In almost every analysis, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, and Spain are the four favourites to win the 2014 World Cup.
The bookmakers have those four as the clear favourites. Here are the betting odds for the top-10 teams:
- Brazil, 11-to-4
- Argentina, 4-to-1
- Germany, 6-to-1
- Spain, 6-to-1
- Belgium, 20-to-1
- Portugal, 22-to-1
- France, 22-1
- Italy, 25-to-1
- England, 25-to-1
- Netherlands, 28-to-1
The advanced stats from ESPN’s Nate Silver gives Brazil a 45% chance to win, Argentina 13%, Germany 11%, and Spain 8%. No other team has more than a 4% chance to win.
No European team has ever won a World Cup on South American or North American soil in the six tournaments that have been played on the two continents.
That’s why Brazil and Argentina are the favourites.
Brazil failed to reach the semifinals of the World Cup in both 2006 and 2010. They have a strong squad this year though. Nate Silver’s SPI index has them as the best team in the world. They’re overflowing with young midfield talent — guys like Oscar, Fernandinho, Lucas, Willian, and Paulinho — and have one of the best central defenders in the world in PSG’s Thiago Silva.
It’s mildly surprising that Spain has longer odds than Germany and Argentina. Spain has been the most dominant team in the world in the last half-decade, winning the 2008 Euros, 2010 World Cup, and 2012 Euros in succession.
But they struggled a bit through 2014 World Cup qualifying. In addition, their brand of “tika-taka football” that decimated opponents a few years ago has fallen out of fashion, with Barcelona struggling to its worst season in a long time.
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