The World Cup is just as popular as ever this year, with millions of people around the globe enjoying 2014 World Cup betting and live wagering. Moreover, the Cup has really provided some great upsets and surprises, including defending champion Spain being eliminated already, Costa Rica beating Uruguay, and Mexico tying Brazil while facing a hostile crowd. It’s easy to see why fans have loved all the action so far.
But do you want to know who’s not enjoying the festivities? Las Vegas sportsbooks! The problems include favorites going 9-5 on the goal line so far, and the Over winning 12 out of 14 matches. Combine this with many World Cup bettors taking the favorite and wagering on the Over, and it’s not hard to see why Vegas sportsbooks are just as disappointed as Spain.
Jeff Sherman, who’s the assistant at LVH SuperBook, explained the matter by saying, “I’ve never seen anything like it. The kids (parlay bettors) are having a blast, and there really has been no need for handicapping the games – just blindly take the favorite and OVER.”
Not just the Favorites
Aside from a disproportionate number of people wagering on favorites and the Over, Vegas books also lost big-time when USA beat Ghana by a score of 2-1. There was a popular parlay bet that many people picked, which included “USA +110” combined with “Over 2 Goals.”
Despite the losses that this parlay caused, bookmaking legend and South Point sportsbook operator Jimmy Vaccaro has a positive spin on things. He said, “We’re hoping the USA builds up some momentum and makes it out of the group stage because it will just heighten the awareness of the tournament throughout the city that will not only increase handle on their future games, but also on the other games as people start familiarizing themselves with potential opponents down the road.”
A No-Win Situation
US coach Jurgen Klinsmann famously said at the beginning of the 2014 World Cup that his team “cannot win.” It appears that Vaccaro and other bookmakers share the same sentiment and would like USA to advance so that more people bet on high-powered favorites, rather than the home team, thus evening out the action.
But then again, America advancing out of Group G could cause more losses for Vegas sportsbooks too. USA was given 9:1 odds of winning Group G and 5:2 odds of advancing out of what many called the “Group of Death.” It’s very possible that the 5:2 bet on America making it out of their group was a favorite among many.
Of course, USA is far from advancing yet because they still have to play Portugal and Germany. Assuming they can beat Portugal, or at least tie them, the Red, White and Blue has an excellent chance of moving to the knockout round. Provided they lose, USA will need a major upset or (possibly) tie against Germany to advance, and this is one match where people will be heavily betting the favorite.