Group winner long shot parlay



One of the great things about a sporting event like the World Cup is that the betting board is truly your oyster. No matter what kind of punter you are — whether you’re an everyday bettor who grinds out every sport or a casual player who chucks down a few bucks on a longshot every once in a while — there really is something for everyone at this once-every-four-years spectacle.

And one of my personal favorite bets to make before a major soccer tournament is the group winner parlay.

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Leo Messi
Leo Messi
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World Cup group winner parlay

Netherlands/Argentina/Denmark/Spain/Brazil/Uruguay (+5242, FanDuel)

When constructing a high-payout parlay like the one above, you want to find a couple of anchors. For this group winner parlay, those anchors are the Netherlands (-195) to win Group A, Argentina (-220) to win Group C, and Brazil (-220) to win Group G.

The reasons those three teams stuck out is not just because they’re quite good — Brazil and Argentina are the two tournament favorites, while the Netherlands is the seventh-choice at +1200 — but also because their groups are soft. 

The Netherlands will play in a quartet featuring Qatar, Ecuador, and Senegal, the latter of which looked like a formidable sleeper until their best player, Sadio Mane, was injured. The Dutch should be able to cruise while the other three teams duke it out for a second.

Meanwhile, Argentina’s group, which features Mexico, Poland, and Saudi Arabia, could be considered the easiest set for any favorite. 

Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon accompany Brazil in Group G. Still, La Selecao is in a league of their own in that competition and should have no problem justifying the -220 price to win the group. 

Neymar Jr of Brazil
Neymar Jr of Brazil
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With those three teams serving as the anchor for the parlay, it’s time to find a few prices to chuck in to drive up the value. 

France is the odds-on favorite to win Group D, but you could make a sound argument that Les Bleus are a pretty vulnerable favorite coming into this tournament. The midfield will be missing Paul Pogba and N’golo Kante, and there are question marks about how well they’ll be able to defend in transition.

Denmark (+185), meanwhile, is returning basically the same exact lineup that made it all the way to the semifinals at last summer’s European Championships. The Danes play a very well-organized, pressing system that should give less talented teams as Australia and Tunisia fit. Should the Danes see off those two teams without much incident, they’ll be live to take down this group.

Jordi Alba of Spain
Jordi Alba of Spain
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Oddsmakers are pricing Group E like a toss-up between Spain (-105) and Germany (+105), but La Furia Roja are the more complete side. The Spaniards have incredible depth in the midfield, plenty of creative playmakers up front, and a reliable backline that’s been playing together for a long while. The Germans, on the other hand, could be a defensive mess, which is part of the reason why Japan is an interesting longshot bet out of Group E.

But for the purposes of this bet, getting the best team in this quartet at -105 seems like a no-brainer. 

The final leg of the six-leg, a group-winner parlay is another sleeper. Uruguay are the second-favorites in Group G behind Portugal, but there are a lot of question marks about how well the Portuguese will gel. There’s a ton of talent on that side, but they’ve struggled to put it all together over the last three major tournaments. Meanwhile, you can always count on this talented Uruguay to play as a cohesive unit. Fede Valverde, Rodrigo Bentancur, Darwin Nunez and Luis Suarez give La Celeste a ton of starpower, but they all fit together like a glove for the national side. 


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