World Cup 2014 betting preview: Group C odds and predictions

Buda Mendes

Colombia is a dark-horse favorite to win World Cup 2014 and a big favorite in Group C betting odds.

Group C is far from one of the stronger groups, but the squad with the best World Cup betting odds is Colombia, which may be a dark horse to win the tournament.

They were great in World Cup qualifying and this marks their first World Cup in 16 years. Japan is a very solid tactical squad, the Ivory Coast has stars, but has struggled in big tournaments, and Greece while having a great defense has a less than stellar offense.

Group C betting odds in the 2014 edition of the World Cup, therefore, reflect Colombia's strength and their ‘home' field advantage.

COLOMBIA

Odds to win group: -125

Odds to finish bottom of group: +900

Odds to win World Cup: +2800

Colombia only finished behind Argentina in tough South American qualifying, has a solid attack, and led World Cup qualifying in only allowing 13 goals. Veteran Mario Yepes captains them and he is the rock of the defense at center back.

FW Radamel Falcao is a great attacker that also has solid Golden Boot betting odds and he and Jackson Martinez lead the offense. Creative MF James Rodriguez is an up and coming star that has to shine bright for Colombia to advance far this summer.

They will be playing on their home continent which always has an impact on soccer betting odds, regardless of the competition. And they cannot get rattled when they play the great defensive sides of Japan and Greece in group play.

IVORY COAST

Odds to win group: +375

Odds to finish bottom of group: +225

Odds to win World Cup: +12500

Ivory Coast has the talent, but can they play as a team? Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Salomon Kalou lead the Elephants, but playing good sides in big international tournaments they tend to focus on individual talents and not play a team game.

That may hurt them in Group C betting, especially facing Greece and a tactical Japanese squad.

Drogba is not the goal-scoring machine he once was, but will have to pace the offensive attack. The defense is a concern for the squad in in their last two African qualifying matches they gave up two goals in each and in their last two friendly matches facing Mexico and Belgium they have given up six goals.

JAPAN

Odds to win group: +375

Odds to finish bottom of group: +225

Odds to win World Cup: +15000

While Japan won the Asian Cup and Asian World Cup qualifying they did not have to face any top tier teams. Still, with their tactical play they can frustrate teams and they did beat Belgium, who is a WC dark horse, in a friendly in the end of last year.

Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa, Mainz 05's Shinji Okazaki, and CSKA Moscow's Keisuke Honda are good players that have to pace the offense, but after these guys there is a drop in world-class talent.

One big blow for the team is that captain Makoto Hasebe has had major knee issues and has been ruled out of the tournament.

GREECE

Odds to win group: ++750

Odds to finish bottom of group: +163

Odds to win World Cup: +30000

The Greeks have a great defense that in 10 WC qualifying matches only surrendered five goals and three came in a single match. They, surprisingly, won their qualifying group and one of the reasons is that they finally have a good FW in Konstantinos Mitroglou.

However, he has not played well since transferring to Fulham in the Premier League. Still, if he and Dimitrios Salpingidis can get some offense going the Greeks may shock some teams in group play and advance to the round of 16.

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