The northern hemisphere football season is almost over, but this year is different because we are now just weeks away from what is generally recognised to be the biggest sports gambling event in the world, the FIFA football world cup. Unfortunately Ireland will not be in Brazil this year, but Irish football fans just like football fans all over the world will watch football wherever it is being played and whoever is taking part. The world cup will be the focus of attention for sports gambling fans all over the world, and not just ardent football gambling enthusiasts. Television coverage will cover every match and fans of gambling on football will undoubtedly have some late nights to come. The tournament kicks off with hosts and favourites Brazil playing Croatia on 12th June in Group A, followed by the first matches in all eight groups over the next few days. There are thirty two countries taking part and most will of course not be expecting to win, but there will be surprises and football gambling fans will be hoping to identify where the big shocks may come from. Home advantage has always been a factor in world cup tournaments, so it is no surprise that Brazil are firm favourites with the bookies, particularly when their record in this tournament is so good, but will the pressure of the expectations of their fans be too great. Paddy Power currently have Brazil at 3/1, followed by Argentina at 5/1, Germany at 11/2 and Spain at 7/1. European sports gambling enthusiasts, particularly football gambling fans may well like the odds, but can a European team win in South America. Only time will tell, but hopefully the football will be exciting and a pleasure to watch.