The 2014 World Cup is edging closer and closer and punters around the world will be doing their homework for the betting bonanza that is the world's single biggest sporting event. The beauty of betting on the World Cup is that its appeal stretches far beyond the normal football punters, as everyone and their Mum seems to have a cheeky tenner on something. Balls.ie are here to help you make your picks as having scoured the odds we have made a number of recommendations for where you should risk your cash. From the smart to the ridiculous, here are our best World Cup betting tips:
Argentina to be highest scoring team - 4/1 (William Hill)
With a relatively easy group and a plethora of lethal attackers, Argentina look a very good bet to be the highest overall goalscorers in the tournament. Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, and Rodrigo Palacio are the men tasked with firing Argentina to success, and a good start against Boznia-Herzegovina could set them up for a fruitful campaign in front of goal. That first group game is likely to be their toughest test, and the matches against Iran and Nigeria that follow should see numerous chances created. Should Argentina progress, they will play one of a team from Group E which consists of France, Switzerland, Honduras, and Ecuador, and with the tournament being held in familiar territory, Argentina could be set for a good show in Brazil.
Eden Hazard to be Belgium's top scorer - 9/2 (William Hill)
Belgium are constantly referred to as "dark horses" for the 2014 World Cup, despite everybody already knowing a hell of a lot about their star studded team. The brightest of these Belgian stars is Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard, who will no doubt have a massive say in how the Red Devils perform in Brazil. Coming off an excellent Premier League campaign where he netted 14 times, Hazard is also on penalty kick duty for his national team, which may be a key factor in the group games against Algeria and South Korea who may struggle with the Belgians' pace in attacking areas.
Honduras to win the World Cup - 4000/1 (Bet Victor)
It may come as a surprise but Honduras have NEVER failed to win a World Cup on South American soil. Granted, their only two previous attempts were in Spain in 1982, and South Africa in 2010, where they failed miserably both times, but the cliches that are being trotted out for the likes Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, and how the climate will suit them, also apply to Honduras. Imagine the feeling of elation as Wilson Palacios thunders home the winner from 40 yards in the final, and knowing you stuck a euro on the lads. I don't think you can afford to risk not having something on the only team who's logo is just a capital letter.
Costa Rica to have the most yellow cards - 80/1 (BetFair)
If there is one thing we learned from Ireland's utterly rubbish friendly against Costa Rica this past weekend, it is that the lads from Paulo Wanchope's homeland love a bit of a scrap. When most players participate in a friendly match a week before a major tournament they tend to take it easy, but not the Costa Ricans, who wasted no time in planting Kevin Doyle with an elbow and leaving him covered in blood. The downside to this bet is that Costa Rica will only play three games in this World Cup before they have to go home, but with those three teams being England, Italy, and Uruguay, those matches could easily descent into all out warfare.
Rio Ferdinand to say "merked" on air as a BBC pundit - 7/1 (Paddy Power)
A good shout for a novelty bet, newly announced BBC pundit Rio Ferdinand will no doubt have a lot to say about the events as they unfold in Brazil, but will he act like a complete muppet? It will be interesting to see if Cillian Sheridan's best mate will utter the famous word that titled his short-lived prank show from 2006, although anyone who places this bet will then have to listen to everything that Rio says over the month long tournament, so maybe this one should be avoided.