal amount of action, the sportsbook risks having to pay off the winners with its own funds.


Moneyline bets specify how much money a player must wager for each dollar in potential winnings. Sportsbooks set the moneylines so that bettors must wager more money on the favorites and less money on the underdogs. For example:

Team A: -300

Team B: +250

Any bettor wishing to place a wager on Team A must wager $3.00 for every $1.00 in potential winnings. A $300 bet on Team A would result in a $100 payout if Team A wins the match. Anyone wagering on Team B only has to wager $1.00 for every $2.50 in potential winnings. A $100 bet on Team B would result in a $250 payout if Team B wins the match.
Point Spreads

Point spreads are the other technique sportsbooks use to entice players to wager on both sides of any upcoming match. Instead of targeting payouts, though, point spreads specify that the winner must win by X number of points for it to be considered a win.

Here is an example point spread:

Team A: -10.5

Team B: +10.5

In this game, Team A is the favorite so they must win by 11 points or more. Team B only has to stay within 10 points for it to be considered a win. Bookmakers often use half points to prevent the final score from ending up exactly on the spread.

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