The Ultimate Copa America 2019 Betting Guide
June 12, 2019
As Bill Shankly said, ‘Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I can assure you, it’s much more serious than that.’ It is a quote that many fans can relate too, but no more so than South Americans.
The continent is known for its footballing heritage, through their passionate supporters and flair players, but also through the Copa America. As the oldest international continental football competition across the globe, the tournament is enriched with historical culture and winning the tournament will cement your name in the history books forever.
Picking a winner isn’t an easy task though, as we have seen many favourites fall in the past. So who leads the Copa America 2019 odds? Take a look at our betting preview below.
Brazil the Favourites – 23/20 at 888sport
- Form: WWWDL
- Manager: Tite
- Captain: Dani Alves
- Star Player: Philippe Coutinho
Unsurprisingly, the hosts find themselves as the favourites. All eyes will be on Brazil this summer, as they look to win their first Copa America since 2007. Their preparation has been encouraging, but the loss of Neymar is a blow that heavily overshadows their victories over Qatar and Honduras.
The PSG forward looks set to be side-lined for 4 weeks and has been withdrawn from their 23 man squad. Willian has stepped in, but he is unlikely to find a starting spot out-wide ahead of Richarlison and David Neres. The latter two have been in hot form all season and their direct threat down the flanks will be key for the Green and Yellows.
Down the middle, Philippe Coutinho will occupy the creative role behind either Gabriel Jesus or Roberto Firmino. Either striker has their own offensive strengths, so Tite has a range of attacking options to try and utilise throughout the tournament. Jesus may just get the nod for their opening game against Bolivia, as the Manchester City forward has 5 in his last 4.
Going forward, Brazil have always boasted a wealth of offensive stars, but it has been their defensive shape that has often let them down. Arthur has added a bit of stability to the midfield and alongside Casimero, and now the Samba Boys have a more resilient look to the middle of the park. They have also found consistency at the back too, with the PSG trio of Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Dani Alves, alongside the experienced Filipe Luis.
Verdict: Looking at Brazil’s squad on paper, it isn’t hard to see why the hosts are the favourites. They have a well-balanced side and have corrected their defensive mishaps, keeping 5 clean sheets in their last 8. Group A holds little threat to the favourites and progression looks routine. Even without Neymar, this Brazilian side has a group of efficient players that are more than capable of achieving silverware.
Argentina – 15/4 at Unibet
- Form: WWLWW
- Manager: Lionel Scaloni
- Captain: Lionel Messi
- Star Player: Lionel Messi
The curious case of the Argentina national team continues. Having said that, you could probably swap ‘curious case’ with disaster story. Modern day fans of the White and Sky-Blues have known nothing but misery and despair. Runners up in the 2014 World Cup and also second best twice in a row in the last two Copa Americas. Talk about heartache.
These results have all been decided by the slimmest of margins as despite their wealth of world class strikers, Argentina continue to struggle in putting their opposition to the sword. Inconsistency has been the common factor, with managers failing to work on a system that fits the likes of Lionel Messi, Paulo and Sergio Aguero into one system. Bear in mind that they also have the likes of Mauro Icardi and Gonzalo Higuain sat at home for this year’s edition.
Their two central midfielders are usually tasked with sitting deep and distributing the play, with the two prominent names being Guido Rodriguez and Leandro Paredes. They do also have some versatile inside forwards, as the likes of Roberto Pereyra and Angel Di Maria are more than capable of making the difference against those who like to operate with a deep block.
Despite Lionel Scaloni having the pick of the bunch with players in the final third, his options are severely limited in defence. Other than Nicolas Otamendi, the squad lacks an experienced leader and this factor has been exposed in previous competitions. They only have 1 clean sheet in their last 7 fixtures, will this be their downfall again this year?
Verdict: When Lionel Messi turns up the heat, there is nothing you can do to stop him and his presence in the side is clearly an influential factor behind Argentina’s Copa America odds. Colombia and Paraguay are tricky customers, but Scaloni’s men have enough to go through. A lot of pressure has yet again been mounted on his team’s shoulders, but their defence is simply too weak to win this competition.
Uruguay – 7/1 at Betfair
- Form: WWWLW
- Manager: Oscar Tabarez
- Captain: Diego Godin
- Star Player: Edinson Cavani
If you fancy a bit of value in the Copa America odds, Uruguay could be the best pick of the bunch. Oscar Tabarez and his team last won the competition back in 2011, and they are a side that can never be ruled out of contention.
They exceeded expectations at the World Cup, reaching the quarter-finals before being eliminated by the eventual champions France. Unsurprisingly, it was the star duo of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani who helped fire them though, with the two strikers also sharing 49 goals between them this season. If Uruguay are to prevail, they will be relying on their frontmen to do the business.
The Sky Blues comfortably overcame Panama 3-0 in the buildup to this weekend, making it 3 clean sheets on the bounce in the process too. At the heart of their orthodox back four is Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez, two players who have spent the last five years together at Atletico Madrid. With Matias Vecino and Rodrigo Bentancur in-front of them, Uruguay have a very resilient barrier to break down.
Verdict: Organised and hungry, with a sprinkle of quality on top is a nice way of rounding up Tabarez’s team. No defence in the tournament will enjoy coming up against Cavani and Suarez, two players that Uruguay work around. You need a clinical goalscorer to win an international trophy and the Sky Blues have two of them. Uruguay are dangerous and their outright price of 7/1 will certainly have punters fancying their chances on the supposed underdogs.
Colombia – 9/1 at Coral
- Form: WWLWW
- Manager: Carlos Queiroz
- Captain: Radamel Falcao
- Star Player: Radamel Falcao
Momentum is a key factor to take into consideration before any international competition and in the case of Colombia, they couldn’t have asked for a bigger spring in their step. Carlos Queiroz was only appointed last February, but after winning 3 out of his first 4 games, the Tricolors are full of belief heading into Brazil.
They haven’t won the tournament in the last five times of trying and the Copa America odds do reflect this. However, Queiroz has cooked up a dynamic system in such a short time as manager and they have enough tools to overcome Qatar and Paraguay. Radamel Falcao is the main focal point up top, with Luis Muriel and James Rodriguez closely supporting.
With Juan Cuadrado also deployed a little deeper, they certainly have enough frontrunners to cause their opponent’s some trouble. They were clinical against Peru last weekend, registering 3 goals from just 4 shots on target. It was a heated affair, but Colombia continued to flood the box and let their creative figures put the ball into the danger zones.
In terms of offensive talent, they are right up there with Uruguay. They do lack a world class holding midfielder, but they have a strong backline with options like Cristian Zapata, Yerry Mina and Davinson Sanchez. Colombia are a tough nut to crack and qualification is an expectation from Queiroz and co.
Verdict: Similarly to Uruguay, Colombia will be looking to their star men up-top to find the goals for them. Rodriguez and Falcao remain the two prominent names in the Coffee Growers’ starting XI. Not too many fresh faces have found themselves in the squad over the last few years, but Colombia have enough to cause an upset here.
Chile – 10/1 at Sport Nation
- Form: WDLWL
- Manager: Reinaldo Rueda
- Captain: Gary Medel
- Star Player: Arturo Vidal
It might be surprising to see Chile, the last two winners of the Copa America, be priced at 10/1 in the betting odds. Despite their past heroics, the Red Ones are yet to find consistency under new man Reinaldo Rueda. They have only won 1 of their last 4 games and haven’t kept a clean sheet in 8.
Their squad is very experienced, but it lacks a balance of young, hungry players. Particularly at the back, the figures of Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara and Jean Beausejour have been around for an age. The same can also be applied to the midfield and attacking line too though, as they don’t have an outfield player below the age of 25.
When analysing their starting XI, there is a lack of quality in depth, as they continue to rely on the veteran names of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal. The former has certainly dropped off his game within the last 18 months and without his goals, Chile look short of that much required firepower.
Verdict: Group C is also compromised of Ecuador, Japan and Uruguay, so Chile have got their work cut out. If we are to go off the Copa America odds, Uruguay do look destined to progress, so it will be a messy scrap for that second place finish. They might just have enough to qualify from the group, but their squad looks too depleted to go all the way and make it three on the bounce.
Here are the best bookmakers offering football odds
As an experienced sports writer, Josh has been published across various different platforms, writing about his beloved club Manchester United and other footballing topics. He also covers a range of other sports, specialising in UFC and Formula One.