I’m back on Oddschanger, providing betting tips for the London 2012 Olympic football. As there are a couple of teams I don’t have a lot of knowledge of, I’ll try to avoid providing tips for their games and stick to the teams I feel I can give genuine insight into, with the aim of winning you – yes, you! – as much money as possible.
In the men’s event there are 3 teams I see as genuine contenders – those teams are, unsurprisingly, Brazil, Spain and Uruguay.
Brazil are by far the tournament favourites at 6/4 and I find it very difficult to look past them. South American nations have a reputation for taking Olympic football very seriously, but I believe Brazil have taken it to a new level this year. Brazil assembled their Olympic team several months ago and have fielded the same players ever since in order to improve team chemistry – and it’s worked. Not only do Brazil have top quality U23 players in every single position – Neymar, Oscar, Romulo, etc. – but their senior players have been selected very wisely. Thiago Silva is arguably the best centre back in the world and an experienced defender will prove crucial against younger players. It was thought David Luiz would also make the cut to play in defence, but with Juan deemed good enough to partner Silva and a lack of options at full back, Marcelo beat him to the final cut. Marcelo is another wise choice, as Brazil’s style of play allows the fullbacks to get a lot of joy going forward and he’s one of the best attacking fullbacks in the world. Their final over 23 pick is Hulk, whose strength will offer another dimension to Brazil’s attack, especially against the younger players.
Uruguay are my outside bet for tournament winners. Available at 13/2 and boasting a world class attack, they’ll give any team a tough test if they play well. The way I see the tournament going, Uruguay will play Brazil in the semi-final, so it won’t be plain sailing, but they are capable of victory. In my opinion, the best bet on Uruguay is to top group A, which is available at evens.
You don’t need me to tell you about Spain – they seem to win everything at the moment. Spain are available at 5/2 to win the tournament, but, for me, the smart money on Spain would be on them to reach the final. You can get odds of evens on them to reach the final, which should be easily achievable as, if all results go as I expect them to, they will avoid Brazil/Uruguay until the final.
Neymar at 11/2. 9 goals in qualification and he shows no sign of stopping. It’s that simple.
Most bookies have Alexandre Pato as joint favourite – DO NOT bet on him to finish top goalscorer. Leandro Damiao, priced at 18/1, will start upfront for Brazil – NOT Pato. Damiao is by no means a prolific goalscorer for Brazil, but an 18/1 shot on Brazil’s starting centre forward to finish as top scorer is a tremendous value bet.
Winner/top goalscorer doubles.
Most likely: Neymar/Brazil – 8/1.
Great value and very possible: Neymar/Spain – 33/1.
Outside bet: Neymar/Uruguay – 75/1.
Best bets summary:
Uruguay to win group A at evens.
Spain to reach the final at evens.
Tournament top scorer: Neymar at 11/2.
Winner/top scorer double: Brazil/Neymar at 8/1.
Winner/top scorer double: Spain/Neymar at 33/1.
All odds courtesy of Paddy Power.
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