Share Only a matter of days to go as the eagerly anticipated World Cup South Africa 2010 draws close. 32 teams will compete in this year's massive event and realistically any 1 of about 10 can win but football is football and anyone including the dark horses can get their hands on the trophy! Who are the value bets of the World Cup, the best outside betting tips? Will 1 of the favourites in the top goal scorer betting markets take the golden boot or will it be our main man value bet tip of the World Cup - Robin Van Persie? The World Cup South Africa 2010 is upon us and there are all kinds of betting opportunities to keep you going through the summer!

NicsPick's Best 2010 World Cup South Africa Value Bets

First of all, make sure you take advantage of a huge deposit Up To €200 In World Cup Free Bets by opening an account with Bet365.

World Cup Winners
Well it's anyone's guess. Brazil and Spain are the 2 outstanding favourites in my book but the bookmakers agree and of course have priced them up shorter than their fair odds, so my advice would be to leave them alone unless you wanted to try a dutching strategy with a couple of others. The likely winner IMO has a very high chance of coming from the 1st 4 in the betting, so that would mean Argentina and England to add to the aforementioned. You'll only get pretty short odds on that though.

Those 4 are a cut above the rest but then the Germans, Italians and French, although lacking quality, know how to progress in tournaments like this. The best 'footballing team' are Holland but question marks remain in their defense.

The Underdogs
The team I'm keeping an eye out for this summer is Serbia. They have all the ingredients do do well in a knock out competition. All except experience that is. Jose Mourinho recently described what is needed in a competition of this ilk, citing a good goal keeper, 2 solid centre backs and a serious threat from set pieces. He couldn't be more right and I'd already noted Serbia due to key variables that included these.

A team built on a spine of Ivanovic and Vidic - 2 of the Premier League and Europe's finest defenders, added to a serious threat in wide and forward areas with Krasic, Jovanavic (who has signed for Liverpool), the giant of a man who is Nikola Zigic, not to mention other big names, Serbia could be this year's dark horses to go a lot further than expected. Look for them to try and build on a solid base and be a serious threat from set pieces. They can currently be backed at 50/1 E/W 4 places on Bluesquare, 16/5 on Paddypower to reach the 1/4 final and 7/2 to win their Group D.

World Cup Top goal scorer

NicsPick's Favourite (a lot of firms paying 5 places)

Wayne Rooney - Will play as an out and out striker this year off the back of his best season ever as a Premier League footballer. He has a group that spells goals for the English and I can see England going far in this World Cup. Rooney is at an age now where he really wants to express himself on the World Stage and he is my man to beat in the Top Scorer market. Rooney can be backed E/W generally @ 11/1

The Big Value Bet
This is my best bet of the World Cup and it is Robin Van Persie Each Way who I backed quite a while ago at 33's and unsurprisingly he's been cut across the board to as low as 18's in some places. Best price now is 25's on VC, SJ and Ladbrokes. As I speak he's banging them in against Mexico in a friendly.

Holland's group has goals written absolutely all over it. Denmark, Japan and Cameroon (as well as Holland) are all teams that will prove weak at the back and are all VERY potent going forward. Van Persie is fresh after a long injury lay off with Arsenal and he will be raring to go. He will play probably as the spearhead of the attack and he takes the penalties and is also a MASSIVE danger from free kicks around the box. If he stays injury free and Holland go far, he will be in the running for the win, never mind the place.

The Rank Outsider
For those who like having a small bet on big value/odds outsiders, Niclas Bendtner is your man. He is the talisman in the Danish team (who are in Holland's group) and he will get plenty of chances and I'd fancy the Danish to progress along with Holland. Bendtner can be backed E/W on skybet @ 100/1 (5 places)

REMEMBER: Opening up a Betfair Exchange betting account is a must to get the biggest odds and maximise your winnings from a lot of tips on Nic's Picks. There will be an awful lot of value in the world cup matches on the exchanges with people being loyal to their own teams and offering BIG odds in markets against them. Open Up An Account now to take advantage and roll in some in running World Cup Profits! Again, sign up through our links and you will help out our site. In this day and age, you need an exchange account to give you the best chance of being a profitable bettor. Betfair offer you a FREE €30 bet on sign up.

World Cup Special Bets

Golden Ball (Player of the tournament)
Always a favourite of mine to bet on and I still get a bad taste when I think back to the last World Cup where I backed easily the outstanding player of the tournament at big odds - Fabio Cannavaro, only for the press to give a sentimental vote to Zinedine Zidane, who in the group stages was being labelled as past it and who eventually went on to bow out in disgrace in the final. So bear in mind that the winner will be chosen before the final actually takes place.

From experience, I know that recently the winner of these trophies tends to be a key man (usually midfield) from a team that reaches the final. Strikers tend to be over looked in recent times as they have their own award to go for - The Golden Boot. Xavi of Spain and Zagorakis of Greece got the gong in the last 2 Euros and as mentioned, it was Zidane in world Cup 2006. Oliver Khan was an exception to the rule in 2002 if my memory serves me right and (big) Ronaldo, although a striker did win it in 1998.

It will be big odds Influential midfielders from teams likely to go far (excluding the obvious such as Kaka and Messi - no value in them) that I will be shortlisting and here are some recommended selections: (Totesport go E/W 1-3 btw)

- Frank Ribery @ 50/1 (Betfred)
- Cesc Fabregas @ 50/1 (general)
- Frank lampard @ 50/1 (general)
- Wesley Sneijder @ 50/1 (general)
- Andrea Pirlo @ 80/1 (Totesport)
- Yohann Gourcuff @ 125/1 (VC)

FIFA Most Entertaining Team Award

Holland @ 10/1 (VC Bet)
AS mentioned, Holland should be the team playing the football in the group stages. With Sneijder, Robben and Van Persie etc we should see goals, goals and more goals. If they progress far into the competition, they may well be everyone's 2nd favourite team.

Highest Scoring Group

It's Holland again! William Hill have gone crazy and are offering 10/1 on Group E being the highest scoring. It's generally 6/1 on average across the books and as mentioned a lot in this thread, I expect all games in that group to be open, end to end attacking games with plenty of firepower and weak defenses on show. Great value bet @ 10's.

Enjoy the World Cup and please leave feedback about my bets or yours in the comments under this thread. Let us know how you're getting on and if you've backed our tips :) We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank Us With A Beer or 2
:) ...

Thoughts on Nic's Picks or any soccer predictions of your own for the World Cup South Africa 2010 football matches or antepost betting? Why not discuss them in our Facebook Betting group and / or follow our World Cup tweets/tips onTwitter. I'll also be betting(dutching) on Man Of The Match and other markets on the Facebook page. Don't miss out.

Stay tuned to Nic's Picks for World Cup match betting.

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