World Cup betting fever

It's the start of the World Cup and we've got news of who's been backed, how you can request a bet and Sky Bet's money-back offers.

Last Updated: 12/06/14 at 20:36

Who will follow in Spain's footsteps in Brazil?

Who will follow in Spain's footsteps in Brazil?

It's the start of the World Cup and we've got news of who's been backed, how you can request a bet and Sky Bet's money-back offers.

Our betting partners have hundreds of markets available on the tournament, which gets under way tonight at 2100 BST.

Here is our betting rundown.

Who are the favourites?

Hosts Brazil are favourites to lift the trophy on July 13 in Rio's famous Maracana stadium. They are offered at 11/4. Their South American rivals Argentina are next in the betting at 4/1, with holders Spain 6/1 shots - the same price as Germany. It's 20/1 bar with England out at their longest-ever price of 25/1.

The top scorer betting always proves popular and in that market it is Argentina's Lionel Messi who tops the market at 7/1. Brazil's Neymar is offered at 10/1, while Messi's team-mate Sergio Aguero is regarded as the Premier League's most likely winner of the top scorer prize at 14/1. Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is also a 14/1 shot, while Daniel Sturridge is the England player highest in the market at 40/1.

As for England, the stage at which they are most likely to exit is the group stage, according to the prices. Roy Hodgson's team are 11/8 for a group-stage exit, 13/5 to bow out in the second round and 3/1 to head home after the quarter-finals. It's 10/1 they lose in the semis, as they did in 1990. As the above price suggests, England are still fancied to make it out of Group D, which includes Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. They are 8/15 to qualify from it.

Which teams have been well backed?

More stakes have been placed on Argentina, currently 4/1 shots, than any other team at Sky Bet. Belgium, who were 500/1 when the market opened, are still proving popular despite their odds having shortened over the last four years to 20/1. However, patriotic punters mean it is England who are biggest losers in the outright book.

In the top goalscorer market, Neymar and Sergio Aguero have been by far the most popular picks in terms of stakes. However, it is an unlikely name who is currently the firm's biggest liability - Newcastle's Nigerian striker Shola Ameobi, who is a 500/1 chance.

As for the winner/top scorer double, Brazil and Neymar will be a costly result for Sky Bet, who 'price boosted' that double to 20/1 earlier this week.

Want a bet priced up? Now's your chance!

Sky Bet hold popular 'request-a-bet' session on social-networking site Twitter which gives punters the chance to get a bet of their choice priced up.

On Thursday at 1200 BST the trading team will price up the best suggestions they receive. Get involved by sending your requests to @SkyBet using the hashtag #RequestABet.

There will also be another session at 1900 on Saturday when bet suggestions on that night's England v Italy game will be priced up, so get involved!

What money-back offers are available?

Sky Bet are currently offering money back as a free bet in the World Cup outright market if favourites Brazil win. Back any team to win the trophy and if they don't and Brazil do, then your stake will be refunded as a free bet. The offer closes when the tournament begins.

There is also a headline offer on Thursday's opening game which sees Brazil take on Croatia - stakes between £5 and £25 in the first goalscorer, last goalscorer, correct score and scorecast markets will be refunded as free bets if the hosts fail to win the match.

Full terms and conditions are on the firm's website.

What other markets are available?

Literally hundreds. You can bet on a host of specials from team top scorer to group winner and from naming the semi-finalist to the number of points a team will win in their group.

The full list of markets can be found on the Sky Bet website.

The firm's Price Boost scheme is a popular one with punters and certain selections will be 'boosted' both before each game and also during the match in their in-play markets.

Need betting tips?

The sportinglife.com team have tips for all the key markets - outright, top scorer, specials - and also have a stats-based guide to all 32 teams. Check them out by clicking here.

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