Bettors should face the facts to profit at the World Cup
Here are some pointers on how to get the most out of five of the dozens of Ladbrokes markets that will be available on each match throughout the four-week festival in South Africa.
BETTING ON THE DRAW
A bet that can pay on knock-out ties is the draw. The last six World Cups have been similar in format: a group stage followed by a 16-team knock-out. In the group stages, 27% of games were drawn. In the knock-out rounds, 34% of all ties went to extra time.
EXPECT LOW SCORES IN KNOCK-OUT TIES
A consequence of tighter contests is low scores. In more than half of all knock-out ties in the last six World Cups, neither team scored more than one goal during normal time. The most common scores in knock-out ties are 1-0 (22%), 1-1 (17%) and 0-0 (14%).
FIRST-HALF GOAL LINE
In the group stage, goals are more plentiful. One way of trying to profit from their abundance is by backing high totals on first-half goal lines. The line will vary from match to match, but often it will be over/under 1.0.
Your money is refunded if one goal is scored. We are interested, therefore, in the likelihood of two or more first-half goals compared with the likelihood of no first-half goals.
In the last six World Cups, two or more first-half goals occurred as often as no first-half goals. Fair odds in a typical match would have been 6/5. If you are offered more, snaffle it up.
The average number of cards issued during the last four World Cups was 4.6 per game. And it was no higher in knock-out rounds than in the group stage. In the past, African countries have tended to be involved with high card counts and Asian countries with low ones.
FEWER CORNERS ARE THE NORM
In World Cups, the ball does not go out for a corner as often as it does in the Premier League. The average number of corners taken per Premier League game is around 11, but 10.5 at the World Cup.
The lower bands quoted by Ladbrokes are the ones that can represent value for money. If you are offered more than 9/2 for there to be between five and seven corners, accept – unless, of course, either team has a history of generating high totals.