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Copa America Group B Betting – Group B Is Brazil’s To Lose

Posted by Todd Shale on 6/28/2011 6:22:24 PM
copa america group b betting

Brazil is one of the sports betting favorites to win the Copa America, which should be no surprise given their dominance in this event over the last decade. The five-time World Cup winners should easily wrap up Group B, and they should be joined by Paraguay in the next round.

Why Bet On Brazil (+175)

A Selecao has won four of the last five editions of the Copa America tournament, and they’re coming off a disappointing turn in the World Cup in South Africa that ended with the firing of Dunga, and the installation of Mano Menezes as manager. From front to back, Brazil is arguably the most talented team in the tournament, led up front by Robinho, 19-year-old starlet Neymar and Alexandre Pato, who is bothered by a sore shoulder. Ramires has definitely improved by getting more time at Chelsea in England, while Elano, Sandro and Lucas fill out the midfield; Lucas will be especially important as the shield for the back four, which is marshaled by captain Lucio, who will earn his 100th cap in the opener against Venezuela. He isn’t the only sure defender for Brazil, who also have David Luiz, Thiago Silva (who can also play a defensive midfield position) and Maicon, who is looking to bounce back from a tough year with Inter Milan. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who plays with Lucio and Maicon at Inter, is probably the best keeper in the tournament.

Brazil is still very young in the midfield, so that will be their main problem area. Also, there will be a lot of pressure on Neymar to perform as he is being touted by a number of big clubs in Europe. How will the 19-year-old handle all this attention? Time will tell.

Why Bet On Ecuador (+6000)

The best finish for La Tri came in 1959 and 1993, when they came in fourth, but they’ve crashed out of the Copa America in the first round in each of the last four tournaments. Manager Reinaldo Rueda took Honduras to the World Cup in 2010, and he would love to turn Ecuador into a team that could put a scare into Brazil or Argentina. A lot of their attack comes from the wings as Antonio Valencia and Edison Mendez can be a handful out wide, as they supply Christian Benitez. The return of Valencia from a horrific leg injury is a major boost for Ecuador, and he had an excellent season for Manchester United when he came back into the team. Michael Arroyo is coming on in midfield, and at 24 he’ll likely replace Mendez, who may be making his last appearance in a major tournament in an Ecuador shirt, although the 32-year-old is resilient.

Defensively, Ecuador can have lapses in concentration, and outside of the duo of captain Walter Avoyi and Neicer Reasco, they’re not that experienced at the back. Marcelo Elizaga should be the No.1 keeper, but Reuda won’t hesitate to put in 24-year-old Maximo Banguera to boost their soccer betting odds.

Why Bet On Paraguay (+1500)

This is the only tournament that Los Guaranies has ever won, claiming the top spot in 1953 and 1979, and they have made it to the quarterfinals in six of the last seven Copa America tournaments. They’ve been up and down as of late, winning three and drawing two of their last seven matches. Roque Santa Cruz is the leading goalscorer for Paraguay, but they’ve had eight different scorers in those seven games, so they’re not a team that depends on one player. Nelson Valdez will be counted on for help up front, while Cristian Riveros can score from midfield. They haven’t allowed a goal in four matches, and a lot of that is due to the experience of defender Paulo da Silva and goalkeeper Justo Villar, who both have 89 caps.

Paraguay should definitely make it through to the next stage, and they won’t be afraid of the Brazilians, who they beat back in 2008 at home, and then lost a 2-1 contest in Brazil a year later. They don’t have the talent of Brazil, particularly up front, and even though they have a lot of players who can score, they don’t have that one player that you would be able to depend on when you really need a goal. If Santa Cruz can bounce back from a disappointing club season at Manchester City and Blackburn, Paraguay could upset the Brazilians…but it’s not likely.

Why Bet On Venezuela (+8000)

La Vinotinto made it past the first round for the first time in their history in the 2007 tournament, and while manager Cesar Farias failed to led them to the World Cup in 2010, Venezuela has a few players that could make some noise in the group stages. Midfield playmaker Juan Arango is still going strong, while forward Giancarlo Maldonado has 20 goals in 55 caps. Defender Jose Manuel Rey adds a lot of experience at the back and at 36, this will likely be his final tournament for his national team, and goalkeeper Renny Vega is steady at the back.

However, outside of maybe Arango, the Venezuelans aren’t talented enough to win this group, so it looks like another first-round exit, unless Farias can cook up some kind of gameplan that focuses on the counterattack. Arango may need to have the tournament of his life to inspire Venezuela, but a wager for La Vinotinto to win Group B wouldn’t be a smart online betting choice.

Copa America Group B Betting Pick: Brazil to win, Paraguay to go through

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