World Cup 2014 Betting Preview: Group B odds and predictions

Buda Mendes

Defending champion Spain leads Group B betting odds but they will be pushed hard by Holland and Chile.

Group B is a pretty tough group, for the most part, with 2010 finalists Spain and Holland and a Chile squad that ended World Cup qualifying in top form.

Australia rounds out the group and they not only have the fifth-worst World Cup betting odds, but they also lost their best player for the tournament due to an injury, according to Gamblingsites.org.

SPAIN

Odds to win group: -138

Odds to finish bottom of group: +5000

Odds to win World Cup: +650

Spain is the defending World Cup champion and not only have the best odds to win Group B, but the sixth best odds to win the tournament overall. The reason the Spanish are so good is because of their stacked midfield with the likes of world-class players Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, and Xabi Alonso.

The defense is also strong led by 2010 World Cup hero GK Iker Casillas.

Spain is a master and dominating the time of possession game and that will frustrate opponents. The squad does not have a glaring weakness and they, along with Holland, went through WC qualifying undefeated.

Spain is vying to become the first ever team to win back-to-back World Cups and they have the talent to do it.

HOLLAND

Odds to win group: +250

Odds to finish bottom of group: +800

Odds to win World Cup: +2800

Holland has a great offense and a solid defense, but their defense is the issue and they may not be as strong as four years ago with the 10th best betting odds to win the World Cup. Still, any opposing defense has a tall task when facing striker Robin Van Persie and the attacking MF duo of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder.

The Dutch lost to Spain 1-0, in extra time, in the 2010 final and that is their big match of the group, which is also their first. The odds for Holland have gone down a bit, as they have not looked good in their World Cup tune-up friendly matches.

They have played good teams, but have three draws and one loss facing Portugal, Japan, Colombia, and France.

CHILE

Odds to win group: +400

Odds to finish bottom of group: +450

Odds to win World Cup: +4000

When Jorge Sampaoli took the reigns for Chile in qualifying the team started playing well and went unbeaten in their last six matches with five wins. FW Alexis Sanchez and MF/FW Eduardo Vargas are the leaders of the squad, which has a solid offense that is great at finding scoring options on the counter-attack.

Still, that may hurt them facing Spain and Holland, who are squads that do not make many errors.

Chile has the luxury of playing on their home continent and while their last two friendly tune-ups are against weaker squads they began facing Brazil and Germany, but they narrowly lost to.

AUSTRALIA

Odds to win group: +3300

Odds to finish bottom of group: -350

Odds to win World Cup: +50000

Australia plays a solid team game, but they do not have much world-class talent and their best player in Bayer Leverkusen striker Robbie Kruse is out of the WC with an injury.

They did play well in qualifying, but played less than stellar teams moving to Asian qualification for this World Cup. The only decent team they faced was Japan and they played to a couple of 1-1 draws.

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