Bookies in Kolkata have already started taking bets on Brazil team. Currently, investing Rs 100 on the team guarantees a return of Rs 400, as per a report on TOI.
Meanwile, the English side (Rs 1,000), which showed a lot of promise in the first match before getting stuck against the US in their second match, figures next on the list.
Argentina, whih suffered a first-round shock loss, also finds a slot on the bookies list.
On the global front, however, the order is slightly different. Here too, Brazil is the top choice – the odds stacked at a return of 12 bucks (any currency) for betting five on it, the TOI reported.
Investing bucks 2 on Spain, England and France will give a return of 13 bucks as return. Meanwhile, a bet of one buck on Argentina will fetch 9 bucks as return. Bets have also been placed for the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.
The popularity of Neymar’s side is not limited to organized betting syndicates in the city of Joy.
Several unofficial bets — placed across colleges and offices — ranging from a couple of hundred rupees to a treat at a top eatery, are also seeing the Samba boys taking the pole position, as per the report.
At present, the betting is only limited to individual games.
“The betting amounts are low and are mostly related to individual game results and on which two teams from each group will make it to the next round,” TOI quoted a police source involved in monitoring online betting as saying.
Brazil’s win against Serbia has made the team bookies’ favourites to win the title.
“Brazil usually gets into rhythm as the tournament progresses. However, the loss of Neymar — at least for now — might upset plans and the odds will then change. The Switzerland match will be an acid test, but if they win comfortably, no one can stop them,” claimed Satish Ahuja (name changed) of Lake Town who placed bets on Brazil and Kylian Mbappe of France for finishing with the maximum number of goals.
Meanwhile, a Kolkata Police official said smashing betting rackets was no more an easy task.
“All of them now bet online, the only device they need at remote locations is a smartphone. While we are aware of bets being placed, we think that with volume increasing in the knockout stages, we have a lot more chance of detecting and smashing these rackets,” said an officer from the anti-rowdy section of the detective department.