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Winning Money with the Women's World Cup

   by Hollywood Sports - 07/08/2011

If you have not fallen prey to ESPN's massive promotional campaign to hype this summer's Women's World Cup, then you may have already missed out on some nice investment opportunities. But with the four games of the Quarterfinals scheduled for this weekend, the Semifinals set for Wednesday and then the Consolation Match as well as the World Cup Championship set for next weekend, it is not too late to get in on the action. And with this being an international event that attracts bettors all over the world, soft lines do frequently appear on the board from all that public money. If you are anything like me, then you are more than happy to bet on absolutely anything if you think you can seize a mathematical edge. You may not be familiar with the women's game but it just is not that difficult to get caught up. Handicapping women's soccer is like handicapping men's soccer … which is just like handicapping any other sport. There are certain fundamentals to look for regardless of the specific sporting event. Is a team overrated? Underrated? Do emotional factors point to a letdown .. or a bounce-back? How do the respective styles of play matchup? All this information is relatively easy to discover via the internet. The answers to these questions can expose some nice betting opportunities with the various betting options most books offer for these games.

Sixteens national teams qualified for the Women's World Cup and were placed into four groups of four teams. These teams played a round-robin schedule in their Group with victories producing three points and draws earning one point. The top two teams in each group have now advanced to the Quarterfinals this weekend. Of course, in these elimination Knock-Out stages, the matches cannot end up in a draw. So, if the game remains tied after the two standard 45 minute halves, two overtime periods of 15 minute time blocks ensure. If a winner is still not determined, then both teams enter a shootout stage where both teams will have at least five scoring opportunities and will continue this back-and-forth until a team seizes a lead. Now it is important to note that shootout goals do not not count towards the final score for betting purposes. So, in other words, the score after the two overtime periods determines the Over/Under result. Given this background information, what are the typical betting options that are available?

1. Over/Under the Goal Total. These bets work like Over/Under bet in other sports. In this World Cup, the Total has been installed in the 2 1/2 to 3 range a vast majority of the time. But remember, overtime play counts toward the Total but shootout goals do not.

2. The Handicapped Goal-Line for a side team. This operates like any football, basketball or baseball game. One team will be favored (or a pick 'em) by 1/2 goal, 1 goal, 1 1/2 goals (etc.) with a money line associated with that and the other team will be an underdog by the respective same amount at a money line price. This bet does not take shootout goals into account; like Over/Under bets, the final score after overtime is what is considered in determining the outcome of this bet.

3. The Money-Line for a side team or a draw. What is unique about World Cup soccer is the opportunity to bet a money-line proposition that the game will end in a draw (after overtime in the Knockout Stages). This third option obviously lowers the money line price for both sides. Let me offer this: the availability of money line bets along with Handicapped Goal-Line bets sometimes offers from interesting choices or hedge bet situations.

Here is a brief run downs of the eight Quarterfinalists remaining in the tournament.

Australia: Ranked #11 in the world by FIFA. Reached the Quarterfinals of the 2007 games before losing to Brazil. Finished 2nd in Group D play with a 2-1-0 record after beating Norway (#9 FIFA) by a 2-1 score in the last match of that Group.

Brazil: Ranked #3rd by FIFA. This is a very talented team led by perhaps the world's best player, Marta, who has won the Most Outstanding Player Award five times. They finished 1st in Group D with a 3-0 record and they have yet ot be scored on in these games. One of the favorites to win the Cup.

England: Ranked #10th by FIFA. Reached the World Cup Quarterfinals in 2007 then lost to Germany in the 2009 European Championship. Finished 1st in Group B play with a 2-0-1 record and may have found their groove with their 2-0 win over Japan to qualify for the Quarterfinals.

France: Ranked #7th by FIFA. This team may be on the rise with the explosion of women's soccer in their country after finishing 2nd in the 2003 World Cup. Won their first ten games in the Qualifying Rounds by a whopping 50-0 margin before defeating Italy by a 3-2 score in the playoff to reach these games. Finished 2nd in Group A with a 2-1 record.

Germany: Ranked #2 in the world by FIFA. The host nation is the two-time defending Women's World Cup Champions in 2003 and 2007. They finished atop Group A with a 3-0 record. One of the three favorites to win these games.

Japan: Ranked #4th in the world by FIFA. They finished 4th in the 2008 Summer Olympics but they are 0-8-1 in nine World Cup matches against a European team. They finished 2nd in Group B with a 2-1-0 record.

Sweden: #5th in the FIFA poll. They won Group C by upsetting the USA by a 2-1 score to finish 3-0 in that Group.

USA: #1 ranked team by FIFA -- but that was a March poll and this team has (relatively) recently lost to Mexico in the World Cup Qualifying Stage as well as England in an April friendly and then Sweden in their last game to finish 2nd in Group C with a 2-1-0 record. Very dangerous but take everything that the pro-American ESPN broadcasting team says about this team with a few grains of salt.

Congratulations! You are now a (fairly) well educated Women's World Cup observer. How you use this knowledge is now up to you. Best of luck for us -- Frank.

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