Spain are a top-price 4/1 with Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill to win the tournament. And the reasons are clear:
They boast one of the world’s greatest keepers in Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas who is protected by a solid defence marshalled by the evergreen Carlos Puyol.
The Spanish midfield is the envy of every team in the tournament and has no rival when it comes to keeping possession.
That midfield supplies the ammunition for one of the most feared strike forces in world football – David Villa and Fernando Torres.
Spain were the perennial chokers at major tournaments but that ghost was laid to rest with their victory at Euro 2008.
A talented team drawn from the strongest league in the world playing at the peak of its confidence makes a compelling argument to get on at 4/1.
That price will only get shorter as Spain, if expected , cruise through their group in style and rest several key players for the knock-out stages.
Brazil, Holland, and Argentina will all pose a threat. But perhaps a better back-up price wise could be an each-way saver on those old warhorses Germany and Italy.
Both sides have outstanding World Cup records and are fiendishly difficult to beat when it comes to the knock-out stages.
Germany are generally available at 14/1 while Italy can be backed at 16s.
Both make some appeal each-way where you get half the odds if they make the final – and the full price if they actually win the thing.
Holland might fall short in terms of winning the World Cup. But Robin Van Persie is a lively contender at 12/1 with Ladbrokes to win the Golden Boot.
Germany’s Miroslav Klose is also worth an each-way dabble with the same firm at 33/1.
Today’s opening matches also provide a couple of decent wagers.
Mexico look a class above South Africa and should be backed to win at 13/8 with William Hill to silence the home support.
The French look a team lacking leadership and should be taken on at every opportunity. Our chances start tonight where Diego Forlan’s Uruguay can turn them over at a tasty 5/2 with Tote Sport.
Here’s to a happy four weeks of punting and the chance to make a few quid while we enjoy the show………