Most ill-disciplined team, first-time winner and top Premier League scorer; we have the best World Cup novelty bets right here
It's not all about winner and top scorer you know. Here are a few more left-field punts for you to have at this year's World Cup.
While the World Cup offers a plethora of bets, from outright winner down to individual game odds, some of the best craic to be had is with the more obscure bets that the bookies roll out for the big one.
And Ladbrokes have some crackers in play for the Brazilian party we are all about to dive into. Sure, they have the top scorer and best player markets too but if you want to back something a bit different, they can sort you out too.
One that immediately caught our eye here was the first time winner bet. That rules out the top four in the outright betting (Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain) but it leaves in pretty much everyone else unless you have a fancy for Italy, France, England or Uruguay, rounding out the list of teams who have ever won the thing.
Essentially you are betting on one of Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Colombia, Chile or Russia to do the business at a tasty 7/2. That is the 'dark horse' brigade in full and you should get a great run for your money as we think at least one of them should make a semi-final. In an ideal world, two of them would make the final, allowing you to enjoy World Cup final day secure in the knowledge that a financial windfall will be headed your way regardless of the result. It will be a small window into how Sepp Blatter feels at every World Cup final.
We also like the look of the worst disciplined team of the tournament bet. Teams accumulate points as follows; 10 Points per Yellow, 25 Points per Red, Maximum 35 Points per player per game.
Last time out there were 253 yellows and 17 reds dished out by the men in black (or yellow, or pink or whatever it was) and we expect a similarly high card count in 2014. The Dutch ran away with this last time out, even without a red being issued to Nigel de Jong for karate kicking Xabi Alonso in the final.
That dastardly Dutch team racked up 24 yellows and one red in seven games. Considerably less violent under Louis van Gaal these days, Holland are 18/1 to retain the dirtiest team 'honours'. Argentina, always good for a booking or two, are favourites at 9/1 while nice guys Japan are the rank outsiders at 80/1.
We fancy Chile, who were second in the league of shame in South Africa in 2010, to have a good go at topping the charts this time. At 16/1, you'll be praying for Gary Medel and Arturo Vidal to fly into tackles, adding a little extra spice to every game played by La Roja.
Finally, the betting on top Premier League goalscorer is a tremendous race to follow. A monstrous 124 players in Brazil earn their living in England and Wales, the vast majority at Premier League clubs. And a look at the contenders is a who's who of genuine quality. Top of the shop is Sergio Aguero at 9/2. To be honest, we don't think he'll even be top scorer for Argentina, but Kun is quality and may catch fire in Brazil.
Wayne Rooney, with more World Cup red cards to his name (1) than World Cup goals (0), is an optimistic 18/1 and possibly hobbled goal machine Luis Suarez is yours at sevens. A much better bet is probably Liverpool team-mate Daniel Sturridge at 20/1.
However, we have decided to go for the man who might as well change his first name to 'poor old'; Fernando Torres. Spain will probably try to use Diego Costa but we wonder if he is fully fit and even so, we expect the Chelsea man to see some game time. His tournament record is ridiculously good, and not just in the good old days either. Top scorer at Euro 2012 and top scorer in last summer's Confederations Cup Torres will be a lot happier in Spanish red than the glum looking soul we saw plodding around Stamford Bridge all season.
A genuine 'big game' player, at 16/1 we reckon he's overpriced an worth a cheeky fiver.
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