With the final 16 set at the World Cup, Brazil has been installed a 7-2 favorite to win its sixth title by BetUS.
The Brazilians won Group G and will play Chile on Monday in the knockout round. Chile is 30-1.
Spain and Argentina are 4-1 as second favorites. The European champion Spaniards won Group H and face Iberian neighbor Portugal (12-1) on Tuesday, while Argentina has a Sunday game against Mexico (50-1).
The United States, which faces Ghana today, is 40-1, the same as the Africans.
The Netherlands (6-1) meets Slovakia (80-1) on Monday. Germany (8-1) plays England (9-1) on Sunday. Uruguay (10-1) takes on South Korea (125-1) today. Paraguay (20-1) faces Japan (50-1) on Tuesday.
World Cup betting has been brisk in the United States, according to BetUS spokesman Reed Richards.
“It was apparent that this World Cup showing was a big one for the sport of soccer in the U.S. before the tournament started, but has been backed up by the amount of interest people have shown in our site long before and even more so since the tournament has begun,” Richards said.
USA A HIT IN JO-BURG
The U.S. team, which seemed an afterthought at the start of this World Cup, has developed its own identity in Johannesburg.
Pop music radio station 94.7-FM, a station usually overwhelmed with talk of Brazil, Spain, and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, was praising the Americans on Friday for their dream goal and never-say-die attitude.
“We speak-a no American-o,” added the South African radio host, “but we love Landon Donovan.”
THE OCTOPUS PICKS ...
You’ve heard of Punxsutawney Phil. Now meet Paul the Octopus.
The creature lives at the Sea Life Aquarium in the German city of Oberhausen, and when there’s a big German soccer game, aquarium workers have Paul pick the winner.
Germany plays England on Sunday, and it turns out that Paul was born in England.
On Friday, Paul chose a mussel out of a glass marked with the German flag over a mussel in a glass with the English St. George’s Cross.
Aquarium spokeswoman Tanja Munzig says that during the 2008 European Championship, he predicted 80 percent of all German games correctly.
Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger remains highly doubtful for Sunday’s second-round match against England because of a right thigh injury. … Mexico forward Carlos Vela trained with a ball for the first time since injuring his right leg more than a week ago, increasing his chances of playing Sunday against Argentina.