Opinions of bookmakers are hardening as Germany and Poland start the second phase of Group matches tonight, but it is dangerous to jump to conclusions and when bookies do so there are opportunities for punters.
Today, for example, the Tote take a pessimistic view of Poland's chances of returning to form against their German neighbours in what should be a keenly contested match. They offer 13-2 against a Poland win, while their rivals go as low as 5-1.
In contrast, Coral are less impressed with Germany's opening win against Costa Rica and quote them at 2-7 to win Group A, while Ladbrokes make them 1-6. Coral offer 11-8 against Germany being ahead at half-time and full-time tonight, compared with 10-11 at Ladbrokes.
Paddy Power expect goals and offer 12-1 for a 0-0 draw, while their rivals make a scoreless draw a 6-1 chance.
With England's only score coming through an own goal and Michael Owen short of fitness, the Tote has opened an Own v Owen match bet. Owen is 11-10 to contribute more goals than England's opponents do through own goals. Own goals, leading by one, is 7-2 with a tie at 11-8. The firm also offers 7-1 that "own goals" are England's top tournament scorer.
Ladbrokes have included signings Andrei Shevchenko and Michael Ballack in their market on Chelsea's top World Cup scorer. The Ukrainian, not certain to play against Spain today, is 7-2 second favourite.
Ladbrokes are 5-1, from 6-4, about Wayne Rooney playing against Trinidad and Tobago and 3-1 that he will not appear in United's next Premiership game. Theo Walcott is 4-5 to appear in tomorrow's game.
Top Chelsea Scorer at World Cup
Ladbrokes: 7-4 Crespo, 7-2 Shevchenko, 9-2 Ballack, 5-1 Drogba, 7-1 Robben, Lampard, 10-1 Cole, 33-1 Terry, 100-1 others.
Rooney's First Game
Ladbrokes: 5-1 Trinidad & Tobago, 11-10 Sweden, 2-1 Second round, 12-1 Quarter-final, 20-1 Semi-final, 25-1 Final, 50-1 3rd/4th play-off, 9-2 Not to play.
Walcott's First Game
Ladbrokes: 4-5 Trinidad, 2-1 Sweden, 10-1 Second round, 14-1 Quarter-final, 16-1 Semi-final; 20-1 3rd/4th play-off; 25-1 Final, 7-1 Not to play.Reuse content