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World Cup value

If you’re looking ahead to the World Cup, the market seems to suggest it’s a foregone conclusion. The logic has it that Brazil are the best team in the history of world football and, as this is the first time the country has hosted the competition during the modern era, Brazil will win given home advantage. This is why they’re as short as 5/2 with some bookmakers.

Of course, there’s a big problem with this reasoning; the main one being that not a single ball has been kicked in the tournament’s final stages. The other huge issue is that the Brazilian team will be under more pressure than ever before. In fact, the last time the final was played at the Maracana stadium in Rio, in the deciding game of the 1950 World Cup in front of 200,000 fans – Brazil lost to neighbours Uruguay. So imagine the same pressure repeated manifold if the home side make the 2014 final!

All this plays into the value seeker’s hands. For the real value, we have to look at the second most successful country in the history of the competition, Italy. The Italians are notoriously hard to beat in the World Cup, no matter how well or badly their domestic league is faring in comparison with others. And at a best-priced 22-1, the Italians represent crazily good value compared with their main rivals from South America and Europe. Remember; this is a side that made the final of Euro 2012 with a very weak squad compared with Italian teams of yesteryear – and it’s one which is notably stronger now. It would be a fitting farewell for manager Cesare Prandelli and we can certainly expect the Italians to do better than expected – as ever.

Shrewd punters may also be able to get a free bet on Italy if they play their cards right … perhaps literally. With some of the online and mobile slots  providers, free bets are available and the competitiveness of the industry means these are getting more generous all the time.

Some casino games offer odds of reasonably close to even money (such as roulette or playing a basic blackjack strategy) so with the free bonuses on offer you have a reasonable chance of coming out ahead as the welcome bonuses stack the odds in your favour.

Also - the sort of mobile slot games available today means that games are fun to play on the move and most providers enable you to play for virtual cash only if you prefer, so it can be a great way to pass the time, particularly on journeys - whilst you’re flying to Rio next summer for example!?   

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