The FIFA World Cup 2002 international soccer (or football, as it’s known to most of the world) tournament begins on May 31, so we wanted to look at the different bets you can make on the world’s largest sporting event.
Soccer is hugely popular in many countries and Graham Sharpe, Media Relations Director at U.K.-based William Hill, expects all that attention will mean literally millions of bets on the World Cup. “We have hundreds of thousands of telephone bettors, Internet customers, and betting shop clients. At least $300 million will be gambled globally, probably much more.”
Punters are faced with more betting options for the World Cup than regular soccer matches because it’s a 32-team knockout tournament. Various sportsbooks will offer different types of wagers and different odds, but you should find the following types of bets at most sites. Be aware, however, that you will only be able to place some of these bets up to a certain date.
The two basic soccer bets are the single and the combo, or multi-bet. The single is an individual bet on a win or tie by the selected team, and the combo is two or more single bets. From there, punters have the choice of the each way, where you bet on the winner and that your team will place at the advertised terms.
World Cup teams are divided into eight groups for the first part of the tournament, and punters have the option of making group bets in the opening round. You can bet on one team in each group, bet on the winner in each group (an accumulator bet), or any combination of teams up to a total of eight. Accumulator bets can pay off in a big way because of the long odds on some teams. Another option at this stage is selecting the final two teams for the tournament.
In addition to the group bets, you can place a match bet. Match bets are on the outright winner – the team that moves on to the next round – or a tie, and they are the most popular bets at Will Hill according to Sharpe. Punters can also bet on more than one match; predict the final score in a match; predict the score at half time and the end of the match (a double result wager); choose the first or last goalscorer; guess the total number of goals; or wager on the time of the first or last goal. Match results are only official after 90 minutes of play, which can affect the outcome of a wager in the knockout round.
There are more unusual bets World Cup bets as well, including things like number of fouls, how far a team will progress in the tournament, and so on. Punters who have got an eye for talent might like to place a Golden Boot wager on the top goalscorer. One long shot wager is known as the scorecase, where punters pick the name of the first goalscorer and final outcome of a match. Odds for this type of wager can reach as much as 200 to 1.
It’s difficult to cover things like handicapping or the different types of odds in an article like this, so the best thing to do is choose a Thaibet168 sportsbook and visit the Help section if you’ve got questions. William Hill has considerable World Cup wagering experience, but Intertops and Sports.com are also excellent sites. ESPN’s World Cup Soccer Net has information about the teams, the players, and up-to-date news on the tournament.
And if you still want to know who to bet on, Will Hill’s latest odds for the top five teams put France at 10:3, Argentina at 9:2, Italy at 5:1, Brazil at 6:1, and Spain at 13:2. Odds are updated after every game or if circumstances dictate, says Sharpe, especially when players are injured or large bets are struck.