This will be the 46th addition of the Copa America, 100 years after the competitions initial inception. This will be the first competition that will be held outside of South America with the United States of America hosting the competition come June 3rd. The competition will be contested by ten sides from the CONMEBOL region and six from the CONCACAF region. Here is our Copa America Betting Preview.
Group A | Copa America Betting Preview
The hosts will expect to qualify in a group that contains Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay. A semi final aim is a realistic aim for the German boss Jurgen Klinsmann who will know that there’s pressure on his side to perform in front of their adoring faithful. You can get a good price of 2.37 on USA to win their group and that’s certainly a value bet I’d be happy to take.
Jose Pekerman will be fully aware of the pressure his side will face come the start of the Copa America, Colombia had a horrid time in the 2015 version of the competition crashing out in the quarter finals to Argentina, on paper this seems like a reasonable defeat but considering they only got into the quarter finals as the second best third placed side it was a disappointment all around for the Colombians. A lot of the media attention and focus will fall on the shoulders of Colombian skipper and Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez who will be expected to lead his side to at least a semi final place.
The beautiful tropical country of Costa Rica has gone football mad since the sides remarkable World Cup campaign in 2014 which saw the outsiders reach the quarter finals of the competition. They’ll certainly fancy their chances in causing a couple of upsets in this years Copa America and I wouldn’t rule them out in qualifying from this group at the expense of Colombia. The Costa Rican’s have got a load of pace to burn with C.Gamboa as right wing back and J.Campbell used as a forward, they’ll look to break quickly when then get possession of the ball and use their pace in wide areas. The 3.00 available on them to qualify from the group is certainly a good bet!
Argentinian boss Ramon Diaz will know he’s got his work cut out if Paraguay are to get anything from this group and there’s a solid reason that they’re 11.00 to qualify from Group A. There’s a lot of experience in the Paraguay camp including the likes of L.Barrios and R.S.Cruz who will likely lead the line for their country before retiring from international football. What they have in experience they fail with in terms of quality and that is representative in terms of the clubs players who represent with non of them presenting themselves as a top player in any of Europe’s elite clubs. They might steal a point against Colombia but I expect them to lose against Costa Rica and U.S.A meaning they’ll be catching a very early flight home.
Group B | Copa America Betting Preview
After a disastrous 2014 World cup campaign, everyone in Brazil was desperate to succeed in the 2015 Copa America, but after a quarter final defeat at the hands of Paraguay it left the country wondering where they go from here. The minimum expectation of Brazil in this years competition is that they get to the final and they’ve been lucky enough to score themselves an easy group in which they should win every game. The Brazilians will be far to reliant on Zenit forward Hulk and Santos’ star Gabriel to get their goals, this is Gabriel’s first big tournament while Hulk still struggles to live up to his reputation on the big stage.
The Ecuadorians come into the 2016 Copa America with low expectations as they crashed out of last years competition in the group stages. They play Brazil in their opening game which will work against them as the Brazilians look to get off to a flying start so in order to qualify they’ll probably have to win their remaining two games against Peru and Haiti as everyone is expecting to pick up the three points against minnows Haiti. With E.Valencia and J.Montero in their attacking line up the Ecuadorians always have the chance to get themselves some goals as the two forwards possess bags of pace to cause opposition defenses problems.
Peru were the overachievers in the 2015 version of this competition as they secured themselves a semi final place before losing to eventual winners Chile who progressed thanks to two goals from E.Vargas. With Pizzaro and Guerrero as their front two we shouldn’t expect much running from the Peruvian front pair but they will hold the ball up exceptionally well and bring others into the game. Their first game against Haiti will sculpt their competition and should they pick up the win I fancy them to advance to the knockout phases ahead of Ecuador.
You have to feel that Haiti are just in this competition to merely make the numbers up as they face potentially the toughest group. Haiti will face off against Peru in their opening game and I expect the Asian Handicap line to be -1.50/+1.50. Haiti have no stand out names in their team, they do have a couple of players playing in Ligue 1 in France however. One plus point for Haiti is they have numerous players playing in the MLS so they shouldn’t have any issues acclimatizing to the U.S conditions.
Group C | Copa America Betting Preview
The bookmakers feel that this group will be contested by Uruguay and Mexico unless Venezuela or Jamaica manage to pull a couple of shock results out. The big question for Uruguay is, will Luis Suarez be fit enough for selection? The Barcelona ace came off in his clubs Copa Del Rey win over Sevilla in mid May, the forward left the pitch n tears and there’s large speculation around his fitness levels which would likely leave a front two pairing of E.Cavani and A.Hernandez. The latter has had an exceptional season at Hull but question marks remain due to the forward playing in England’s second division to then battling it out with the elite players of South American Football.
The bookmakers feel that Mexico have a fantastic chance to qualify from their group and currently have them priced at 2.20 to win group C. Mexico have won their previous five games prior to the start of the tournament (wrote before friendlies against Paraguay and Chile) without conceding a single goal. Andres Guardado could prove to be the key man for Mexico as the dead ball specialist will look to cause no end of problems for opposition players just like he has this season in his title winning campaign at PSV. I don’t feel there’s much value in backing either of these sides to win the group as it could end up as a straight shootout between the pair.
Venezuela have had a miserable time of things lately, they were recently destroyed 1×4 at home to Chile in a game that almost lead to riots amongst supporters. The country is on it’s knees financially and there’s even talk of a civil war breaking out, that being said the Venezuelan national team will know there’s a chance for them to distract the nationals from their troubles at home by performing well in the competition. The key man for Venezuela will without doubt be West Bromwich Albion forward S.Rondon who has had a successful season in England grabbing himself a respectable nine goals. The forward will be responsible for linking up play with his team mates who will play long balls into him to hold up. With the togetherness of the Venezuelan team I wouldn’t rule them out qualifying for this group provided you can get over 5.00 on them to do so, they’re currently priced at 11.00 to win the group.
The reggae boys were expected to be destroyed in last years competition and the smallest Asian handicap they faced was 1.50, they went off at 1.99 on the +2.75 vs Argentina in the group stages of the competition last year. If you’d have backed Jamaica on the plus handicap in their three group games last season you’d have won all three as they lost all their games by a single goal to nil.
Once again Jamaica will look at basing their campaign around a solid backline mainly due to the fact that their forward line is arguably the worst in the competition with the likes of G.Barnes and C.Donaldson to choose from.
Group D | Copa America Betting Preview
It’s been 23 years since Argentina last lifted a major trophy and they come into this Copa America as strong favorites with many bookmakers having them as 2.87 with a couple going as low as 2.00. Argentina came extremely close to ending that run last season when they lost out to Chile. The forward line for Argentina is almost scary with the likes of L.Messi, S.Aguero and G.Higuain to choose from. It’s almost a free pass from group D with the likes of Panama and Bolivia to face alongside their only real challenge which is Chile. Chile and Argentina face off in the opening group game, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it end in a draw with both sides then going on to beat both Bolivia and Panama.
Bolivia’s opening game of the tournament will no doubt be their most important as they face a Panama side with similar ambitions to their own, don’t finish bottom of the group. Should Bolivia win their opening game this will give them the opportunity to play for a draw in their remaining two fixtures in the hope that four points would qualify them. 31 year old forward J.Acre will be the danger man for the Bolivians, the former Terek and Corinthians forward will get a limited amount of chances this tournament but he’s proved his eye for goal throughout his career so should he be presented with a chance I expect him to take it.
Everyone will be out to get Chile after their success last Copa America campaign when they beat Argentina on penalties in the final. With virtually the same squad that won the competition last time many pundits are making Chile a good value bet to win the competition again at 7.00. I don’t actually see Chile progressing very far this tournament, Sanchez hasn’t had a great season at Arsenal and you get the feeling that everyone will find an extra ten percent against the reining champions. Chile will qualify from the group due to the poor level of opposition but I can’t see them getting beyond the semi final stage this year!
Panama go into the no hope category in this competition as they’re currently priced at 201.00 to win the competition alongside Jamaica and Bolivia. Panama are in the same situation as Bolivia where they know that their opening game is one of huge importance. Jamie Pendo will be the key man for Panama this tournament as the goalkeeping will be test on a regular basis in all three of his teams matches, the former LA Galaxy man will be up to the task however as he enters his final tournament. Expect Panama to crash out of the group, likely with zero points.
Recommended Copa America Bets
Argentina outright champions @ 2.87
Argentina to win group D @1.53
Costa Rica to qualify from group A @ 3.00
Venezuela to qualify from group C @ 4.00
Peru to qualify from group B @ 2.25
Abel Hernandez top goal scorer @ 28.00