Once the insightful chaps over at news.bwin.com/en/ unearthed the best group-stage elimination bets to be on it would’ve been easy to put the spade down, swig some water and retire to their favourite armchairs.
Determined as they are to ensure punters have access to the greatest wagers around, however, they just kept on digging and this perseverance has revealed which nations will skip the first hurdle, but will get no further.
Here are your three countries that’ll be sent home once the last-16 stage has been concluded:
Mexico – 2/1 to be eliminated in the second round.
Few have the art of group-stage advancement mastered as well as the El Tri, while an equally sparse number of teams consistently find the first knockout round too tough to navigate.
In each of the previous five World Cups they’ve escaped their mini-league only to be siphoned off in the last-16 stage.
They’ll be competing with Croatia for runners up spot in Group A and will be confident of overhauling the checkerboard outfit based on the fact that Niko Kovac’s men have been beyond the first round just once in their history.
Japan – 7/4 to be eliminated in the second round.
Group C looks to be Colombia’s for the taking, though in reality this is probably the most open pool of the tournament.
However, finish first or second and you’ll be forced to tackle sterner stuff in the shape of Italy, England or Uruguay and all three will prove too hot for Japan.
Samurai Blue have enough artillery in their attacking arsenal to blast a path into the last-16 and have made it as far in both of the World Cups they’ve entered and won a match.
They’re yet to tread the deeper waters beyond this point, though, and given the superior foes lying in wait this summer, it’ll be more of the same for Zac Japan.
Netherlands – 2/1 to be eliminated in the second round.
Louis van Gaal’s side couldn’t have been handed a much tougher section and, unless they can beat Spain to top spot in Group B, it’s likely they’ll be sent packing courtesy of the Brazilians in the last-16.
Twice since 1974 has the second round proved an insurmountable hurdle for de Oranje, including the 2006 instalment.
They have both the talent and tactically proficient coach to shock the hosts, if they are indeed forced to face them, but the home nation have advanced as far as the quarters in all bar one of the past five World Cups and it’s hard to imagine a side as strong as Luiz Felipe Scolari’s failing to improve that stat.