The Inside Wagering Line
Written by: Simon Noble (31-May-2006)
The teams have qualified, the venues are all complete and the stage is set at
Pinnacle Sportsbook for the biggest football party in history, the 2006
FIFA World Cup! Highly profitable for informed players everywhere, Germany
2006 will see 32 nations compete for football’s biggest prize with the
1st match played on June 9th, when hosts Germany face Costa Rica.
In major soccer events like Germany 2006, the rules for how teams advance
from each group can often impact coaching strategy. In the World Cup and
European Championships, qualification from the group stage is the same
with the top two teams from each group advancing to the knockout stage of
If 2 or more teams finish level on points (earning 3 with a win and 1
for a draw), tie breakers are used. The first decider is goal difference,
then total goals scored, followed by head-to-head results, and finally the
drawing of lots.
One clear trend you see happening is in a team’s final game. Due to
tiebreaker rules, there are times when a certain match result will
guarantee both teams advance. A classic example of this happened in the
2004 European Championships in Group C. Before the final group games were
played, Group C’s table looked like this:
If Sweden and Denmark tied at 0-0 or 1-1, Sweden and Italy would advance.
If the game tied at 2-2 or higher, Sweden and Denmark would advance.
During the 2nd half, the score became tied at 2-2. At that point, the
players on the field stopped attacking and were content doing passing
drills until time elapsed.
A similar situation happened in the 2002 World Cup when Brazil played
Turkey in the last match in their group. If Turkey lost 2-1, drew or won,
both Brazil and Turkey would advance. Savvy bettors identified this and
bet on the exact score of the match, Brazil to win 2-1. Not surprisingly,
that was the final score of the game.
Another less obvious situation to look for is coaches who are happy with
a tie in the group stages. While every coach would like their team to win,
it’s often more important during the pressure cauldron of a major
tournament to simply not lose. In the 2002 World Cup, 13 out of 48 group
stage matches ended in a draw and during France 98, 16 out of 48 matches
at the group stage also ended in a draw including 5 out of the first 16
opening matches played.
Betting the draw can be profitable if you carefully select your positions
and look for value when making bets. Unless there’s a strong angle it
might be wiser to pass on the draw as you’re typically betting into a line
that has far more juice or bookmaker’s commission than an “Asian
handicap”. An Asian handicap is like a bet on the point spread in the NFL
– where you have a spread and moneyline combined.
Pinnacle Sports offers reduced juice wagering on all soccer markets, but
the Asian handicap line is where you’ll find exceptional pricing on the 2006
World Cup. With online limits of $50,000 per bet together with 6-cent
lines on Asian handicaps available the day of the game, Pinnacle Sports
Book offers up to 85% better odds than other bookmakers.
As it is harder for most players to calculate the bookmaker’s commission on
3-way betting lines (home team, draw, away team) many bookmakers will
‘hide’ additional juice on 3-way lines, which offers substantially less
value to the player. To find out how much juice you are paying simply check
out the free multi-way calculator at PinnacleSports.com You’ll be amazed
at what you can save by betting Asian handicaps at Pinnacle Sportsbetting.
If you are used to playing 3-way lines, you can often make a similar bet on
the Asian handicap at a much better price. If a team is a ½ goal favorite
on the Asian handicap, betting that team either on a 3-way or on the Asian
handicap will amount to the same thing – a winning bet if the team wins.
Take the Poland/Ecuador first round match-up. If you like Poland, you
could play Poland -0.5 +104 on the Asian handicap, or Poland -105 on the
3-way line. In that case, you could save 9 cents by shopping, even if your
only out is Pinnacle Sports.com!
Another type of Asian handicap is the “quarter-ball” line. For example, if
the line is “England -0.5 and -1 -105”, half the amount of your bet will
be graded at -0.5 and the other half of the stake amount will be graded at
-1. Some players can get frustrated trying to compare prices between the
quarter ball line and the Asian handicap. The general rule of thumb for
handicaps is that a quarter-ball is worth about 35 cents. So if “England
-0.5 and -1 -105” was the fair price, “England -0.5 -140” would be a
Who are the players betting on at the 2006 World Cup?
Will Brazil win the tournament? Yes +262
Brazil is a threat to win every World Cup and has won the competition a
record 5 times. Recent wins include the 1994 and 2002 Cups while Brazil
were also losing finalists in 1998. Brazil opened as the favourite to win
the tournament at +320. Although there’s been fairly balanced action, the
soccer specialists have been all over Brazil pushing the price down to
Germany/Costa Rica Over 2.5 goals -124
World Cup hosts Germany kickoff the tournament in the opening match.
Predictably, this is the highest volume game in the group stage thus far.
While the spread betting on the Asian handicap has been very balanced,
there is a lot of money being bet on the over in many of the games across
We initially opened Germany Over 2.5 at -110, and continuous pressure has
forced the line up to -124. Three other games have also seen substantial
moves on the over: Poland/Ecuador, Argentina/Ivory Coast and
Trinidad/Sweden. We are yet to see any of the games on the board have
substantial movement towards the under.
Team to advance further: Mexico -290/United States +254
In October of 2005, this market opened with Mexico as a -120 favorite.
During qualifiers, the U.S. and Mexico were tied in the CONCACAF
qualifying region with 22 points each. Mexico has won 5 of its last 6
International friendlies, including wins over fellow World Cup qualifiers,
Ghana and Paraguay. The U.S. has won 6 of their last 8 games, but was
crushed 4-1 by Germany in March and humbled 1-0 by Morocco just over one
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