There are plenty of loose ends to be tied up in World Cup Groups C and D, with a place in the last-16 from both mini-leagues still up for grabs, and the black and gold boys at bwin.com have been busy boosting bets ahead of the Brazil battles.
Here are three wagers that would normally pay out at 16/1 as a treble, but come in at a combined one-and-a-half point bigger thanks to today’s bonuses.
Italy to beat Uruguay – Was 6/4, now 8/5
The Azzurri fell to the dreaded curse of Manaus last time out against Costa Rica, when becoming the second team – alongside England – to lose their next World Cup match after playing in the Amazonian capital. Cameroon and Croatia have made it four defeats out of four since.
Italy were much better in defeat against the Central Americans than their next opponents, who followed up a 3-1 loss by doing little with their 38 per cent share of possession, bar score twice through Luis Suarez, in their win over England.
The pugnacious Real Madrid target won’t find Italy’s defensive stars as easy to manipulate as Phil Jagielka and Steven Gerrard, and Cesare Prandelli has his own big-match centre-forward primed for another performance in Mario Balotelli, who’ll be eager to add to his winner against the Three Lions.
Colombia to beat Japan – Was evens, now 21/20
After watching Colombia fire three past famously frugal Greece without reply, before seeing off an Ivory Coast outfit courtesy of the same 2-1 scoreline the West Africans beat Japan by, odds-against about Jose Pekerman’s side blowing the Samurai Blue out of the World Cup water must be snapped up.
Pekerman’s charges would become only the second team, along with the Netherlands, to score the maximum from their group-stage assignment, although Costa Rica, France, Argentina and Belgium could still follow them into the clubhouse.
Recent trends suggest a group-stage whitewash bodes badly for Los Cafeteros’ 28/1 outright hopes, as Spain and Italy both faltered during the preliminaries en route to their 2010 and 2006 World Cup wins, although France and Brazil managed nine-point hauls in the two previous tournaments.
Ivory Coast to draw with Greece – Was 12/5, now 5/2
A draw would probably put the Elephants through to the last-16 for the first time in their short history on the biggest stage, and Greece’s ten-man shutout against Japan showed the weary world just how good they remain at sucking all life out of a game.
Greece could still go through with a win, but Fernando Santos’ men have looked incapable of making it into the box – never mind scoring – in their two fixtures so far, which gives the draw plenty of appeal.