Gambling Guide

Jerry Bo: 2018 Russia World Cup group predictions

Jerry Bo: 2018 Russia World Cup group predictions
Messi leads Argentina. Dennis Doyle/Getty Images

In the gambling realm, action junkies and anxious bettors engulf themselves in events that allow you to place an extra amount of wagers for an extended period of time. This summer, we get the FIFA World Cup in a month's span of chaotic betting. Gamblers around the world, as well as the die-hard, devoted fans, will be looking to wager something, anything, opening opportunities for finding value as novice bettors with deep pockets might dictate lines. In other words, if two countries are playing and the fan base of one is much larger, you can expect "loose" money on an individual side as citizens and fans of the country might back their teams with their hearts, opening doors to find mispriced lines.

To Win Group Odds:

Group A

Russia                     +175
Egypt                      +595
Saudi Arabia       +3740
Uruguay                  -130

I especially like the price for Uruguay to win the Group and it will be a MAX per-tournament plays.

Uruguay to win Group A   5U MAX

Group B

Portugal         +195
Spain               -205
Morocco       +1590
Iran               +3290

For me, Spain and Portugal go through, with Morocco being the dark horse in the group that could surprise. The key for Morocco will be defeating Iran and getting the full three points and then getting something out of the match vs. Portugal. The opening round match of Spain vs. Portugal is sure to be a cracker of a match! The scheduling is perfect, on the second day of the tournament, Friday, June 15th, the late game, for the world to relish.

Group C

France          -355
Australia   +1990
Peru             +945
Denmark    +445

The clear favorites to win Group C, France seems to be the obvious choice. My problem is the price being extremely steep for a team with a defense in question.  A team I think will make some noise in this group will be CONMEBOL representer Peru. The return of Paolo Guerrero after getting his ban lifted will serve as a massive boost to the team. The price for Peru to advance can be found in the +170 range, and I like the number quite a bit.

France + Spain Win Groups Parlay   -110 3U
Peru to Advance  +170 2U


Group D

Argentina       -175
Iceland        +1340
Croatia          +220
Nigeria          +995

The fan favorite, Argentina are favorites to win the group but I’m not sure they do. Are they the best team? Yes, but do they play the best as a unit? That’s in question after limping into Russia 2018, needing the last game win even to make it here. The team is led by no other than Lionel Messi, alongside with another world talent in Angel DI Maria, and the Dynamic Paulo Dybala, which manager Jorge Sampaoli will need to find a way to fit in.

Although I think Argentina is the best overall team in the group, I won't back them just yet. Instead, let's see if we can get lucky on Nigeria to advance a +255.

Nigeria to advance a +255    1U

Group E

Brazil                 -355
Switzerland     +620
Costa  Rica     +1790
Serbia               +795

Favorite Brazil is one of my horses I'll be riding this tournament, and the -355 price tag is justified. The question here is who will get second, and I cant choose between Switzerland or Costa Rica so we will pass. Instead, we’ll opt to do another heavy favorite parlay. Remember, in these international tournaments, the top dogs usually show up, and their prices are correct, making it tough to find value in this competition.

Brazil+ Spain  to win groups -110    3U

Group F

Germany .            -305
Mexico                 +520
Sweden                +645
South Korea      +1740

The defending Champions Germany, enter Russia as the overall favorites to win the FIFA World Cup, and deservedly so with all the talent at every position. Look for Germany to dominate once again, but I have a sneaky prediction for them later in this tournament.

No chance for upsets to win the tournament here, but I do find some value in Mexico to advance at -110. With Mexico facing off vs. the Germans in their first match of the group stage, I think they get two advantages.

1) The time to prepare for Germany, knowing the first match will be so pivotal.
2) Knowing where they stand early after their toughest game is also significant, as goal differential will maybe be the deciding factor to who gets second in this group.

Mexico to advance 2.5 U

Group G

Belgium           -130
Panama        +4490
Tunisia          +1790
England           +115

This group is relatively simple to me, Belgium and England both advance. The question is who takes the group; I'll go with Belgium at that price. England will be solid in the attack with Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, but the overall talent of Belgium will see them win the group.

Belgium to win Group   2U
 

Group H

Colombia    +135
Poland         +170
Senegal       +445
Japan          +745

Perhaps the most robust group to pick a winner, every team is a plus odds leading us to some value. I'll be backing Colombia to win the group for a small bet, with confidence in them being the best top to bottom team here. The return of Radamel Falcao will be the story line to follow, and I fancy him to be in the top goals scorers conversation at the end of the tournament.

Colombia to win the group 2U

** These are only pre tournament bets and will not be reflecting what I bet game to game. The way these teams come out and perform in certain situations is what will guide us to our wagers. These are purely for futures purposes.

World Cup Prop Bet extravaganza coming soon……

Any questions or comments reach me @JerryBoKnowz on twitter.

 

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One presumes the Chicken Littles have stopped clucking about the Astros’ season being a goner, or if not gone, on life support. It wasn’t when they were 7-19. It wasn’t when they were 12-24. It certainly isn’t now that they’ve won six straight games and eight of their last nine. Another three or four weeks of inept play could have doomed them, but the worm has turned. A 20-25 record is no cause for celebration, but it has the Astros within four games of first place. Yes, getting to play the A’s four times this week helped. And?

I detailed the schedule issue on our Stone Cold ‘Stros podcast this week. The Astros were flat lousy for the season’s first six weeks. But… Starting the week the Astros had played a whopping 32 of their 40 games against teams with a winning record as of Monday. The Seattle Mariners had played 23 such games, the Texas Rangers only 16. The Philadelphia Phillies have been sensational so far and are fully legit. But… The Phillies entered the weekend having played three games vs. teams now sporting a winning record. Three! Out of 45 games. Going into this weekend's series only the Blue Jays, White Sox, and Angels had played more games against winning teams than had the Astros. It’s not mere coincidence that the Blue Jays, White Sox, and Angels are the three last place teams in the American League. The Astros were not up to the challenge of their first quarter schedule, but by no means did it render them dead, particularly in the thus far Mild, Mild, American League West.

A good Brewers team visits Minute Maid Park for three games this weekend. The Astros beat their best starter Friday night. Next the Astros get the pathetic Angels here for three before a three-game series at Oakland. Meanwhile the West leading Mariners start a ten-game road trip this weekend: three at the excellent Orioles, four at the excellent Yankees, three at the respectable Nationals. The Astros stand a good chance of overtaking the M’s by the end of this month if they can win the four-game series they open Memorial Day in Seattle.

Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers snapped a five game losing streak Wednesday to eke back over .500 at 23-22. The reigning World Series champs hope to get somewhat well vs. the Angels in Arlington this weekend but dropped the series opener to drop back to .500. For their sake they better because the Rangers then hit the road for Philadelphia and Minnesota.

Naturally, many Astros fans are upset with Ronel Blanco serving a 10 game suspension for illegally using whatever substance on his glove and non-pitching hand. The suspension is basically automatic. The suspension is also not a big problem. Blanco has been fantastic since getting a starting rotation spot only because of Justin Verlander’s delayed start to his season. It’s said that all life owes us is opportunity. Man, did Blanco seize his. With just seven big league starts to his name before entering this season as a 30-year old, Blanco has made eight this season with a sparkling 2.09 earned run average. So, what’s that about the suspension is not a big problem?

Blanco will miss one start and have another pushed back a day or two. That’s just not a big deal. In fact it may be helpful in the bigger picture. With last year being the first time in his professional career that Blanco topped 100 innings pitched (125 1/3), the Astros need to be wary of Blanco’s workload which is on pace to blow past last year’s career-high innings total. J.P. France probably pitched over his head for a while last year, but went well past his prior career-high innings total and faded badly. Cristian Javier was tremendous in 2022 while pitching more than in any previous year, but he pitched even more in 2023 and faded badly.

Alex Bregman lives! After being nearly inconceivably inept through the first quarter of the season, the Alex awakening in the Oakland series was not shocking but most welcomed. Over his first 37 games Bregman had a paltry seven extra base hits. Even with a feeble .201 batting average and .534 OPS, that Bregman had scored just eight runs over those 37 games was hard to believe. Then Monday and Tuesday saw five extra base hits and four runs scored.

In a trade not commanding any headlines, Dana Brown Wednesday sent outfielder Corey Julks to the White Sox for 20-year-old low minor league pitcher Luis Rodriguez. There is now no reason to call it a great Astros trade but Brown made a smart deal. Julks had no future here, hence he would have been released if no deal was struck. Taking a flyer on a young arm can’t hurt. Frankly, the White Sox are dumb to trade a young arm of any promise whatsoever for a 28-year-old outfielder with limited value. Julks was a nice story for parts of last season. The Clear Brook High School grad and UH product had a couple windows of production, highlighted by a sizzling nine game 17 for 34 stretch straddling June and July. Alas, not two weeks later Julks began what would become an 0 for 36 nightmare. He was sent to the minors for good in late-August.

*Catch our weekly Stone Cold ‘Stros podcast. Brandon Strange, Josh Jordan, and I discuss varied Astros topics. The first post for the week generally goes up Monday afternoon (second part released Tuesday) via The SportsMap HOU YouTube channel or listen to episodes in their entirety at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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