Betting strategy for Picking a World Cup Dark Horse

11th May 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup 2018 Betting Predictions
World Cup 2018 Betting Predictions

There is generally a team which comes out of the shadows of the major players at the World Cup, to bring some unexpected joy to the greatest football tournament on Earth. Naturally betting will lean towards the World Cup favourites of Spain and Brazil, and that is understandable, considering that realistically, the winners of the tournament will only come from a very short list of about half a dozen teams. It is hard to look beyond Spain, brazil, Argentina, England, Germany and Italy to find a winner of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as however strong the dark horses may be, it is generally never strong enough to reach the final and then win it. So what do you do with dark horse betting at the World Cup? What makes a team a dark horse? A dark horse in betting is a team or competitor who possesses a lot of potential talent to beat top opposition, but there is usually some flaw which stops them being a major favourite. When it comes to international football, that flaw could be inexperience, the reliance upon one or two major stars only or something like historic big match stage fright. So if you are looking at a World Cup betting promotion and wondering if its worth backing a dark horse, here are some things to consider:

If you draw a dark horse out of your 2010 FIFA World Cup sweepstakes, then fine, you will be relatively happy with an outside shot. But is it worth backing one of these dark horses as outright winners, over the likes of Brazil or Spain? Probably not, as history won’t back up that bet very well. There have only been seven different winners of the World Cup, that shows how hard it is to win it. To do so remember, you have to beat the World, and if you aren’t favourite going into the tournament, then you already have an uphill struggle. As strong as the large contingent from Europe seem, like Portugal, Holland, England and Germany, even these are relative outside bets when looking at the Outright Winner of the World Cup. So imagine how far back a dark horse would be. But that does not mean that they should be ignored, as there are plenty of other betting markets available to back these unknown quantities. Here are the top three World Cup bets on dark horses.

Individual World Cup Fixtures betting can turn up some great odds, if  you can pick a World Cup dark horse out of the crowd. Serbia are quietly regarded as being one of the strongest dark horses of the World Cup, and being in a group with Germany, Ghana and Australia, there is a realistic chance of them qualifying, even topping the group. Why? Because group favourite Germany are by no means infallible in this group, even though they have great pedigree and usually come through unscathed on the world stage. Remember that Serbia finished ahead of France in their qualification group. It is the group betting which provides great opportunities on World Cup dark horse odds. Serbia are in a prime position to take advantage in a group where the teams on paper look evenly matched. Of all the teams which are considered dark horses here, the most has been said, albeit understated, about the chances of Serbia. England fans should take note of Serbia, because they could potentially meet England in the second round. Led by Radomir Antic, Serbia favour an attacking style of play, something which paid dividends during qualifying. The technical ability is there too, and a defence led by Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic and Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, they are solid in all aspects of the game. They also have a tall Peter Crouch type weapon up front in Nikola Zigic.

Ran a great qualification campaign to finish second to Brazil in the South American zone. Coached by Marcelo Biesla, the Chile national team has come on leaps and bounds since he took over. It has been plain sailing though, as the Biesla introduced a new style of play, once which has made them phenomenally strong all over the pitch. They have the flair expected from a South American team, but they also can battle and dig deep when needed. They were overshadowed by Brazil in both of their qualification encounters, but again looking at a World Cup dark horse betting from a point of view from, they are a good outside bet in the group stages. They are in a group with Spain, Switzerland and Honduras, and not suggesting that they could beat European Champions to top spot, but they would make a solid bet to qualify. They have a great team ethic and at stages during South American qualification, they really were rolling on a wave of great form. They have only won seven of their previous twenty five World Cup matches, but they should be more than capable of chalking up a few more in the win column this year round. The draw has not been that kind to them, and they do have a lot of young talent, which is why they are not worth backing for Outright winner, for they would need to probably beat Spain and Brazil in order to get to the quarter finals.

The Ivory Coast
What difference will Sven Goran-Eriksson make to the national side? Will this increase their chances of progressing from a tough group? They have a wealth of talent available to them, including talisman and winner of the Premier League’s Golden Boot, Didier Drogba. Their strength is in their star players, which come from all across Europe, but that has also been their downfall, in a largely underachieving side. One criticism about the Ivory Coast, clearly on display at the African Cup of Nations, is that they were not able to play together well as a team. Whether this is simply a case of superstars not being able to play together, or the fault of the previous manager in not being able to get them to play together, could be revealed at the World Cup. Their opening salvo must be a firm one against the slightly unpredictable Portuguese. A win there could set them up for progress through to the second round, as long as they can subdue any egos and be efficient against the minnows of the group, Korea DPR. They are not likely to pose a threat to Brazil winning the group, but they make an interesting World Cup dark horse bet, simply because there is the added unknown quantity of the new coach involved. Even if they finish second, then they will probably run into Spain. Not a great position for them, but watch out for them, nonetheless.

Picking out a dark horse for the World Cup simply does not mean picking a team to win the tournament outright. Explore World Cup Betting at Bet365 for example, and you will see the magnitude of bets already available. While there is nothing wrong with plumping for the underdog, don’t be blinded by the long odds on teams like this to be victories at South Africa 2010, but do investigate Group Outright, To Qualify and of course individual match betting. These are the kind of teams which may not grab the headlines, but are great shots for taking second place in the group, and then beyond that, who knows?

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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!

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