FOOTBALL: SPREAD BETTING

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The Independent Online
THE opening game of the World Cup is traditionally a tight affair so, with Scotland's fine defensive record and their converse lack of scoring power, any wager on this game will depend on how you rate Brazil's scoring power. While Ronaldo frightens defenders with his pace and strength, Scotland conceded only three goals in qualifying, so a sell of the total goals at 2.6 with City Index has little danger attached to it.

Norway, with Ostenstad, Tore Andre Flo and Solksjaer, have certainly shed their soporific image of four years ago.

They scored six against Saudi Arabia just days after England were held goalless and Morocco have an impressive recent record, so a buy with Sporting Index of total goals at 2.4-2.7 appeals.

The quotes on the bookings for both games look high at above 60 (10 points for a booking and 25 for a sending off). While waiting a few games to see how the Fifa directive on tackling is carried out in practice before investing is an option the downside to this particular bet is likely to be slim - the European Cup final showed how a non-dirty game can rattle up the points.

Another possible avenue is banking on the referee being preoccupied with the dreaded "setting a standard for the rest to follow" is with City's time of first booking this afternoon being 21-24 minutes.

The markets will be constantly updated, although with the Brazil-Scotland game being shown on BBC1 this will mean some nifty finger work - either dialling phone numbers or calling up the pages on teletext on other channels.

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