France Hot Favourites
It should come as no surprise that France are heavily favoured to win their World Cup opener against Honduras. Les Blues are tipped as the runaway favourites at -300 to win outright, which is a market stance most World Cup bettors can’t possibly disagree with, surely. In fact, if France’s most recent warm up were an indication of what’s to come, Honduran fans may well be worried.
France are after decimating Jamaica 8-0 in a pre-World Cup warm up at the weekend. The victory marked their third victory in their last four friendly matches, as well as their third clean sheet. Since the culmination of the playoffs, in which France beat Ukraine 3-2 on aggregate (3-0 in the second leg) to secure their invitation to Brazil, they went on to friendly wins over Netherlands (2-0), Norway (4-0) and Jamaica (8-0); the only hiccup on their run was a 1-1 draw against Paraguay.
French fans can well be disheartened by Franck Ribery’s injury, and the impact it potentially could have on their nation’s World Cup bid. However, they have nothing to complain about when it comes to the draw. Group E is one of the lightest of the competition, completely devoid of established heavyweights in the game. That’s what is known as a fortuitous draw, which augurs well for Les Bleus chances to advance into the knockouts, by either winning Group E at -133 odds or simply advancing at -500.
Honduras Punch Above their Weight Class?
Everybody likes a good underdog story, especially when the underdog punches above his weight class, defies odds and conventional wisdom. Expecting Honduras to satisfy such widespread sentimentality, however, is a bit of a stretch. It’s really unlikely they would accomplish the feat.
Honduras are the competitions quintessential underdogs. They are no-hopers to win it all at +200000, a pipedream to win Group E at +3300 and, even, long shots to simply advance at +650. Hence, in keeping with this disadvantaged theme, they are the +1200 puppies to beat France in their Group E opener, a market stance further underscored by their pre-World Cup warm-up schedule that wrapped up without a victory in three fixtures. They lost 2-0 to Turkey, 4-2 to Israel and settled on a scoreless draw to England.
Now, the last fixture could be taken as a positive by Honduran fans. England belong to the established heavyweights, so a draw is a commendable result. However, coach Roy Hodgson was experimenting with various formations, starters and line-ups during that match, making any takeaway debatable, really. One can’t judge England too harshly for the outcome of this match. By that same token, one can’t get their hopes up too high about Honduras’ performance either.
Soccer Betting Verdict: By all accounts, this is a mismatch on paper. France, an established threat at the World Cup stage, should steamroll Honduras without remorse, making them the only smart World Cup pick at -300 in our opinion.
To add value to this bet, however, World Cup aficionados would need to turn to other markets. For instance: France to win both halves is tipped at tempting -110 odds, while Over 2.5 at +115 is even more tempting. Another World Cup pick for this match that practically begs a tickle is in double result markets: France to win and ‘No’ for both teams to score, set at -125.
World Cup Picks: France to win at -300; Over 2.5 at +115