There’s a saying, normally quoted to former England footballer Gary Lineker, which goes something like this:
“Football is a game where two teams kick the ball around for 90 minutes, and at the end Germany win.”
The classic quote was perfectly realized on Sunday night as Argentina (pre-tournament favorites) and a young, emerging Germany side battled it out at the Maracana in Rio.
Despite some gold-edged chances to score from the Argentinians, the game went to extra-time having finished 0-0 in 90 minutes and was only decided by an absolute screamer from Mario Gotze to give Germany their first World Cup since the country reunited in 1990.
As for our World Cup bets, it was a time for us to reunite with our bankroll, and a healthy one it turned out to be.
Our initial gut reaction was to go for a draw in 90 minutes in the final but hearts overruled and we went for the Argentina win. However, we did pick up an easy 2.5 pts after backing Under 2.5 goals.
Where the game really hit us hard, however, was in Argentina not winning the tournament. We got 9/2 on Messi and pals taking down that trophy at the start of the World Cup and it would have added a sizeable chunk to our profits if they’d triumphed.
No matter – overall, we had a pretty good tournament, and if the fanciful punt on Chile at 50/1 scuppered any long-term accumulators, there was plenty of success in match bets.
Holland beating Spain in their first game, Thomas Muller hitting first goals, and the Hondurans picking up the first booking of every game; every week garnered some pretty nice little wins.
So, let’s take a walk down Memory Lane and recap the bets we took out from the moment the first ball was kicked in anger. Hopefully you joined us backing some of our picks and came out a winner too.
2014 FIFA World Cup Bets: The Results
Brazil v Croatia
2pts Brazil to win @ 2/7: WIN 4/7 pts
Spain v Netherlands
2pts Netherlands to win @ 9/2: WIN 9 pts
2pts Under 2.5 goals @ 8/15: LOST 2pts
England v Italy
2pts Under 2.5 goals @ 4/9: LOST 2pts
1pt Daniel Sturridge 1st scorer @ 7/1: LOST 1pt
Belgium v Algeria
1pt Edin Hazard 1st scorer @ 6/1: LOST 1pt
1pt Kevin Mirallas 1st scorer @ 13/2: LOST 1pt
Uruguay v England
1pt 2-2 @ 14/1: LOST 1pt
Japan v Greece
1pt K. Honda 1st scorer @ 6/1: LOST 1pt
Switzerland v France
2pts Lay France @ 2.06: LOST 4pts
Argentina v Iran
3pts Over 2.5 goals @ 1.5: LOST 3pts
Honduras v Ecuador
5pts Honduras first booking @ 8/13: WON 3.07 pts
Greece v Ivory Coast
5pts Ivory Coast win @ 21/20: LOST 5pts
Costa Rica v England
2pts Costa Rica Win @ 7/2: LOST 2pts
Honduras v Switzerland
10pts Honduras first booking @ 4/7: WON 5.7pts
ROUND OF 16
Colombia v Uruguay
5pts Colombia win @ 21/20: WON 5.25pts
1pt Jackson Martinez first scorer @ 13/2: LOST 1pt
1pt James Rodriguez first scorer @ 13/2: WON 6.5pts
France v Nigeria
2pts Oliver Giroud first scorer @ 4/1: LOST 2pts
4pts over 2.5 goals @ 10/11: LOST 4pts
Germany v Algeria
2pts Thomas Muller first scorer @ 13/5: LOST 2pts
Belgium v USA
2pts Draw @ 13/5: WON 5.2pts
Brazil v Colombia
2pts Colombia Win in 90 mins @ 19/5: LOST 2pts
1pt James Rodriguez 1st scorer: LOST 1pt
1pt Jackson Martinez 1st scorer: LOST 1pt
France v Germany
2pts Draw in 90 mins @ 23/10: LOST 2pts
Netherlands v Costa Rica
1pt Arjen Robben first scorer @ 9/2: LOST 1pt
2pts Draw in 90 mins @ 7/2: WON 7pts
Brazil v Germany
5pts Germany win in 90 mins @ 19/10: WON 9.5pts
1pt Thomas Muller first scorer @ 13/2: WON 6.5pts
4pts Brazil first booking @ 5/6: WON 3.33pts
Netherlands v Argentina
4pts Draw in 90 mins @ 23/10: WON 9.2pts
1pt Lionel Messi first scorer @ 4/1: LOST 1pt
1pt Gonzalo Higuain first scorer @ 7/1: LOST 1pt
Germany v Argentina
2pts Argentina win in 90 mins @ 13/5: LOST 2pts
5pts Under 2.5 goals @ 1 / 2: WON 2.5pts
2pts Thomas Muller first scorer @ 9/2: LOST 2pts
World Cup Outright Bets
5pts Argentina to Win World Cup @ 17/4: LOST 5pts
1pt Netherlands to Win Group B @ 31/10: WON 3.1 pts
1pt Lowest Scoring Group, Group D @ 7/1: WON 7pts
1pt Highest Scoring Group, Group F @ 7/1: LOST 1pt
1pt each/way Golden Boot Edin Dzeko @ 66/1: LOST 2pts
2pts each/way Golden Boot Gonzalo Higuain @ 22/1: LOST 4pts
1pt England to Reach Quarter-Finals @ 9/2: LOST 1pt
0.5pt each-way England Top Scorer Raheem Sterling @ 20/1: LOST 1pt
Total Profit: 24.4pts
So, a late surge helped us to a profit of almost 25 points, which would have been double that had Argentina put away just one of their chances in the final. Overall, not a bad return for a tournament held every four years and with some surprise packages coming to the fore. Roll on 2018 and the FIFA World Cup in Russia, where we could well see this young, exciting German side do very well yet again.
Lessons learned? Don’t bet on England (ever), Belgium are a potential new force, Brazil aren’t, and never, ever, write off the Germans.
Auf Wiedersehen…or hasta luego. Till we meet again at the sports book, my friends.