2018 FIFA World Cup Odds: Breaking Down Groups E-H
2018 FIFA World Cup Odds Preview: Groups E-H
The World Cup group stage is arguably the most fun because there is football every day, all day and shockers happen all the time. Groups E to H don’t have the star power of Groups A to D but they look more competitive outside Brazil and Germany in Group E and F, respectively.
We look at Groups E to H and predict how it is shaping up with betting odds and best bets.
*All odds courtesy of Sports Interaction.
- Favourite: Brazil (-400)
- Dark Horse: Serbia (+750)
Brazil (#2) being the biggest favourites to win their group shows how stacked this team is. A healthy Neymar will lead Selecao as they look to erase their embarrassing exit from the last tournament. Neymar is a favourite (+900) to lead the tourney in scoring and is backed by an all-star team from front to back.
It’s a dogfight to finish second in this group beginning with the Swiss (+600). The sixth-ranked nation has been a pillar of consistency in the World Cup advancing past the group stage in three of their last four appearances. But other than star winger Zherdan Shaqiri they have little to offer in terms of offence.
Serbia (#35) combines stout defence with young playmaking. Defenceman Mladen Krstajic is 44-years-young and Aleksander Mitrovic is a potent striker. But they need to put it all together to contend.
The 25th-ranked Costa Ricans (+1750) are once again big underdogs despite their recent string of successes including finishing third at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. They lack star power but are fast and can beat either of the European sides to the ball.
Betting Brazil at 4-1 sounds like a ripoff but they are a level above the other three. Alternatively, Brazil/Switzerland straight forecast is +180 and looks like the bet to make although little separates Switzerland,+155 to finish second, from Serbia at +175.Brazil (-400)
- Favourite: Germany (-286)
- Dark Horse: Mexico (+525)
The top-ranked Germans get no cupcake here facing two teams capable of pulling off an upset. A team that boasts the likes of Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer gets even better as star forward Marco Reus, who missed the last two World Cups, joins the team.
While Germany is all but a lock to win, Mexico and Sweden (+625) are both viable second-placers. The Mexicans have made it out of the group stage in their last seven appearances but streaks come to an end especially in manager Juan Carlos Osorio’s rookie campaign.
Sweden is ranked 23rd and will be without talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic but still boast a young and hungry group led by midfielder Emil Forsberg. Their upset victory over Italy proves this Swedish team has the goods to contend but they are also inexperienced.
South Korea (+1650), ranked 61st, is the favourite to finish last at -125 thanks primarily to lack of depth and a porous defence despite having Tottenham star Son Heung-min.
Germany is the rare “safe bet” and a straight forecast of Germany/Mexico to qualify is +194. Mexico to finish second at +185 also looks good though be wary of the Swedes who could spoil the party.Germany (-286)
- Favourite: Belgium (-125)
- Dark Horse: England (+115)
A two-team showdown between third-ranked Belgium and twelfth-ranked England decides this group as they play overmatched Tunisia (+1550) and Panama (+4000). Both squads don’t face each other until the final game meaning they could settle for a tie making predicting who finishes first a matter of scoring.
That edge goes to the Red Devils led by stars Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku. The Belgians are arguably the most potent offensive team in the tournament but what makes them exciting is what makes them upset-prone: their aggressive style.
England has a deeper team across their XI but star player and team captain Harry Kane is battling injuries and the English usually underperform on the world stage. They should beat Tunisia and Panama although the goals may come few and far in between.
Tunisia is ranked 21st but lost goalscorer Youssef Msakni and they will be battling it out with 55th-ranked Panama, who are happy to be in their first World Cup. Los Canaleros don’t have much to offer outside grit and some spooky luck.
Belgium is at a bargain price to win the group and a Belgium/England straight forecast at +120 is a steal. Alternatively, if you’re siding England, England/Belgium is +165.Belgium (-125)
- Favourite: Colombia (+125)
- Dark Horse: Senegal (+450)
This wide-open group has no clear-cut contenders although the James Rodriguez-led Colombia (#16) is the sexy pick to finish first. Los Cafeteros held South American powers Brazil and Uruguay to draws recently, which bodes well for their chances.
Poland (+175) is ranked eighth and is sporting their best team since the 1980s. Led by Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, the Poles boast a strong offence and veteran goalkeeping but their defence is concerning.
The returning Senegalese (#27) is a boom-or-bust squad. They have stars in Sadio Mane and Kalidou Koulibaly and are an athletic squad. But they have a gung-ho manager and a team without an identity. They can go as far as the quarters or finish last in this group.
The 61st-ranked Japanese (+675) have the talent and technique to make noise but have been underperforming as of late. They couldn’t even beat Mali or Ukraine. They are a solid bet to finish last at +130.
It’s either Colombia or Poland who finishes first but in this unpredictable group, take a small shot at the Africans to find a way to finish first.Senegal (+450)
Best Sportsbooks for FIFA World Cup 2018
Canada displays its diversity during the World Cup. Canucks flying different flags congregate and watch on CTV, RDS, and TSN. Likewise, these online sportsbooks will be busy offering all-day lines for Canadians looking to bet.
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