The World Cup odds are becoming increasingly popular as the start of the tournament is nigh and Brazil continue to dominate the betting at just 3/1. That makes them around seven times more likely to win the World Cup than England who can be backed at 28/1 but which team is the best bet?

It’s certainly hard to ignore Brazil’s chances. Six of the last seven World Cups have been won by teams rated 7/1 or less by the bookies. That would narrow things down to Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain. The two Europeans can be chucked out when you consider that no European team has ever won a World Cup in North, South or Central America and then when you look at Brazil’s performances at last year’s Confederations Cup plus the fact that almost a third of World Cups have been won by the host nation then Brazil certainly appeal more than Argentina.

Argentina may be second best in terms of World Cup bets but they look very likely to provide the top scorer of the World Cup. Argentina have the best of the World Cup draw with a group containing Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria, a group in which they should score plenty of goals. Then they have a relatively comfortable route to the semi-finals (semi-finalists guaranteed to play the maximum allowance of 7 matches) with likely knockout games against Switzerland and then Portugal. The bookies think Lionel Messi is the most likely Golden Boot but Gonzalo Higuain might offer better value at around 25/1. Higuain scored only one less than Messi in qualifying (whilst playing fewer games) and he scored 4 goals at the 2010 World Cup. That means he was only one off being top scorer whilst all those all tied for the top scorer honour played two more games than Higuain did.

England might not be fancied to reach the final but punters can be rewarded by predicting their stage of elimination. It is hard to argue with the bookies that the most likely stage of elimination is the group stage (6/4) but England actually look value at 4/1 to be eliminated at the quarter final stage. Should England get out of Group D they’ll most likely come up against Colombia or Ivory Coast, two very winnable matches. It is likely that Brazil will then await in the quarter final which should be too much for England to cope with.

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