SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Argentina are odds-on favorites to win the Copa America for the first time since 1993 by beating Chile in Saturday’s final.
They are mostly quoted at 4-7 to lift the trophy while the hosts are 6-4, according to betting aggregator oddschecker.com.
Chile swept through the group and knockout stages with relative ease but benefited from being drawn against weaker teams, with referee decisions also tending to go their way.
Lionel Messi-led Argentina nearly stumbled against Colombia, beating them in the quarter-finals on penalties, but their 6-1 destruction of Paraguay in the semis on Tuesday was a clear demonstration of the havoc they are capable of wreaking.
The odds of either team winning on penalties is 10-1, according to Sportingbet.
Chile forward Eduardo Vargas, who played in the Premier League for Queens Park Rangers last season on loan from Napoli, is tournament top scorer and favorite to win the Golden Boot.
The hero of Chile’s semi-final clash with Peru after scoring both goals, Vargas has scored four times in the tournament so far, just ahead of a quartet of players on three including his team mate Arturo Vidal and Argentina’s Sergio Aguero.
Messi, who British bookmakers William Hill had as favorite to be top scorer before the tournament began, has netted just once with a penalty but the mercurial forward has been the creative spark behind many of Argentina’s goals.
He has had 17 shots on goal from open play — more than any other player — but his failure to score more goals has been one of the talking points of the tournament. Nevertheless, Messi is the 3-1 favorite to score first in the final on Saturday.
Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; editing by Ken Ferris