The World Cup is now just over two weeks away and I’m starting to feel the hype building up in the media as the anticipation of the tournament builds.
I’ve already added a how to bet on the World Cup article to the site (check that out here), but I also wanted to give some of my betting predictions for the tournament. I’ve decided to look at each group individually and give my favourite betting picks for either winning the group or advancing from the group stage. I will be trying to add a new article every couple days until I’ve taken a look at all 8 groups, so check back often for the latest articles.
I will be using the best odds for each team from any of our three recommended betting sites for Canadians in these articles. The odds can change as we get closer to the matches, so be sure to check and compare odds between sportsbooks yourselves as well.
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Group A Winner Odds
- Uruguay 1.80
- Russia 2.85
- Egypt 6.50
- Saudi Arabia 41.00
Uruguay is obviously the team to beat in Group A. They have been a threat on the international scene with this group of players advancing to the round of 16 in 2014 and losing the semi-finals back in 2010. The team is still playing some terrific soccer, which showed through with them finishing second to Brazil (and ahead of contenders Argentina and Colombia) in South American qualifying. Uruguay doesn’t play Russia until their third match and it will likely be for the group winner. I think Uruguay will have settled in by that point and the home field advantage will not play as big a factor as the tournament progresses, which leads me to believe Uruguay will get it done and take down this group.
Russia is a decent team that should advance out of this group, especially if Mohamed Salah isn’t able to go for Egypt, but they are really a bubble team in terms of whether they would have qualified for the World Cup on their own merit. They squeaked in to the Euro 2016 tournament finishing second in their group to Austria and then proceeded to only earn one point in a group with Wales, England and Slovakia. At last years Confederations Cup, which also took place in Russia, they were only able to beat New Zealand in their group, falling to both Portugal and Mexico, and failing to advance past the group stage. This Russian team is not the best edition of the club in recent years, but the advantage of playing at home should be enough to help them get past Egypt (without Salah) and Saudi Arabia, but not Uruguay.
Play: Uruguay 1.80
Other Group A Bets
The other bet I like from this group keys on Russia. I do not think they are a very good team and I don’t even think they are a lock to advance, especially if Salah is fit to play. I think that match with Egypt could really go either way and I would not be surprised if Russia gets upset in front of their home crowd.
Even if Russia does advance, which I give around a 65% chance to happen, they will likely be up against either Spain or Portugal in the round of 16. I simply cannot see this Russia team beating either of these highly skilled and successful soccer nations.
For these reasons my other bet in Group A is for Russia to not advance to the quarterfinals. You can find odds of 1.45 for this bet at SportsInteraction.com and I think there is some great value there.
Those are my two plays from Group A. Check back in a couple days for my thoughts on Group B, which seems fairly straight forward with Portugal and Spain as the top teams.