The 2019 Copa America kicks off group stage play on June 14 as host nation Brazil welcomes 11 visiting teams to take part in this year’s tournament. This year’s event marks the 46th edition of the South American championships and the 17th one called the Copa America.
As was the case in 2015 & 2016, we will again be experiencing the Copa America in consecutive seasons. After the 2020 tournament, the irregularly held event will move to even-numbered years.
Chile will be chasing history, looking to become the first nation to win three consecutive South American tournaments in the Copa America era. La Roja took the 2015 trophy as hosts and also won the most recent 2016 Centenario edition, defeating Argentina in a classic final match that came down to penalty kicks.
As hosts, Brazil lead the pack in the eyes of the line setters to win this year’s tournament, and soccer betting enthusiasts can have a look at the lines at 888Sport listed here.
Copa America Odds
|Team||To Win*||Top 2*|
Editor's Note: Story and odds updated on June 10.
Best Bet To Win 2019 Copa America
Brazil is the natural assumption to win this year’s Copa America. They are hosts and listed at a reasonable +115 to win the event. But their chances of winning changed with the announcement that star striker Neymar will not be participating in this year’s event. Neymar injured his ankle in a recent friendly against Qatar and will miss the tournament.
Only four times in the Copa America era has the true host won the tournament. Brazil was the first to do so when the nation hosted its only event of the modern era in 1989.
Argentina is lacking major hardware since 1995 and it has certainly caused a rift between Lionel Messi and the former Argentine striker Diego Maradona. Maradona has always made sure to point out that Argentina hasn’t won a trophy since he left, and he blames Messi’s leadership almost directly. (Messi even gave up international play for a spell after the loss in the 2016 Copa America finals loss to Chile.)
Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are clear-cut favorites to win their groups, and they are the three teams expected to be in the final four without doubt.
The line setters do not expect Chile to find a third straight win in the event, having them listed fifth down the big board at +1100.
Uruguay will present some challenges for the favored Brazilians, although they will likely be running into Argentina in the semi-finals before the possible chance of reaching the finals. This just might be the year that Argentina brings some hardware back home, and what a relief for Messi that would be to finally shut up Maradona, for at least a minute. The Neymar injury shakes things up enough that we now will take Argentina rather than Brazil.
Bet: Argentina to Win Copa America at +375.
Best Longshot Bet To Win the 2019 Copa America
Uruguay at +700 is the first of two teams that could provide a surprise storyline.
Paraguay, listed all the way back at +3300, could also be a squad that no one is taking seriously. They are favored to win their opening match over Qatar, though Colombia and Argentina will be expected to go 1-2 in group B play which will make their path incredibly difficult.
It will obviously take some major upsets along the way, but there is room for a play on either of these two to be the ones who could possibly surprise the favorites.
It will be interesting to see how Japan and Qatar go about their business in this year’s event. No CONCACAF teams will be participating due to the Gold Cup running concurrently with the Copa America.
Best Bet To Be Top Goalscorer
Neymar and Brazil would have had the advantage of getting Peru, Venezuela and Bolivia,in group A, but with his injury that changes the entire dynamic.
With a bit of a surprise call, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez now has the opportunity to be the tournament’s leading goal scorer at +800, a line screaming with value. Both Edinson Cavani and Suarez sit together at +800 on the big board, and the two of them together will cause all sorts of issues for opposing back lines.
Pick: Luis Suarez +800
Copa America Trends, History
Dating to 1916, when the event was known as the South American Championships, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay have combined to host 12 tournaments. All three have won every event they hosted.
Uruguay (15) and Argentina (14) have combined to take 29 trophies. They also have combined for 20 runner-up spots and 13 third-place finishes. Uruguay has appeared in the most tournaments (44 of 46 played including 2019) but Argentina has appeared in the most final games (28).
Argentina has reached the semifinals in the past seven events, but they are without a trophy since their 1993 win over Mexico which gave the Argentines back-to-back championships.
CONMEBOL is considering expanding the tournament to 16 teams starting in 2024 when Ecuador is set to host the event. Argentina and Colombia will share hosting responsibilities for the 2020 edition. Copa America has not had co-hosts since 1983.
Chile entered 2019 looking to become the first team to win three straight South American championships since Argentina in 1945, ‘46 and ‘47, the first competitions to take place after World War II.