Gambling Guide

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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Yordan Alvarez came up big in Game 5. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Astros can win the pennant Friday night. Can't dangle the carrot any closer in front of the face than that. Taking the last two games at Fenway Park has the Astros in excellent position, but any notion that a third American League championship in five years is now inevitable, is silly. The Astros are probably 80 percent or better to advance, but of course the Red Sox could win games six and seven at Minute Maid Park à la the Nationals in the World Series two years ago. The Astros had all the momentum after winning three straight in D.C., came home for the coronation, and pfffft. You have momentum...until you don't. It's nothing to bank on. The Red Sox had all the "mo" after clobbering the Astros in games two and three of this AL championship series. Then Jose Altuve crushed the eighth inning tying home run in game four, ahead of the seven run volcanic eruption of a ninth inning. Nine more Astro runs later in game five, and here we are.

One key distinction that makes the Astros hand look stronger up 3-2 now than vs. the Nats, the Red Sox don't have Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer ready to pitch. Like Framber Valdez vs. Chris Sale in game five, game six is another starting pitching rematch. Alvin native Nathan Eovaldi grossly outpitched Luis Garcia in game two. We'll see if Sox manager Alex Cora winds up regretting even more using Eovaldi to start the fateful game four ninth inning. Eovaldi only threw 24 pitches, but three nights later we'll see what and how much he has in the tank.

After pitching horribly against the White Sox and then the Red Sox, and then citing a sore knee, Luis Garcia is his own huge question mark. So was Valdez before Wednesday spinning one of the great postseason pitching performances in Astros' history. Framber was awful in each of his first two postseason starts, absolutely magnificent in cruising through eight innings in game five. Should the Sox force Game Seven, Valdez certainly is a relief option on two days rest. Jose Urquidy would start, opposite Eduardo Rodriguez in a game three rematch.

Valdez and the Astros hope his next outing is Tuesday night in game one of the World Series. Ideally, at Minute Maid Park against the Atlanta Braves. Alas, the defending champion Dodgers remain alive and kicking, having won their fourth do or die game already in this postseason to send the National League Championship Series back to Atlanta. Now, if somehow we knew as fact that the Astros are going to win the World Series, I'd estimate approximately 99 percent of Astros' fans would prefer to beat L.A. Since we don't know that the Astros are going to win it all, getting the Braves would be more favorable for the Astros, if for no other reason than the Astros would get home-field advantage. Should the Braves make it, among other factoids Charlie Morton would be in his third World Series with three different teams in the last five seasons (Astros in 2017, Rays last year, Braves this). If the Braves can close out the Dodgers Saturday, Morton is Atlanta's likely game one starter at MMP. Provided the Astros are the AL Champs of course.

Watt a matchup for the Texans

The Texans play at Arizona Sunday. Yeah, and? You imagine that J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins find the two team's current situations amusing? The Texans are a 1-5 stink bomb that will keep on stinking. The Cardinals are 6-0 and an emerging Super Bowl contender. While Deshaun Watson continues collecting about 600 thousand dollars per week to do nothing (and waiting to become a Miami Dolphin?), Kyler Murray has made the leap to upper echelon NFL quarterback.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. Decisions, decisions. Astros-Red Sox game 6 or Rockets home opener vs. Thunder. Tough call?

2. The Rockets will regularly be overmatched and probably lose 55 games or more again this season. At least they have young talent to offer some hope. The Texans presently have near nothing.

3. Best 2021 Astros' postseason journey signature food: Bronze-Atlanta/Los Angeles, anything? Silver-Chicago, deep dish pizza Gold-Boston, lobster roll

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