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Geben Sie mir mein Geld (Give me my money).

The World will be making money on ‘football’ this summer, you should too…

We call it ‘soccer’, but the rest of the world calls it football, futbol, futball, or even foosball. No matter how you spell it, the biggest sporting event on the planet is not the Olympics, it is the World Cup.

At you don’t have to speak Deutsch to bet on the 2006 FIFA World Cup Tournament on June 9th in Germany. While most of the world bets soccer all year round, this tournament in particular outshines them all. Why? The World Cup comes but once every four years. It will run for one month and the majority of the population of the planet will watch some or all of it. Want a piece of a the action?

Just as many international soccer teams prepare for the biggest event of the year, you too should be prepared if you’d like to make a little money on something other than Baseball.

Betting on soccer is different than betting on, say, baseball. The odds are set up European-style with a ‘Tie’ option. This might sound bunk to you right off the bat (no pun intended), but this type of wager can be quite profitable if you know what you’re doing…at least in the first round.

Let’s look at the tournament’s opening game between hosting country Germany versus Costa Rica. The betting odds currently posted at have Germany as the favorite at 1.35, the Tie at 4.82 and the underdogs, Costa Rica, at 10.10. You’re probably asking yourself what all this means. Well, this means that if you take Germany on a straight wager for $100 and win, then you’d be pocketing a quick $35. Now let’s say you wager $100, but this time on the Tie. You could win $482. Not too shabby, eh? Here comes the clincher. Let’s say you lay $100 on Costa Rica and win. We’re talking about $1,100. As you can see, the advantages of winning with an underdog are just as lucrative as in any other sport; Sometimes even more so.

The USA squad’s first match is against the Czech Republic. Our team is a slight underdog at 3.67 even though we didn’t just limp into the group. So, if you win in a $100 bet you get $267 plus the risk or $367. The Tie for this game is at 3.23 and the favorite, the Czechs, are at 2.05. Now, you can call me unpatriotic all you want, but I’m siding with the Czechs so I can receive a check. I have a perfectly good reason for this.

Here’s a little history lesson and some…ahem…“inside” information for you. The World Cup when played on European soil has almost always been won by a European team. That’s a good thing to know, right? Here’s the interesting part. When the Cup has been played on American soil (North American, South American…I think you get me.), the championship has gone to an American team. There has been only one exception to this rule of thumb; in 2002, the World Cup was played in Korea/Japan and was won by 5 time champion Team Brazil. More fun facts: this is the most World Cup championships won by any national team, ever. Because of this fact Brazil is a heavy favorite this year.

Another team that might take home the Cup this year is our friend to the south, Argentina. Thanks in part to their rising star Lionel Messi, a prominent player at FC Barcelona. As for European teams, the usual strong squads are France, Spain, Netherlands, England and, of course, Germany. However, they all had trouble in qualifying rounds and exhibition games. Hmm…Something to keep in mind when betting this on this year’s tournament. Come to think of it, most of the considered underdogs could conceivably give anybody a run for their money.

Now that you’ve got the 411 you can do some educated proposition wagering at Want to wager on who will get to raise the Cup in victory? Fortunately, this type of soccer bet is pretty straightforward, not like the European odds. Brazil is listed at 3-1, England is at 7-1, Germany is at 8-1, Holland and Italy are both at 9-1, and Argentina is at 13-2. Betting on a European underdog could very well surprise you and put some cold hard cash in your pocket. Good contenders would be Sweden at 40-1, the Ukraine at 50-1, and, naturally, the Czech Republic at 25-1.

You can also bet on Groups. “What’s that”, you say. Okay, here’s an example. In Group E we have USA, Ghana, Italy and the Czech Republic. Italy is the favorite here standing at 10-13, the Czech Republic is at 7-4, Ghana is at 9-1, and USA at 13-2. Now all you have to do is choose one and win. Simple.

There you have it. Now you’re ready to make some money this summer. So, even if you don’t know how to say ‘straight wager’ in German (it’s ‘Gerade Wette’ by the way) soon enough you’ll be screaming GOOOOOAAALLLL!!!
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