The World Cup is exactly 58 days away. Unless you read this tomorrow. Now seems like a good time to start looking at the eight 2018 World Cup groups. Here our focus is on Group B and we’ve got the latest odds and our top tips.
Back to Group B though, and this quartet features two sides who will feel they are capable of going all the way. In Spain and Portugal it has the sides who between them have won the last three Euros, whilst current holders Portugal also made the final in 2004.
Some may disregard Portugal but with the form Cristiano Ronaldo is in we think that would be a foolhardy move. Spain are the 7/1 (88sport and Unibet) fourth favourites in the outright betting, whilst Portugal are ranked just behind England at odds of 25/1 with William Hill and others.
Here we take a look at the key fixtures in this fascinating group, as well as the various markets and the latest odds. You can see our main tip below and we’ll explain why we see that as a good value bet.
Group B World Cup Betting Tip
Spain/Portugal Straight Forecast – 5/4 with Coral
Preview, Analysis and Odds
As of the 17th April it is actually Portugal who are ranked highest by FIFA. Shows what FIFA know! CR7 and his band of not-that-merry men are ranked 4th, with Spain 8th, Iran 36th and Morocco 42nd.
When we look at the group winner odds, a different picture is painted, with Spain favourites at 1/2 (Coral), Portugal next at 2/1 (BetVictor), then Morocco at a distant 16/1 (also BetVictor) and Iran the rank outsiders at 33/1 with Bet365 (odds correct at time of publication, subject to change).
In terms of qualification, Spain and Portugal are both big odds-on favourites at 1/14 and 2/9 respectively, with Morocco 10/3. If you do fancy the North Africans we think backing them to beat Ronaldo and co at 6/1 (see below) may be the wiser move but in reality it is clearly a long shot.
The odds are fairly predictable in terms of which side will finish bottom, with Iran clear favourites at 10/11. If you know something we don’t you could opt to back Spain for the wooden spoon. 45/1 is the price if that’s your fancy!
Overall though we see few, if any, upsets in this group. Spain are superb in all areas of the pitch and they are rightful favourites. At 7/1 we think they could even be the value pick to go all the way in Russia but they certainly look good to win Group B. In David De Gea they have probably the best keeper in the world whilst they have class all over the pitch, as well as experience. They also know what it takes to win, with many of the squad having achieved great things before, be that with Spain, Barca, Real Madrid or elsewhere.
Given we see this one going according to the odds we think backing the Spain/Portugal one two makes sense. Odds of 5/4 look very solid and certainly offer more reward than simply backing the Spaniards to top Group B.
Key Fixtures in Group B
There is no real doubt that the crucial clash is in the opening round and we don’t mean Morocco v Iran. Three hours after the Group B opener, the two favourites to progress face off in Sochi. This Iberian derby will more than likely decide who top[s the group.
Spain are odds-on, priced at 10/11 (Hills) to beat Ronaldo and co. We think that looks a solid price and Spain have been quietly impressive for some time now.
If there is to be an upset in the group then it could perhaps come in the next game. On the 20th June Portugal play Morocco in Moscow and whilst the European champions are favourites, the North African’s will fancy their chances.
Portugal are massive favourites there at odds of 4/7 with Betfair but it might just be worth a small punt on the underdogs. Odds of 6/1 with Coral may be a tad long given Portugal can be unpredictable at times, especially if things aren’t going Ronaldo’s way.