Brazil is one of the soccer betting favorites to win the Copa America 2016, but have they gotten over Macho Grande? The place was the Estadio Mineirao on July 8th, 2014. The offender was Germany, and the crime? Four goals in 6 minutes, and seven goals in total. That night in Belo Horizonte, Brazil wasn’t just humiliated. They were absolutely and irredeemably obliterated, the 1-7 final score robbing the hosts of what little pride they had left. It was the single worst loss in the team’s storied history, and managed to top even the Maracanazo of 1950 – when Brazil lost the World Cup final versus Uruguay at home – as the country’s worst tragedy.
Fast forward two years later, and the Brazilian fans who bet on soccer still haven’t recovered. Germany’s butchery will remain one of, if not the most, impressive shocks in the history of the World Cup. Whether or not Brazil’s national team can finally begin the process of recovery is the big question mark leading into Copa America Centenario. Ever since that infamous loss, Brazil have yet to regain the mojo that the soccer betting world alternatively loves and hates. At last year’s Copa America in Chile, Brazil was eliminated in the quarterfinal round, to Paraguay on penalty kicks. Through six games in CONMEBOL’s next World Cup qualifying cycle, Brazil is in 6th place with only nine points, far from even the inter-confederation playoff berth.
Confidence is seemingly at an all-time low, and manager Dunga is about as popular in Brazil as the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Fans who bet on soccer long for the glory days and are more worried about not falling victim to more embarrassment on the worldwide stage. Maybe that is the most important reason that Neymar will miss the Copa America, and will instead attend the Rio Olympic Games this summer. Brazil can’t afford the luxury to lose another men’s soccer competition on local turf, even if Olympic men’s soccer is not all that’s cracked up to be.
But what does this mean for Brazil’s soccer betting odds in the US? Hulk leads the line, so the team still has one of the three or four best strikers in the competition, and Bayern Munich’s Douglas Costa, Liverpool’s Phillipe Coutinho, Santos Lucas Lima and his teammate Gabriel Barbosa can get enough creative juices running to make opposing defenses shake in their cleats. Defense-wise, however, the story is very different. The country’s confidence in the backline was already trampled to the ground in Belo Horizonte, and to make matters worse, they won’t have Thiago Silva, David Luiz, or Marcelo at the Copa America.
Both Silva and Neymar were absent from the eleven that conceded defeat to the Teutons two years ago. The federation making a first Olympic gold medal a priority only makes it harder for Brazil to recover from their last two tournament letdowns at the Copa America Centenario. But even the most pessimistic of Brazil fans can enjoy a quantum of solace in the fact that at least they can’t run into Germany.