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World Cup 2014 betting: odds on Nigeria to win Group F

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Nigeria has been successful in Africa, but not at the World Cup recently. They are projected as a Group F long shot and could be headed home early.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Nigeria has not enjoyed much success in the last few World Cups and faces an uphill climb getting out of Group F at Brazil 2014.

They did win the 2013 African Cup of Nations and they boast a solid attack. Still, while they have a good keeper in Vincent Enyeama, who plays in France Ligue 1, the defense is still a major issue.

Looking at the World Cup schedule, they have been drawn into a group with two solid offenses in Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina and a good defensive squad in Iran.

Nigeria Odds to win World Cup 2014: +2500
Nigeria Odds to win Group F: +900

Nigeria has the offense that scored in every single match in African World Cup qualifying, but can they keep other team from scoring this summer? They did have a few clean sheets in qualifying, but that was facing inferior teams.

While the offense is solid, which showed in the African Cup of Nations they only averaged 1.38 goals per match. Small wonder they are a 9-1 shot to emerge as the Group F winner.

In their last two World Cup friendly tune-ups they played to draws facing Italy and Mexico.

World Cup Prediction for Nigeria

Nigeria has a tall task advancing out of the group, as they should easily beat Iran, but their defensive issues will haunt them facing Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The teams in the group cannot take them for granted with a lead, as Nigeria scored around two/thirds of their goals in the last 15 minutes of the match in qualifying.

Still, even with taking three points from Iran Nigeria will lose to a stacked Argentina team and a talented Bosnia and Herzegovina and not advance to the round of 16.

How Nigeria got to the World Cup

Nigeria was the CAF Third Round Winners in Africa and then they beat Ethiopia on aggregate 4-1 in the playoff. They went unbeaten in the qualification process and won four of their last five matches including their last three.

Overall, Nigeria had seven wins and three draws. Kenya was their main challenger in their group and they beat them on the road and played to a draw with them at home.

World Cup Qualifying Results

11/10/09 Nigeria 1 - 0 Mozambique

14/11/09 Kenya 2 - 3 Nigeria

03/06/12 Nigeria 1 - 0 Namibia

09/06/12 Malawi 1 - 1 Nigeria

23/03/13 Nigeria 1 - 1 Kenya

05/06/13 Kenya 0 - 1 Nigeria

12/06/13 Namibia 1 - 1 Nigeria

07/09/13 Nigeria 2 - 0 Malawi

13/10/13 Ethiopia 1 - 2 Nigeria

16/11/13 Nigeria 2 - 0 Ethiopia

World Cup Group Play Schedule

16/06/14 Iran vs. Nigeria - Arena da Baixada

21/06/14 Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina - Arena Pantanal

25/06/14 Nigeria vs. Argentina - Estadio Beira-Rio

Team Key Players

John Obi Mikel MF Chelsea - Is an attacking midfielder that also has to play well on defense facing the strong attacks of Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Victor Moses FW Chelsea - he is only 22 years old, but has quickly established himself as a future star and leader of the squad up front.

Vincent Enyeama GK Lille - He has to be the anchor of a defense that is questionable even with a good GK.