Brazil’s Roberto Firmino, right, Brazil’s Marquinhos, center, and Brazil’s Thiago Silva celebrate at the end of a qualifying soccer match against Venezuela for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, Nov.13, 2020. Brazil won 1-0. (Nelson Almeida/Pool via AP)
- After unexpectedly taking over as tournament hosts, Brazil have vaulted as heavy favorites to repeat as champions at the 2021 Copa America
- Brazil is undefeated in non-friendly play since the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and are expected to face their stiffest challenge from Argentina
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends as the 2021 Copa America gets underway this weekend
Brazil will once again enjoy home-field advantage as they get set to defend their Copa America title as strong +105 favorites. The Seleção are unbeaten in non-friendly competition since the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and have raised the trophy on each of the five previous occasions they have hosted the Copa America. Originally chosen along with Colombia to co-host this year’s tournament, Argentina closely trails Brazil as a +275 bet.
Argentina have reached the final in four of the past six editions of the Copa America, and are perched as strong -182 chalk to finish atop the Group A table this time around. Los Cafeteros have held their ground as a +650 wager despite the absence of veteran James Rodriguez.
Here’s a look at all the odds and trends as the battle for South American soccer gets underway this weekend, culminating in this year’s Copa America final on Saturday July 10 at
Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.
Odds to Win 2021 Copa America
Odds as of June 12th from DraftKings
Brazil Buoyed by Return of Silva, Neymar
Brazil needed no further help to establish themselves as favorites in this year’s tournament. Currently riding a 10-match win streak in non-friendly competition, the Seleção also sport a sensational 10-1-0 win-draw-loss record in their past 10 non-friendlies on home turf, surrendering just one total goal during that stretch.
Tite has named Neymar as Brazil’s captain ahead of #CopaAmerica.
Defender Thiago Silva has replaced Rodrigo Caio in the squad.
— EWN Sport (@EWNsport) June 10, 2021
Adding to what should be a high level of confidence in the Brazilian camp is the news of veteran defender Thiago Silva’s return to health. The club also receives a boost from the recent addition of Neymar Jr., whose vocal interest in playing for his country in this summer’s Olympic Games had brought his participation in the Copa America into doubt. The superstar striker has been a force during the recent World Cup qualifying, potting five of the eight total goals scored over his past three appearances.
Seleção Unbeatable on Home Turf
Brazil also leads the way as a massive -305 chalk to finish atop the Group B table at this year’s tournament. This is not terribly surprising. The Seleção have not suffered a non-friendly loss to any of their four group stage opponents since dropping a 1-0 decision to Colombia in the group stage of the 2015 Copa America.
Everton FC midfielder James Rodríguez didn’t feature in any of the two 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying fixtures for Colombia, who grabbed four out of six points. The 29-year-old has been ruled out for Copa América despite stating that he’s fit to play.https://t.co/jeGSb90NaG pic.twitter.com/bRWNHQb8Kb
— TK News (@TKNews8) June 10, 2021
While Colombia remain the most likely challengers to Brazil’s dominance in the group stage at this year’s Copa America, sporting +350 odds, Los Cafeteros have work to do to rebound from their recent dismal performance in World Cup qualifying. The Colombians have tallied just one win in their past five outings while getting outscored by a wide 13-8 overall margin. Matters have not been helped by the situation surrounding James Rodriguez, who remains absent from the squad despite his very public claims to be fit to play.
2021 CONMEBOL Copa América Odds Tracker
Can Argentina Rewrite Losing Narrative on the Road?
Argentina had been looking forward to the opportunity to end their recent lengthy track record of near misses at this tournament to an end in front of their own fans. However, with the country remaining in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Albiceleste now likely face the massive challenge of defeating the Seleção on Brazilian soil in non-friendly competition for the first time since 1960.
🇦🇷 Últimas campanhas da Argentina na Copa América:
1991: 🏆 pic.twitter.com/pDY6Fur0r0
— Futebol Sul-americano (@futsulamerica_) June 12, 2021
The upside for Argentina is their recent success against Brazil in friendlies. The squad has tallied clean sheet victories in two of their past three meetings with Brazil, all on neutral ground. Argentina have also consistently avoided defeat since losing to Brazil in the semi-finals at the 2019 Copa America, going 4-3-0 in seven non-friendly contests. Of course, much of the success of the Albiceleste will hinge on the play of Lionel Messi.
Messi Once Again Key to Argentine Success
Trailing only Neymar as a +450 second favorite to be the top goalscorer at this year’s tournament, Messi will be counted on to maintain the scoring pace that made him the top scorer in La Liga this past season.
Lionel Messi has 72 goals in 142 matches for Argentina. Of them, 39 from open play, 21 penalty kicks, 6 free kicks. And from that, 4 with his right foot, 2 headers with 34 of them in friendly games, 22 in World Cup qualifiers, 9 at Copa America and 6 at World Cup. pic.twitter.com/cd5d0nndXU
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) June 4, 2021
However, the 33-year-old has been far from prolific on the international stage during the current World Cup cycle, scoring just three times in his past 12 appearances in non-friendlies with the national club.
The Picks: Brazil to win Copa America (+105); Neymar top goalscorer (+300)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.