Group upsets and top scorer odds: Coral’s Copa America picks
Holly Thackeray | May 29, 2016
Generous group and scorer odds for upcoming Copa America
Next weekend marks the eagerly awaited start of the 2016 Copa America, a special edition celebration of a century of football confederation CONMEBOL and 100 years since the inaugural competition in 1916.
As it’s the first Copa America contest to be held outside South America and, with the pool stage already featuring heavyweight battles between the likes of Argentina and Chile, this is set to be special tournament.
So, with plenty of passion and upsets expected in the USA, to honour the occasion Coral have priced up a selection of plum markets for punters to enjoy.
Below are our top picks for the best bets, group by group, with a selection of excellent outside shouts from the stupendous leading scorer market too…
Group A – USA to play on home advantage?
Considering current Copa America holders Chile’s success on home soil in 2015, hosts the USA are a rather hopeful 5/4 joint favourite to top Group A, which also contains 2014 World Cup cult hero teams Colombia and Costa Rica.
As the Stars and Stripes have not entered this contest for sometime, with their last feature in the finals back in 2007, when they bowed out at the group stage, and their best ever finish fourth place, Jurgen Klinsmann’s contingent do not have the historical pedigree to push for the summit.
Instead, the Coffee Growers are much more appealing at the same 5/4 price to finish atop the Pool A standings, with their host of stars schooled at the top level in James Rodriguez, who continues to be an international talisman despite club troubles at Real Madrid, on loan Juventus wingman Juan Cuadrado, AC Milan poacher Carlos Bacca and Arsenal keeper David Ospina.
While, even World Cup dark horses extraordinaire Costa Rica (16/1) edge the USA in head-to-heads with 12 wins to 11, and have shown they can be giant killers on a big stage before. Fellow pool outsiders Paraguay are also underrated, fresh from making a Copa splash themselves last year, when they rallied to a semi-final, and have ended runners-up before in 2011 – so look great value at 9/1 themselves for group prominence.
Group B – Brazil still likely to best Ecuador
Looking a lot less competitive is Group B, where Brazil seem nailed on to finish as pool kings, despite the Samba Boys being far from their best vintage, in a squad selection without Barcelona superstar Neymar.
Though the recent inclusion of Benfica goal gobbler Jonas Goncalves Oliveira, who we’ll get to later in the scorer stakes, makes the South American giants a sensible odds-on 2/5 to be group victors.
Dunga’s boys’ first battle against organised Ecuador (3/1), featuring Premier League namesakes Antonio and Enner Valencia, should have a huge say in proceedings before Brazil meet lesser lights Haiti (50/1), though 2015 semi-finalists Peru (60/1) are another team not to be taken lightly.
Group C – Mexico jostling with Uruguay
El Tricolor have finally sent their strongest squad to the Copa America, with the likes of Javier Hernandez, Miguel Layun, Hector Herrera and co making for a more than solid all-round spine that can certainly compete with Uruguay, hence the equal 6/5 group favourites price ahead of also-rans Venuzuela (8/1) and Jamaica (14/1).
It’s tempting to opt for the 2015 Gold Cup winners for group glory with this talented roster on show though, with Luis Suarez emphatically back alongside Edison Cavani up top, La Celeste will be gunning for glory also.
Group D – Chile for an Argentina upset?
As intriguing as outsiders Bolivia (33/1) and Panama (20/1) are for neutral viewers, this final group is all about the grab for power between last year’s finalists Argentina and Chile.
La Albiceleste were shock shootout losers, but will be spurred on by Lionel Messi, yet to clinch this silverware for his nation despite a distinguished club career.
Global footballing giants the Argentines hold a humongous head-to-head record against upstarts Chile, with 57 victories to six, and are seeking to right the wrongs of last year, which makes them understandable 4/9 shouts to finish first in the pool.
Yet, this golden age of Chilean talent have shown just what they can do and are 7/4 to prove they do not get travel sickness and are more than capable of upsetting the established order yet again, once recently rusty Gary Medel and Alexis Sanchez start clicking at crunch time.
Tournament top scorer shouts
With all this talent on show, Coral also boast a brilliant betting market for tournament top scorer, as the best goal threats from South, North and Central America collide.
The absence of Neymar makes things much more interesting, though dangerous Argentina duo Messi and Sergio Aguero are rather obvious odds leaders at 7/2 and 6/1 respectively.
As for outsiders that intrigue, Brazil’s Benfica poacher Jonas, dubbed ‘Pistolas’ for his prolific scoring, has hit a peak in his club career and, as a last-minute call-up is a plum 16/1 price to be top Copa America scorer, after bagging 36 in all competitions for the Eagles this season.
Fancy more value like that? Another Argentine hitman in Gonzalo Higuain is an incredible value 8/1 after notching 38 for Napoli, with 36 goals in 35 Serie A games breaking a scoring record held for over 60 years. Not bad.
Bayer Leverkusen has seen the best of Mexico marksman Hernandez, who hit 17 in 28 this Bundesliga season and is a tempting 20/1 chance, with Chile’s Alexis Sanchez more fancied at 14/1 despite an underwhelming (by his standards) season at the Emirates. So, Colombia’s Bacca admittedly looks better to back at 20/1 after grabbing 20 in 42 for AC Milan.
Uruguay don’t like to be outdone, however, and the one and only Suarez is 16/1 for most tournament goals, and has an awesome six in his past eight internationals plus a whopping 59 in all competitions for Barcelona this season. The choice is yours…
Keep tabs on our football page for more Copa America odds.