Wacky World Cup Wagers

The World Cup is a huge event for gaming companies as well as sports fans - William Hill, the second-largest U.K. bookmaker, expects fans to wager at least £1 billion in total. More amusing, though, are some of the individual bets Hill has taken:

–Biggest World Cup Wager: A U.A.E. businessman has bet £50,000 at 6-1 that England will win the cup.

–Early Bath World Cup Wager: A customer from Bath, England, has bet £5,000 at 100-1 that the U.S. will win the tournament.

–Best Baby Bet: Stuart Harvey, a warehouse manager from Burgess Hill, England, has wagered £20 at 150-1 that his wife will give birth to their first child on July 9 and that England will win the cup the same day.

–My favorite: “Following a vivid dream a Mr Craig Chidgey from Kent has placed £40 at 66/1 that England will lead France 1-0 at some point during the World Cup (In the dream Rooney scores from just outside the box and the scoreboard flashes 1-0 England.) He stands to win £2,680.”

They’re also giving odds on David Beckham’s hairstyle for the first England match and that the entire team will have matching haircuts or the same hair color.

They need to be a bit careful about taking some bets.

I’m sure I remember a bet about the time of the first throw-in during an English League match. One side kicked off, then instantly hoofed the ball into touch. :eek:

Also I remember the floodlights going out during another match - I think that was a Far Eastern gambling syndicate.

I see it’s 100-1 if Beckham shaves his kids’ names into his head. What’s to stop him from betting a say ten thousand on it himself and collecting a million? It can’t be considered betting on the game.

I bet on Trinidad to lose every game they play. A lot less nutty I think.

The U.S. is 100-1? I don’t know a whole lot about soccer, and don’t expect us to win or come very close, but that seems generous. I’d put a C-note on it for 100-1.

You’re correct. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/422742.stm

Well, they first have to come out of a group that includes Italy and the Czech Republic, and then are likely to end up against Brazil in the second round if they do. To say that’s a tough route is an understatement.

These prices are generally available prior to this afternoon’s opening fixture. Fluctuations will apply depending on the layer:

12/5 Brazil
5/1 England
8/1 Argentina
8/1 Germany
8/1 Italy
11/1 Netherlands
12/1 France
14/1 Spain
20/1 Portugal
33/1 Czech Republic
40/1 Mexico
40/1 Sweden
50/1 Ukraine
66/1 Croatia
80/1 Ivory Coast
100/1 Poland
100/1 Serbia & Montenegro
100/1 USA
125/1 Australia
125/1 Switzerland
150/1 Paraguay
200/1 South Korea
250/1 Ecuador

Any price the rest.

The wacky wager here is England at 5/1. There is no value at that price.

On the site I bet on the U.S. was 60-1. More reasonable I think, but either way they’re big long shots. I bet Brazil at 3-1. I think they’re about a 50-50 shot to win so it made sense to me at 3-1.

I really feel like the US has a chance this year, or would, if they didn’t have that schedule. I still believe they will get pretty far, but it looks fairly grim for them beating last go rounds record.

On the other side, Brazil is in with who? Croatia and Japan? I’d take them any day over Italy and the Czech, not to mention Ghana. Ghana looks pretty decent right now.

I think even crazier than thinking the US has a shot at winning it all is thinking England will get much further. They may be good, and they may have Beckham, but they are still England. When was the last time they got to the cup?

Stupid Brazil…