With the Champions League and play-off finals the only remaining dates in the continental football calendar, attention is gradually turning to Brazil in World Cup anticipation.
As the excitement escalates in the coming weeks, news.bwin.com/en/ will be giving you the 411 on the best ways to make money on each of the eight groups and what better place to start than Group A.
Here are the three best pre-tournament punts taken from this deceptively difficult pool.
Mexico to qualify @ 6/5
El Tricolor didn’t have the best of times obtaining their ticket to the tournament, using three managers and amassing a pitiful 11 points in qualifying, but history suggests they’ll go at least as deep as the last-16.
Croatia are the early favourites to follow hosts Brazil into the knockout rounds, but La Verde haven’t been eliminated at the first hurdle in any of the previous six World Cups they’ve participated in.
The Croats, however, have only scaled the group stage on one occasion, making the course and distance Mexicans an excellent value underdog bet to land the second progression place.
Brazil to score fewer than 6.5 goals @ 9/10
To see the hosts do anything other than top Group A with consummate ease would come as something of a surprise, but the reasonably large names they’re pooled alongside are too strong to be demolished by the Samba stars.
Canarinho may have broken the 6.5-goal barrier in three of their last four group stage campaigns, but the feeble foes they faced mitigate their free-scoring exploits.
The 11 fired in 2002 came thanks to routs of China and Costa Rica, while Australia and Japan gave them a helping hand to hit seven in 2006.
In 1998 they were lumped in with Norway, Morocco and Scotland, yet only six goals were plundered.
The weakest team in their group this time around – Cameroon – lost all three matches in 2010, but still only afforded their vanquishers five goals in total, which suggests good hidings will be hard to come by in this group.
Cameroon to finish on one point @ 5/2
Volker Finke’s men look bound to be on the earliest flight home, but the point they pinch off one unfortunate opponent affords them the chance to take someone down with them.
The Indomitable Lions have won just once in the previous four World Cups they’ve attended, but have only departed a solitary tournament with a bagel in the points column, drawing one match on average across their last four tilts.