World Cup: Battle for third place traditionally means goals

Updated: July 12, 2014
Brazilian fans will be hoping to have something to celebrate after tonight's third-place playoff against the Netherlands in Brasilia

Brazilian fans will be hoping to have something to celebrate after tonight’s third-place playoff against the Netherlands in Brasilia

Today’s game

Third-place playoff: Brazil v Netherlands; Estadio Nacional, Brasilia, Brazil; Sunday, July 13, 6am

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Confirmed bets

Brazil v Netherlands +2.5 (2.5 units @ $1.65)

Brazil v Netherlands +3.5 (one unit @ $2.50)

Brazil v Netherlands +4.5 (0.5 units @ $4.40)


We wouldn’t normally consider setting the alarm for the third-place playoff in the World Cup finals. In fact, aside from the commercial aspects of adding an extra game and an extra stadium for a meaningless fixture, we can’t think of a single reason for this game to be scheduled. It’s also a generally nightmarish proposition from a betting perspective too. “Yay, we finished third.” How do you motivate 22 millionaires for a game in which neither side would prefer to be involved?

As we discussed in our ‘first look’ yesterday, the huge X-factor in this game is the state of the Brazilian squad. Humiliated in front of the football world by Germany in their semi-final, the chance at even the smallest step on the road to redemption might be enough to spur the Brazilians to take this game more seriously than has been the case in previous editions. For our purposes, it’s very tough to quantify such psychological considerations. Instead, we’re going to play a more basic element of the third-place playoff through the history of the game, as based on past results:


2010: Germany v Uruguay 3-2

2006: Germany v Portugal 3-1

2002: Turkey v South Korea 3-2

1998: Croatia v Netherlands 2-1

1994: Sweden v Bulgaria 4-0

1990: Italy v England 2-1

1986: France v Belgium 2-2

1982: Poland v France 3-2


As you’ll notice, the past three editions of this game (and four of the past five) have finished with four or more goals. With virtually nothing at stake (expect perhaps some pride in today’s game), it’s all about offense and history shows that this game is generally a defensively-bereft affair. For what it’s worth, this also a tie-breaker of sorts for these nations, with their four World Cup meetings finishing in two wins apiece.

We’re also unsure what to make of Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal comments that this match is a pointless affair. There was a steady flow of misinformation from the Netherlands’ camp in the early days of the tournament and this could simply be another case of playing games with the media. If fact, Van Gaal is the sort of coach who’d dare his team to try and put more past Brazil than Germany’s seven, just for the sake of it! We’ll be playing the ‘overs’ quite aggressively here.


Current World Cup promotions

Centrebet – Correct Score Bonus
Get a 25% BONUS on the Correct Score market on ALL matches during the World Cup. Available to July 14, 2014.
Centrebet – Double Your Winnings
Double your winnings on the First Goalscorer market if the first goal is scored in the first half of the World Cup Final on Monday July 14.
Sportingbet – Big Bet Special
In the World Cup Final get $4 odds for Germany to score 2 or more goals in normal time.
Betfair – World Cup Final Promo
Choose two out of the following four:
Promo 1: 50% match odds boost
Promo 2: Messi to score anytime for boosted price of $5
Promo 3: Muller to score anytime for boosted price of $5
Promo 4: If there’s a red card at any stage get your first bet refunded up to $25

BetEasy – World Cup Special
Place a bet on the Win-Draw-Win market and if your selection is a winner at 90 minutes and Thomas Muller or Lionel Messi score, BetEasy will double your stake in Free Bet winnings! Maximum Stake $50.

Ladbrokes – World Cup Special
In selected matches Ladbrokes will nominate a ‘headline player’ from each team. If that player scores a goal and his team wins the game, you will receive the promotional odds for that combination. Valid for bets up to $100.

Unibet – Injury Time Insurance
Throughout the whole tournament Unibet will refund all losing Correct Score, Halftime/Fulltime, First Goalscorer and Last Goalscorer bets up to €100 on any match under this market where a goal is scored in injury time.
Unibet – Every 5th Bet Risk Free
Just place 4 separate €5 bets on any live market and Unibet will give you a live risk free bet on any match on that day.


Most recent results: 1-0-1, +0.58 units; overall record: 27-1-18, +25.71 units

Netherlands v Argentina TO QUALIFY (1.5 units @ $1.72) WIN

Netherlands v Argentina – correct score 0-1 (0.5 units @ $7.00) LOSE (0-0)

Note: A reminder to all football fans that the World Cup final is scheduled to be played one hour earlier than the quarter-finals and semi-finals (4pm local time, 5am AET).

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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