In this fifth installment of our World Cup group winners predictions series I’m taking a look at Group E. This group includes perennial favourites Brazil, as well as a two European teams who aren’t considered championship threats, and a Costa Rica team that had a cinderella story at the 2014 World Cup. You can check out my bets from other groups at the bottom of the page.
I will be using the best odds for each team from any of our three recommended sportsbooks 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 E Winner Odds
- Brazil 1.286
- Switzerland 7.00
- Serbia 9.00
- Costa Rica 26.00
This group is very hard to call. Obviously Brazil is the rightful favourites, but at just odds of 1.286 I can’t justify betting on them to win the group, when all it would take is one slip up for Brazil to have a poor result and not finish at the top of the group.
Switzerland and Serbia are solid teams, but I can’t look past the odds for Costa Rica of 25/1. Let’s not forget Costa Rica won their group at the 2014 World Cup, and most would consider that a much more difficult group, which included perennial contenders Uruguay, Italy and England. Costa Rica beat Uruguay 3-1 in their first match and followed it up with a 1-0 win over the Italians before finishing off the group stage with a 0-0 draw against England. And Costa Rica didn’t stop there. They went on to beat Greece on penalties in the round of 16 and were only narrowly defeated by the Dutch on penalties in the quarter-finals.
Costa Rica really hasn’t missed a beat since that coming out party in 2014, losing in the semi-finals to the USA at the 2017 Gold Cup after only allowing 1 goal in their four prior matches, and finishing second behind Mexico in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, while only allowing 8 goals against in the 10 matches.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely still a long shot. But at the same time, I think these are the best value odds on the board and worth another punt.
Play: Costa Rica 26.00
Other Group E Bets
I don’t see Serbia advancing from this group. They won arguably the weakest group in UEFA qualifying to qualify for the tournament, and have not advanced past the group stage in the World Cup since 1998, when they were still Serbia and Montenegro. Even in the Euro’s Serbia has not qualified since 2000.
Brazil and Switzerland are easily the top two teams in this group, and I actually have Serbia below Costa Rica, which should come as no surprise considering I’m punting on the Costa Ricans to win the group.
I think Serbia is fortunate to be in the tournament and they will only be playing in 3 matches.