The Brazil 2014 World Cup got off to the ideal start with the hosts, and us, with a 3-0 win for Brazil against Croatia and two goals for Neymar.
Our 2/7 bet was easy money in the end, and our bets kept on coming in as our tip to back the Netherlands against Spain bore fruit in the most spectacular way.
Spain were blown away 5-1, and the 9-2 odds on the Oranje seems the best value bet of the World Cup so far.
Meanwhile, England took on Italy in the heat of Manaus, and we just missed out on Sturridge as first goalscorer. The Liverpool striker did find the back of the net, but sandwiched between strikes for the Azzurri to lose 2-1.
In terms of our outright bets, the Netherlands to push on and win Group B is looking good, but our value each-way bet on Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina took a blow as the striker was left out of the starting XI against Bosnia. Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling was awesome against Italy, and we stand by our Top England Goalscorer bet on him. Watch him terrorise Uruguay’s creaky defence on Thursday.
Our Week 2 World Cup Bets
Belgium v Algeria
Tuesday 17 June
Edin Hazard First Goalscorer
1pt @ 6/1 (PaddyPower)
Kevin Mirallas First Goalscorer
1pt @ 13/2 (PaddyPower)
Belgium have been talked up as dark horses for a while, and now it’s the team’s opportunity to let their feet do the talking. There’s quality throughout the Belgian side (most of it coming from the English Premier League) and goals could come from all over the pitch.
For their first game against Algeria, we’re backing goals from midfield, and Chelsea’s Edin Hazard and Everton’s Kevin Mirallas look decent odds to get their World Cups off to a flying start.
Uruguay v England
Thursday, 19 June
Score prediction 2-2
1pt @ 14/1 (bet365)
After a 2-1 defeat against Italy in their opening game, it’s all to play for England in their second game against Uruguay. Uruguay suffered a shock defeat against outsiders Costa Rica in their first group game, and it’s evident the 2010 semi-finalists were badly missing the injured Luis Suarez.
With the loser surely on the plane home, but with goals possible from each side (especially if Suarez recovers from a leg injury in time), this could be electric.
Japan v Greece
Thursday 19 June
K Honda First Goalscorer
1pt @ 6/1 (PaddyPower)
Japan find themselves in need of a good result against Greece after going down 2-1 to the Ivory Coast. Japan’s Juventus striker, Keisuke Honda, got his account off to a perfect start by scoring a stunning goal after 16 minutes against The Elephants of Ivory Coast, but ultimately Japan were undone by two second-half goals in quick succession.
Greece were poor against Colombia, and should prove less stern opposition to the Japanese. Back Honda to bolster his tally even more.
Switzerland v France
Friday, 20 June
Lay France against Switzerland on the exchanges
2pts @ 2.06 (Betfair)
Dark horses Switzerland kicked off their 2014 campaign with victory against Ecuador. And our opinion of the under-rated side still holds – they have a team capable of going far.
France’s experienced side were effective against Honduras in their opening Group C game and ran out 3-0 winners, but we stick by our bet made pre-tournament that the Swiss can at least get a draw against Les Bleus.
Argentina v Iran
Saturday, 21 June
Over 2.5 goals Argentina vs. Iran
3pts @ 1.5 (Betfair)
Argentina finally found a way of getting the mercurial Lionel Messi to find the back of the net, and he was excellent in their 2-1 victory against the World Cup debutants, Bosnia-Hercogovina.
However, our value bet for Golden Boot, Gonzalo Higuain, only came on for Argentina as a 2nd half substitute. Although Higuain set up the deciding goal for Messi, let’s hope that he can make a starting appearance against Argentina’s next opponents, Iran. Iran pose little threat up-front, with England-based Reza Ghoochannejhad employed as a lone striker. A hefty bet on over 2.5 goals is our move.
Honduras v Ecuador
Friday 20 June
Honduras First Team Booking
5pts @ 8/13
Honduras are what they call in football, a “physical side”, i.e. dirty. Against their World Cup warm-up match against England, the Hondurans made up in outrageous fouls what they lacked in skill, and that trend continued into their first WC group game against France.
Wilson Palacios was sent off in that game as Les Bleus ran out 3-0 winners quite convincingly. But the Hondurans will not be changing their gameplan any for their next game against Ecuador. Odds-on on a first card for the Honduran team may seem obvious, but at 8/13 it’s a decent opportunity for a hefty bet.