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Copa America 2021: Brazil favored to cruise to second-straight title

The 2021 iteration of the CONMEBOL Copa America tournament is underway. We’ll look at some results, odds, and a look ahead to notable matchups.

Brazil v Venezuela: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021 Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

The UEFA Euro 2020 tournament isn’t the only big competition happening on the world stage in soccer. The CONMEBOL Copa America tournament got underway earlier this week with four matches in the books already. With some of the biggest names in the world like Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez, and a slew of others, there’s plenty of attention-grabbing action to watch in the most notorious South American soccer tournament. Match day two kicks off on Thursday, June 17th as the competition continues into the weekend.

Brazil are not only the favorites to win Group B (-360), but they’re also unsurprisingly the favorites to win the entire tournament (-125). They got off to a great start with a 3-0 win over Venezuela as Marquinhos, Neymar, and Gabriel Barbosa each knocked in a goal to cruise past the Venezuelans. Brazil controlled the majority of possession at 62 percent while outshooting their opponents 18-3 overall, and 7-1 on target. The reigning (and nine-time) Copa America champions will face off against Peru next, who are the only team in Group B who have yet to play a game.

Chile surprised Group A favorites Argentina with a 1-1 draw in their opening match, as Eduardo Vargas found an equalizer in the 57th minute in response to Lionel Messi’s 33rd-minute opener. Argentina outshot the Chileans 18-5 overall, but struggled to keep the majority of possession throughout the full 90 minutes, finishing at 48 percent. Argentina’s odds to win the tournament now sit at +350 just behind Brazil, while Uruguay are next in line at +700 despite not even having played a game yet. The Argentinians are still favored to win Group A with -134 odds, but currently sit in second place as first-place Paraguay grabbed all three points against Bolivia in their opener.

Uruguay, with odds at +230 to win Group A, will open their group stage campaign against Argentina as world-renowned superstars Luis Suarez and Diego Godin will face off against Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero. The Uruguayans will hope to continue what Chile started in stealing points from Argentina as they’ll look to jump to the top of Group A after their opener.

Copa America 2021 Sleeper

While not favored highly to make a deep run in the tournament, look no further than Peru for your sleepers in this group stage. They have a tall mountain to climb as they open their group stage against Brazil, but Peru have won two of the last six games between the two sides and are fresh off a 2-1 win over Ecuador in World Cup Qualifying earlier this month. They’ll look to the experience in the likes of 29-year-old midfielder Christian Cueva and 31-year-old goalkeeper Pedro Gallese to navigate what will be a tough schedule. Peru is projected to finish third in the group, but all it takes is an upset or two to catapult them even higher, and if they have what it takes to catch Brazil off-guard in their opening game, it’s definitely not out of the question.

Copa America 2021 Odds

At the time of publishing, here are each country’s updated odds of winning the tournament.

  • Brazil -125 (opened at +230)
  • Argentina +350 (opened at +200)
  • Uruguay +700 (opened at +900)
  • Colombia +1100 (opened at +1100)
  • Chile +1600 (opened at +1400)
  • Paraguay +3300 (opened at +4000)
  • Ecuador +5000 (opened at +4000)
  • Peru +5000 (opened at +2800)
  • Venezuela +25000 (opened at +4000)
  • Bolivia +50000 (opened at +150000)