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October 30, 2014

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Vegas odds for the World Cup: Brazil stuck on top but not by much

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Bruno Magalhaes / AP

Chile’s Arturo Vidal controls the ball as he trains with his team for the World Cup in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. The international soccer tournament starts Thursday.

2014 World Cup Begins

Aspiring young Indian soccer players continue with their practice during a dust storm in Jammu, India, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. Soccer fans around the world are gearing up to watch the Soccer World Cup that begins in Brazil Thursday. Launch slideshow »

Odds to win 2014 World Cup

  • Brazil: 5-to-2
  • Argentina: 4-to-1
  • Germany: 5-to-1
  • Spain: 13-to-2
  • Italy: 20-to-1
  • Belgium: 20-to-1
  • Netherlands: 25-to-1
  • France: 25-to-1
  • Uruguay: 25-to-1
  • Portugal: 25-to-1
  • England: 30-to-1
  • Colombia: 30-to-1
  • Chile: 50-to-1
  • Russia: 80-to-1
  • USA: 100-to-1
  • Mexico: 100-to-1
  • Switzerland: 100-to-1
  • Croatia: 150-to-1
  • Ivory Coast: 150-to-1
  • Japan: 150-to-1
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina: 150-to-1
  • Ghana: 150-to-1
  • Ecuador: 150-to-1
  • Nigeria: 250-to-1
  • Greece: 250-to-1
  • South Korea: 300-to-1
  • Cameroon: 1000-to-1
  • Australia: 1000-to-1
  • Costa Rica: 1000-to-1
  • Honduras: 1000-to-1
  • Iran: 1000-to-1
  • Algeria: 2000-to-1
  • Numbers from the LVH Superbook

Soccer experts across the globe suggest the 2014 FIFA World Cup is Brazil’s to lose.

The host country leads several of the worldwide ranking systems. A pre-eminent analytical model gives the winningest team in World Cup history a 45 percent chance to win its sixth championship and first since 2002.

It all begs an important question: Is Las Vegas overlooking Brazil? Sports books aren’t disrespecting the green and yellow by any stretch of the imagination.

Brazil is a massive minus-550 (risking $5.50 to win $1) favorite over Croatia in the event’s opening match, scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday in Sao Paulo. It’s also the overall favorite, at 5-to-2 per the LVH Superbook, to be celebrating in early July, but those odds don’t come close to reflecting what the aforementioned forecast calculates as a near even chance to win.

And, perhaps more importantly, not nearly as many people picking Brazil are betting on the country. Brazil has actually stayed as a 5-to-2 favorite at the LVH since the beginning of the year, but their odds have heightened at other sports books.

With teams like Italy and Uruguay severely trimming their odds — from 25-to-1 to 18-to-1 and 25-to-1 to 12-to-1 respectively — Brazil moved up from 9-to-5 to 2-to-1 at Station Casinos.

Sports books valleywide wouldn’t be threatened by Brazil becoming the seventh host country to prevail in the World Cup. They’d profit.

Truth is, most bettors will rarely overload on a team in any sport winning a title at odds as low as 5-to-2. They want a higher payout.

A longer shot winning the World Cup isn’t unprecedented. Italy was 18-to-1 coming into the 2006 tournament, in which Brazil was also favored, before prevailing. But in the most recent World Cup, Spain rode a 9-to-2 favorite status all the way to the title.

Las Vegas loves a long shot, something Brazil is decidedly not in 2014.

On the eve of the World Cup, check out snapshots of odds to win the tournament on the side and to win the groups below.

Group A

Brazil — minus-600

Mexico — plus-800

Croatia — plus-800

Cameroon — plus-2500

Group B

Spain — minus-175

Netherlands — plus-275

Chile — plus-400

Australia — plus-6000

Group C

Colombia — minus-120

Ivory Coast — plus-350

Japan — plus-375

Greece — plus-700

Group D

Italy — plus-150

Uruguay — plus-175

England — plus-220

Costa Rica — plus-2500

Group E

France — minus-150

Switzerland — plus-275

Ecuador — plus-400

Honduras — plus-2000

Group F

Argentina — minus-600

Bosnia-Herzegovina — plus-700

Nigeria — plus-900

Iran — plus-3500

Group G

Germany — minus-200

Portugal — plus-275

Ghana — plus-1000

USA — plus-1000

Group H

Belgium — minus-175

Russia — plus-220

South Korea — plus-7000

Algeria — plus-2500

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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