They boast one of the best goal scorers in the world in Didier Drogba. Ivory Coast is 19-1 in World Cup odds to win it all.
World Cup betting does not favor Ivory Coast since they are in a tough group with Brazil, Portugal and North Korea. Ivory Coast will have a tough time against Brazil but they can beat Portugal and North Korea. Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said that reaching the knockout round is a big goal for his team. "The primary objective is to get through the first round," Eriksson said, "Obviously though everyone is dreaming of getting to the quarter or semifinals.”
Eriksson is not unfamiliar with the World Cup as he led England to the quarterfinals in 2002 and 2006. England lost to Brazil in 2002 while Portugal beat them four years later. Now Eriksson’s Ivory Coast squad has to play both teams in this group. "They are two extremely strong teams," Eriksson said. "We will play Portugal in our first game and it will be decisive, nearly a final. Portugal has knocked me out twice. This time I hope to change things."
No African team has ever made it past the quarterfinals but Ivory Coast is given a real chance to be the first one. "I have a lot of top-level players, not only Didier Drogba, who is a great striker," Eriksson said. "I have spoken about him and he will be extremely important on and off the field."
Sometimes the World Cup betting odds will give you a clue as to a team’s chances. Brazil is the -180 favorite to win Group G but Ivory Coast is basically even with Portugal at 3-1 in World Cup odds to win the group. What Eriksson said about that first match is true. It really could be an elimination game as the loser of the match between Portugal and Ivory Coast is in serious trouble in the World Cup while the winner would be looking good to advance.
The two teams won’t have to wait long as they open up World Cup play against each other on Tuesday, June 15th in a match that can be seen on ESPN.