South America has hosted four World Cups and South American nations have won every time.
The 2014 World Cup kicks off this week with host nation Brazil listed as a 3/1 favorite to win its sixth title.
It has been 12 years since Brazil last captured a World Cup championship, but playing on home turf gives the squad an edge.
Despite their strong position entering the tournament, there is no shortage of national sides capable of spoiling the party for Brazil, which opens Thursday as a huge favorite against Croatia.
Argentina follows Brazil on the list of favorites with World Cup 2014 odds of 4/1. A favorable draw likely means that Argentina will have little difficulty advancing to a round of 16 matchup, possibly with either France or Switzerland.
The Argentines won the World Cup as hosts 1978 and Uruguay did the same in 1930. Brazil won in 1962 when Chile hosted the event and Uruguay won in Brazil in 1950. Colombia and Chile also boast long-shot potential to come through with home-continent advantage.
Argentina will also enjoy the benefit of partisan crowds at their matches, at least in the early going of the tournament.
At 11/2, Germany is the European squad with the best odds to win the 2014 World Cup. Their list of likely opponents in the round of 16 includes Belgium and Russia, squads that Die Mannschaft have dominated historically.
But first, Germany must compete in a tough Group G alongside Portugal, the United States and Ghana. While 5/9 to win their group, some of the toughest competition Germany will face at the 2014 World Cup will be in group stage matches.
They are the top betting choice to be the top European team in the tournament.
The 2010 World Cup champions and reigning two-time European champions are also in the mix of favorites in World Cup futures wagering. Spain, the No. 1 nation in the world according to FIFA’s rankings, sits at an intriguing 6/1 to repeat as World Cup champs.
Their credentials would normally result in shorter odds, but 6/1 Spain faces a difficult road to the World Cup final. They must first get past rival Netherlands, whom they defeated in 2010, as well as Chile, a dangerous squad on South American turf, to advance to the knockout stage.
The United States’ odds have also been impacted by a difficult draw. It will be considered a major upset if the Americans, 100/1 in World Cup futures betting, are able to advance out of Group G, since it would mean an early exit for either Germany or Portugal.
Odds are currently 2/7 that America’s World Cup dream ends in the group stage. But they did enjoy a victory on the weekend over Nigeria, with Jozy Altidore breaking a slump with two goals.
Mexico has also received no benefit from their group stage draw. Joining Brazil in Group A, Mexico will likely battle Croatia for second place and a spot in the round of 16. Mexico currently is 125/1 in World Cup futures betting and a 9/1 longshot to win Group A.
World Cup 2014 Odds (updated June 8 at Odds Shark)
Ivory Coast 125/1
South Korea 300/1
Costa Rica 1000/1