Football: Spread Betting

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IF THERE was a market for the number of times Nigeria's defending was described as "naive" or we were reminded that Pele said an African country would win the World Cup by the end of the century then this column would be buying as though it were Christmas.

Until that day the more traditional markets will have to suffice. Their 3-2 victory over Spain has put them in pole position in Group D. Instead of relying on them to beat Bulgaria well this afternoon take a longer- term view by buying their total tournament goals, 7.5-8 with Sporting.

They also make a nice wager in the various World Cup Index markets - Sporting have them 43-47 and City 21-24. That means even a loss at the quarter-final stage would realise a profit.

It is time to abandon Chile. Two apparent victories have turned into dispiriting draws and they are now faced with a likely second-round game against Brazil. Sell now on the overall indices and a small profit will be yours. If their bad luck continues and they somehow fail to advance even that far an even bigger profit is made.