By Moon Gwang-lip
A Gallup Korea survey, released earlier this week, shows almost nine out of 10 South Koreans expect their team will advance to round of 16 at the World Cup.
Foreign gamblers, however, are taking long odds on the prospects, putting their money instead on France and Switzerland as the teams that will have success in Group G.
According to the William Hill company, a British gambling group, bettors believe the Korean team stands far less of a chance than France and Switzerland of moving on.
On June 9, the odds that Korea would be eliminated in the first round are 1 to 1.44. It means that a person betting a $1 that Korea won’t make it would receive $1.44 when Korea fails. The lower the figure is, the more likely the gamblers believe it is to happen.
The odds for France and Switzerland not making it through are 1 to 5 and 1 to 2, while Togo is seen as the team least likely to succeed with odds of 1 to 1.11.
Customers of rival gambling company Ladbrokes were similarly pessimistic about Korea’s prospects.
Looked at in reverse, the payoff for those betting the Korean team will come out on top of its group is 1 to 9, while those of France and Switzerland are 1.4 to 1 and 4.2 to1, respectively. Togo is 19 to 1
According to the figures, Korea’s odds of going to the finals and winning the World Cup soared to 200:1, ranking Korea alongside Japan and Paraguay as far as the bettors are concerned.
Meanwhile, France is favored at 12 to 1 and Switzerland is ahead of Korea at 150 to 1.
Brazil is the favorite team of bettors with 2.25 to 1 odds of winning the Cup, followed by England 6 to 1, host Germany 7 to 1, Argentina 8 to 1 and Italy 9 to 1.
Togo’s is tied with Iran and Costa Rica at 500 to 1.
There are no odds on Trinidad Tobago, meaning no one bet on the team’s doing anything.
In betting on who will be the top scorer, Korean striker Ahn Jung-hwan of Bundes Liga side MSV Duisburg was the 131st player with the dividend of 250.0. Togo’s Emmanuel Adebayor tied Ahn.
Park Ji-sung of Manchester United was given the second most backing among the Korean players with 499 to 1.
Brazil’s Ronaldo was the favorite with 11.0, followed by his compatriot Adriano (12.0), France’s Thierry Henry (15), another Brazilian striker Ronaldinho (18) and England’s Michael Owen (19).