Copa America 2024 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

While Euro 2024 is capturing the attention and the imagination of Europe, the South America equivalent gets underway on Thursday night when an expanded Copa America starts out with 16 sides competing in the USA.

Argentina won this tournament the last time it was held on their way to winning the World Cup and they head to America looking to retain the crown. This changed championship brings plenty of other sides into the equation though.

Recent Winners

2021 – Argentina

2019 – Brazil

2016 – Chile

2015 – Chile

2011 – Uruguay

2007 – Brazil

2004 – Brazil

2001 – Colombia

1999 – Brazil

1997 – Brazil

The Format

We have a completely different format for this tournament with six teams from North America added to the field. The 16 teams have been split into four groups of four where everyone plays each other one in the first stage. The top two in each group then go through to the quarter finals where the tournament becomes a straight knockout. The quarter finals and semi-finals go straight to penalties if it is a draw after 90 minutes but the final will have an extra time period before a shootout. The tournament is in America and the champions will be determined on July 14.

The Favourites

The defending champions and World Cup winners Argentina are fairly short favourites to win the tournament at 15/8 this year. This will be the final Copa America for Lionel Messi so I’m sure the Inter Miami star will be eager to go out with a bang. There doesn’t appear to have been any sort of drop off from the squad which won the World Cup 18 months ago to the one which will be in America for this tournament so they do look like very worthy favourites it has to be said.

Brazil had an underwhelming World Cup and their qualifying campaign for the next one has been a little more hit and miss than they would have wanted. There is no shortage of talent in this Brazil squad, although it has to be said that a number of players have been hit with injury either towards the end of the season or in the lead up to this competition. Brazil tend to be a lot better with Neymar in their ranks so the fact he isn’t around makes them an easy swerve at 5/2.

Uruguay are making big strides under Marcelo Bielsa and they have landed themselves in a really nice part of the draw so they will be popular at 11/2 to win this tournament. They have a rich vein of attacking players without really downgrading defensively. The only question for me would be whether the relentless pressing style of Bielsa can be utilised in the heat and humidity of America with matches coming thick and fast but if it can then Uruguay are runners.

Colombia go into this tournament off the back of an incredible 23 match unbeaten run so it is something of a surprise that they are a double figure price to win the competition. They have landed in an awkward group with Brazil and Paraguay who could be tricky opponents but if they can come out of it, as you would expect them to do, then this draw could quickly open up for them. This is a squad with plenty of Premier League experience who should go well at 12/1.

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The Contenders

USA are the tournament hosts as they will be at the World Cup in two years and they are 12/1 to steal the Copa America away from the South American countries and keep it in their grasp. The first thing about the States is whether they have improved in the 18 months since the World Cup where they looked an ordinary side. The other thing to ask is with a team in the Olympics next month whether they are going to be looking ahead to 2026 rather than be intent on winning this tournament.

Mexico are in the same boat as the States in that they will co-host the World Cup in a couple of years. Unlike America, it is more obvious that they are a team in transition and as such the squad which has been selected for this tournament only has one player in it with more than 10 international goals. Mexico will keep the ball and they are in what is seen to be the weakest group but they could be running into Argentina a little earlier than you would want.

Ecuador are the only other team in the tournament who are shorter than 33/1 to win the competition. They can be taken at 20/1 and although they have the same issue that Mexico have in that they are in the same half of the draw as Argentina, you can at least take comfort from the fact that they have been pretty competitive against Lionel Messi and co in recent times. Ecuador are very much an improving nation in South America and will fancy their chances here.


It isn’t really my usual process to take two teams in a 16 team competition but there are a pair of sides that I can’t ignore here. The first of those is Colombia. I’m a big fan of not necessarily being on the best dog in the race but more the best drawn dog and I think Colombia are that. They are in the Brazil half of the draw which is definitely the one I feel is more likely to open up and they won’t actually be able to face them until the semi-final assuming they come out of the group and it might be that Brazil are dumped out by then. Colombia come into the tournament off the back of a 23 game unbeaten run which stretches back to March 2022 and this young squad can go very well here.

The other team I can’t ignore are Ecuador. I have followed them closely in recent times having had a bit tied up on them in certain markets at the World Cup and they are definitely a team on the up. The only loss they have suffered in World Cup qualifying in South America was against Argentina but they only went down 1-0 so were they to meet in the knockout stage it wouldn’t take much for Ecuador to hang on for a draw and see if they can come good in a penalty shootout. There is enough juice in the 20/1 price for me to get on them as my second outright bet, with the hope being that the superstar in waiting in Kendry Paez chooses this tournament to announce himself to the world.


Back Colombia to win Copa America (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 13.00 with BetVictor (1/3 1-2)

Back Ecuador to win Copa America (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 21.00 with Betway (1/3 1-2)