2014 World Cup Betting: Iran vs. Nigeria Odds, Tips & Preview

Steven Suarez

Thursday, June 12, 2014 3:08 PM GMT

The bottom two teams in Group F will go head-to-head in the first playday, with Nigeria installed as the soccer betting favorites over Iran. We've broken down the available lines inside before coming up with our preferred soccer betting pick.

Odds Overview
Some books have Nigeria listed at +100, but others have an even more attractive price available of +125. Iran is the clear-cut underdog at anywhere from +275 to +300, with a draw trading at +210 at a majority of the top sports betting sites.

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Iran
As they were also participating in the AFC Asian Cup qualification, Iran has gotten a good chance to prepare for the World Cup.

After qualification ended, the Iranians played five friendlies, playing against the likes of Guinea, Belarus, Montenegro, Angola and Trinidad and Tobago. Iran's only win came against T&T, with three draws and a loss to Guinea thrown in there.

Looking over the squad, there are a few guys to keep track of throughout the tournament.

The captain and most experienced player on the roster is Javad Neknounam, who has 37 goals in 140 international appearances throughout his career. Neknounam's claim to fame came from his time with La Liga side Osasuna.

Other intriguing names include Ashkan Dejagah, who you may know from Fulham, as well as Jalal Hosseini, Andranik Teymourian and Reza Ghoochannejhad, a striker from Charlton Athletic who's scored 10 times in 14 international appearances so far.


Nigeria
Nigeria, fresh off a third place finish in the African Nations Championship, checks in at #45 in the FIFA world rankings ahead of the World Cup.

The Nigerians played some stiff competition in their preparations, coming up against Mexico, Scotland, Greece and the United States. They drew the first three before falling 2-1 to the Americans in their final tune-up. Not a bad showing.

With a number of players plying their trade in some of the world's most competitive leagues, Nigeria holds the edge in the regard over Iran.

Joseph Yobo and Peter Odemwingie are the two most experienced players in the squad, but we can't forget guys like John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses, both of whom have tons of Premier League experience already, which should serve them well here in the tournament.

One of the most exciting players on the team is young Ahmed Musa, who already has 37 caps despite being only 21 years old. He's scored only five goals for his country, but the CSKA Moscow striker is certainly a threat, as is Emmanuel Emenike (nine goals in 23 appearances) from Fenerbahce.

For more Group F coverage, read our Argentina vs. Bosnia betting predictions.

World Cup Pick
The big question: where are the goals going to come from for Nigeria? They only have one player (Odemwingie) who's scored at least 10 international goals in his career, so we're struggling to see them make too much of an impact on Group F.

Still, we do believe the Nigerians will be able to get at least one win and their best chance (by a country mile) is against Iran. Victor Moses and company may have one of the youngest teams in the World Cup, but they have a lot of guys who have played at the highest possible level, unlike the Iranians.

In a match where one goal could easily get the job done, we look for Nigeria to emerge as the victors against an Iran side that has had their fair share of trouble getting the ball in the back of the net as well. It's not going to be a pretty match by any stretch of the imagination, but we're backing the favorites.

Pick: Iran 0 Nigeria 1