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World Cup odds - England, Spain lead World Cup qualifying

Posted by Todd Shale on 4/25/2012 11:45:49 AM

Betting on sports - World Cup odds: England dominating, on the rebound

  • England’s Three Lions roar through first stage
  • Spain still looks like European team to beat
  • Argentina struggling in South America

The first stage of 2010 World Cup qualifiers are in the books, and a pair of European powers lead the way in their respective divisions. Soccer odds should favor England and Spain to come through their groups, while South American giants Argentina, previously thought to be the World Cup favorites, were rocked by poor results and the exit of their coach.

It was strange to sort through sportsbook odds for the European Championships this summer and not see England, as the Three Lions finished third in their group stage and missed a major championship for the first time since missing out on World Cup ’94 in the United States.

England won its first four games by a combined score of 14-3, showing a newfound inspiration under coach Fabio Capello. The Italian, only the second foreigner to coach England, has won numerous league titles in Spain and Italy and demands respect from all of his players, regardless of star power or stature.

Wayne Rooney is back to his best after a long international drought, scoring five goals in his first four games and boosting England’s World Cup futures. Young star-in-training Theo Walcott has been punishing teams with his blinding pace down the right wing, especially in a 4-1 drubbing at Croatia in which he notched a hat trick. If England continues playing like this, there’s a lot to like about England soccer odds.

Euro 08 champion Spain continued its fine form with four consecutive wins to open its World Cup qualifying quest. David Villa, who scored four times in Austria, has racked up five more in his first four games of this campaign.

Villa may have to continue filling the back of the net as Fernando Torres, who scored the Cup-winning goal and has gotten off to a great start with Liverpool, suffered a hamstring injury in a 2-1 win at Belgium. Spain soccer odds are worse without him.

The next stage of qualifiers isn’t for another six months, but it’s always worrisome to see one of your top players in agony. Still, Spain should have enough quality to come through its group, and its Euro win erased its tag as international overachiever. Look for Spain to be one of the top teams according to World Cup betting.

Argentina has won just one of its last four World Cup qualifiers, leaving it in third place and just one point ahead of fourth-place Chili. Only four teams qualify for the World Cup from South America, and the Argentines have numerous tough games ahead, making Argentina soccer odds questionable.

Juan Roman Riquelme leads the way with four goals in 10 games and Lionel Messi has added three, but the team isn’t producing the electrifying soccer that lit up the summer Olympics, when Argentina claimed its second straight gold medal.

Perhaps the resignation of coach Alfio Basile is what’s needed to shake up this team. Though Argentina should still have great World Cup odds, it needs to show its class against the rest of South America.

The betonline.com Sports book offers odds and futures on dozens of sports, including soccer betting. For free picks and analysis on World Cup odds, regularly visit the Betting Edge.

Are you a fan of “The Beautiful Game”? Then you shouldtry Todd Shale’s “Beautiful picks”. Though he enjoys a good rugby match, Todd is happiest when he can handicap a great soccer match - or football match, as he prefers to call it. Thoughts or questions?.

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