Brazil to beat Chile 3-0 (10-1, Victor Chandler) Holland to beat Slovakia 3-0 (9-1, Blue Square)
Chile and Slovakia are two of the surprise packages of the World Cup. The latter's destruction of Italy, in particular, counts as one of the bigger shocks in the tournament's history. The Azzurri won't live that one down too easily But this is where the good times come to an end for both of them.
There is no way Slovakia should be able to cope with a high-quality Holland side, which ought to go deep into the competition before the wheels fall off (as they usually do with Holland). As for Chile, they may have qualified joint-second in South America. But in their two matches against Brazil they were convincingly defeated – 3-0 and then 4-2. What's more, Brazil will be better now they are in the serious phase of the tournament.
Perhaps that's why their odds have been steadily contracting and now stand at 7-2 (with Paddy Power), making the Samba boys the clear favourites (you can get 5-1 about Argentina with Victor Chandler or Extrabet while Spain can be backed in several places at 9-2). Brazil will be shorter after this match, and I still say they win it all.
With both sides lucky enough to boast several players who can hit the back of the net, I'm not inclined to get involved in the first to score market. But chancing Holland to win 3-0 at 9-1 with Blue Square has to be worth a punt. Meantime, Brazil getting the same score against Chile is available at 10-1 with Victor Chandler. That's too big a price. OK, the Brazilians may not have truly thrilled just yet – they were anaemic against Portugal in a game that didn't matter, and were given the fright of their lives against North Korea. But they clearly have a liking for Chile, and there will be nothing cold about their performance this evening.
If even one of these results comes off, the pay-off will be well worth having. For those of a more conservative disposition, you could always double the win for Holland and Brazil within 90 minutes. Such a bet pays a shade better than evens. And if that one doesn't come off, I'll eat the rather nice Confederation Cup souvenir baseball cap a friend brought me back from England's USA debacle.