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Olympic Mens Football betting

July 18th, 2012

The Olympic men’s football kicks off on Thursday July 26th and is sure to be a major betting attraction, particularly as Great Britain will be taking part for the first time since 1960.

The tournament opens with Honduras v Morocco at 12pm and the opening day, which sees a full round of group games taking place, concludes with Stuart Pearce’s side taking on Senegal at Old Trafford.

The competition is largely restricted to U23 players, although each nation is permitted to name three overage players in their 18-man squad. Great Britain have selected Micah Richards, Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy as their three overage players.

Bookmakers rate Brazil as the pre-tournament favourites and you can back them at 7/4 generally to win the gold medal. Spain, who have enjoyed an unprecedented period of success at all age levels, are second favourites at a best odds of 5/2 with Coral.

Uruguay are real contenders too and are priced generally at 7/1, while Great Britain’s collection of English and Welsh talent is offered at 9/1 by 888sport. Mexico look to be the value outsiders at 16/1 with Betfred, which is somewhat bigger than Sky Bet’s 12/1.

Brazil, who are building towards hosting the next World Cup in two years’ time, have selected a number of young players who are the envy of Europe’s elite clubs. Oscar, Ganso, Lucas Moura and Leandro Damiao are all very much in demand in this transfer window and they will be led by new PSG recruit Thiago Silva, with Neymar and Hulk providing the goal threat. They face Belarus, Egypt and New Zealand in their group and are a best price of 1/25 with BetVictor to qualify for the next phase.

Spain, the world and two-time European champions at senior level, won the European U21 Championships last summer and, to show the future is also in good hands, the European U19 tournament last weekend.

Their squad for the Games is littered with talent - Juan Mata, David De Gea, Javi Martinez, Cristian Tello, Jordi Alba, Ander Herrera, Cesar Azpilicueta - and they are sure to be a genuine gold medal prospect to continue their run of success. They should have little trouble getting out of a group containing Japan, Morocco and Honduras.

Uruguay, who face Great Britain, the UAE and Senegal in their group, boast perhaps the deadliest attacking line-up having named their regular senior strikeforce in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, while Bologna’s rising star Gaston Ramirez will provide the service. Realistically they look a better bet than Team GB to win the group, but with plenty of patriotic interest expected the odds are the other way around. You can back Great Britain at best odds of 6/5 (Paddy Power) to top the group, while Uruguay are 5/4 (Coral).

Mexico are an interesting prospect because they laid the groundwork for this tournament by selecting their U23 squad for last summer’s Copa America. They fared well enough then and have a settled line-up which went on to win the recent Toulon U23 tournament.

Neymar is the 11/2 favourite with Ladbrokes and William Hill to be the top tournament goalscorer, but his team-mate Hulk is the more attractive proposition at BetVictor’s 9/1. Cavani, too, is 9/1 across the board while Ladbrokes and Coral should see plenty of interest at 10/1 for Luis Suarez.

Current Bookmaker Offers and Refunds

  • Goalscorer 2nd Chance: Refund of losing First Goalscorer bets, as a free bet up to £50, if your player scores the second goal - with William Hill

  • Bore Draw: Refund of ALL losing Correct Score, Half-Time/Full-Time and Scorecast bets on ANY football match that finishes 0-0 - with Bet365

  • Channel 4/1 offer - Back a winner at 4/1 or more in a race televised live on Channel 4 and get a free bet of the same stake on the next televised race. If your free bet also wins at odds of 4/1 or more, you also qualify for a free bet on the next televised race and so on - with Bet365

  • Premier League Late Loser Insurance: Refund of losing Correct Score & Scorecast bets, up to £25, if the bet is winning at the 85th minute - with Coral

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