Sports betting; England poor value even at 8-1

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The Independent Online
By Ian Davies

DESPITE a string of indifferent performances in friendlies since they qualified for the World Cup finals, England remain a top-priced 8-1 with Ladbrokes among British bookmakers. However, it is worth noting that Glenn Hoddle's squad are 14-1 with European bookmaker Eurobet.

Brazil, despite some dodgy displays - notably their 1-0 home defeat to Argentina - remain the 3-1 favourites, while Holland, Argentina and Spain - many people's idea of the best value bets - are available at 10-1, 11- 1 and 14-1 respectively. Norway and Yugoslavia, the most interesting outsiders, can both be backed at 33-1. Ominously Belgium, who England went down to on penalties in Casablanca on Friday, are 80-1.

In cricket, South Africa look a fair bet at 13-8 with Coral to beat England in the first Test - en route to an overall series victory (4-5 with Coral) - at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The wicket at the Birmingham venue is traditionally benign but the Springboks showed enough in the recent Texaco Trophy series to suggest they can get in among England's batsmen.

Their opening batsman, Gary Kirsten, showed he is returning to top form with a century against Gloucestershire last week.

World Cup betting

Nation C H L S T

Brazil 3-1 11-4 11-4 11-4 3-1

France 6-1 7-1 11-2 13-2 13-2

Germany 7-1 7-1 7-1 7-1 15-2

Italy 7-1 7-1 6-1 7-1 15-2

England 7-1 7-1 8-1 15-2 15-2

Holland 8-1 9-1 9-1 10-1 9-1

Argentina 11-1 10-1 9-1 10-1 8-1

Spain 12-1 14-1 14-1 11-1 14-1

Nigeria 22-1 25-1 28-1 28-1 28-1

Norway 33-1 33-1 28-1 28-1 28-1

Yugoslavia 20-1 33-1 25-1 22-1 25-1

Croatia 33-1 33-1 40-1 33-1 33-1

Colombia 50-1 50-1 50-1 40-1 50-1

Romania 40-1 50-1 40-1 40-1 33-1

Bulgaria 50-1 66-1 50-1 66-1 66-1

Denmark 40-1 66-1 50-1 50-1 40-1

Belgium 66-1 80-1 80-1 50-1 80-1

Scotland 150-1 150-1 125-1 100-1 125-1

Test Series

Nation C H L S T

England 15-8 5-2 9-4 9-4 2-1

Draw 7-2 4-1 4-1 4-1 9-2

South Africa 4-5 4-7 4-6 4-6 4-6

First Test

Nation C H T

England 5-2 11-4 3-1

Draw 5-4 11-8 11-8

South Africa 13-8 6-4 11-8

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