"Japan must now be tournament favourites, dispatching opponents with a combination of ruthless efficiency and exquisite artistry."
-- Ludo Bagman, Daily Prophet, 2 July 2014 (Pm)
Brazil National Team
At 9:1, Bagman rated the Brazilians very highly but felt that their youth and inexperience at this level would ultimately keep them back.
Japan National Team
The favourite at 4:1 odds, Bagman liked the individual flair and skill of the Japanese players which, combined with their outstanding overall team performance, would give them the advantage over the other Semi-finalists.
Although he was probably being paid by the Daily Prophet for writing this article, Bagman was likely to be hoping to make even more money from taking bets on these matches as well. However, given his past form at the 1994 Quidditch World Cup (GF8), he may have had to go on the run from creditors again (GF37), especially if the high odds on Viktor Krum and the Bulgarians did not put wizards off betting out of sentiment for the underdogs' fighting spirit.
Even Bagman's review of Quidditch Through the Ages shows how enthusiastic he is about taking bets on everything and anything:
"Bet you anything it'll be a best-seller. Go on, I bet you." (QA)
From the Web
Writing by J.K. Rowling on Pottermore:
Pottermore enhanced reading experience: Quidditch World Cup
Screenshots of the original Daily Prophet coverage of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup on Pottermore: http://imgur.com/a/AXutv
Harry Potter Wiki: Ludovic Bagman