World Cup 2010 Long Shots

When betting the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it’d be easy to simply wager on a favorite like Spain (+400) or Brazil (+450), but what’s the fun in that?
Instead, when investigating the betting odds, why not take a chance on a true long shot? Even if the odds aren’t great, by taking a chance on your World Cup bet, you could end up the biggest winner of all.

Let’s look at some long shots:

Italy (+1400): Technically, it’s hard to say that the defending World Cup champions are long shots. But at +1400 that’s exactly what they are, as several less experienced teams have better odds than the Italians.

However, no country comes into this Cup with the pedigree and experience that Italy does. They are still led by one of the world’s top goalkeepers, Gianluigi Buffon, currently playing for Juventus in the Italian League. It was Buffon who was phenomenal during Italy’s Cup win in 2006, especially in the shootout win over France in the final.

Not to be overshadowed by Buffon, there’s talent all over the pitch for the Italians. In the midfield, Andrea Pirlo directs traffic, and Alberto Gilardino is arguably this squad’s top offensive player, after scoring six goals during qualifying.

The Italians also have the benefit of playing in one of the easier groups of the entire draw, with all but guaranteed wins over New Zealand and Slovakia. And as we all know, once you get out of group play anything can happen.

So are the Italians a bit of a long shot to win this World Cup? Sure. But for the price you’re getting, they also might be the best bet on the board.

Portugal (+2200): It’s hard to believe that after finishing fourth in the 2006 World Cup, the Portuguese are such heavy underdogs in 2010.

Yes they are playing in the proverbial “Group of Death,” along with Brazil and the Ivory Coast, but if they advance out, will be ready to take on all comers.

Portugal also features the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year in forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored 26 goals in 28 games for Real Madrid, after transferring from Manchester United.

And for all the talk about their struggles in recent friendly’s, Portugal came out and dominated fellow Cup competitor Cameroon 3-1 in a recent warm-up match.

Yes Portugal’s odds are long. But at the same time, they’re playing great and have arguably the best player in the world on their roster. Maybe they’re not such a bad bet after all, huh?
USA (+7000): Ok, ok, so the Americans are the definition of a long shot, especially considering they didn’t make it out of group play in 2006. Then again, after a strong showing in last summer’s Confederations Cup, is this team just starting to peak?

It’s a real possibility, as in that Confederations Cup (played in South Africa interestingly enough), the Americans did the unthinkable, shocking one of the world’s top teams in Egypt, before pulling one of the biggest stunners in soccer history, beating 2008 Euro Cup champion Spain in the semifinal. Eventually the U.S. lost to Brazil in the final, but not before they’d made their presence felt.

Even more importantly, America seems to finally have the players to compete with the world’s best, as midfielders Landon Donovan (Everton) and Clint Dempsey (Fulham), as well as keeper Tim Howard (Everton), all have earned international respect in the English Premier League.

If the U.S. were to win this World Cup it would very likely go down as one of the biggest upsets in soccer history. Then again, it would probably go down as one of the biggest wins that soccer bettors have ever experienced too.

Make the Americans your World Cup bet today!