2014 World Cup Picks: Japan vs. Greece

Nila Amerova

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 12:13 PM GMT

Japan and Greece collide in Group C betting all the while both nation hopes hang in the balance. A defeat could spell the end of their World Cup dreams. Find out which way the market swings and where the value odds are to be found.


Japan’s Unlucky Start
Japan were on their way to winning their Group C opener against Ivory Coast, taking the 1-0 lead early in the first half when Honda struck home in the 16th minute. A late surge, however, by the Ivorian Elephants snatched the victory from the Blue Samurais with Bony and Gervinho scoring two minutes apart (64th and 66th, respectively). There was still plenty of time left on the clock for Japan to regroup and draw level, if not even win. But they faded dramatically down the stretch, beaten well before the 90-minute mark.

As things currently stand, Japan are third in the table on account of a better goal differential than Greece (defeated by Colombia 3-0 in their opener) and third in line to win Group C at staggering +2000, marking a huge spike from their original +375 odds to win Group C. Yet, they are within touching distance of second place, which promises action in the knockout stages. Listed at reasonable +275 odds to simply qualify, Japan are in play for a berth in the R16. Colombia and Ivory Coast, however, were quite impressive in their openers, so much so they have the market cornered on -1400 and -450 odds, respectively, which means Japan has all to do in order to advance their bid instead.

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Greece outpaced
Colombia’s 3-0 victory over Greece is somewhat misleading, in that it belies Greece’s effort in the opener. They played better than the score suggests. The Greeks created some brilliant scoring opportunities, only to have them denied by the crossbar or simply spurned wastefully.  They also had the balance of possession but it came to naught as they were outpaced by Colombia, particularly on the counterattack. Unexpectedly, that exposed the hidden weakness on their defence, typically the cornerstone of their style of play, and tactics and strategy.

All in all, the Greeks didn’t play badly against Colombia, a fact that could send them into this must-win clash with Japan on a wave of optimism. Bookies, however, aren’t buying what they are selling. Greeks are now trading at large +600 odds to simply advance into the knockouts and at + 4000 odds to win Group C.


Japan vs. Greece Match Betting Tips and Picks
As far as match betting goes, odds makers have released a rather coy World Cup betting line with both sides tipped on the short side of even money. Not an unusual occurrence in second round group betting, where nations are delicately aligned in the table and with everything still left to play for in an eminently wide-open group. Japan are matched at +115 odds while Greece are matched at +275 to win outright.

Clearly, Japan are the favourites, largely down to their pace and attacking brand of football, which could give Greece a lot of trouble, not unlike Colombia did. Where the Blue Samurai are concerned, however, is can they maintain the same level of play for 90 minutes. If they fade the way they did against Ivory Coast, one would have to like Greece’s chances better, assuming they can stave off the Blue Samurai early.

In Greece’s case, they’ll need to find their scoring feet first. Their top strikers were rendered ineffective against Colombia, something that won’t do in this pivotal clash at all. Against Japan, Greece should find more opportunities as Japan’s fullbacks are wont to leave gaping space on the pitch, but it remains to be seen whether they can convert those into goals. As it stands, their unimpressive scoring statistics say otherwise.


World Cup Betting Verdict
Japan were delightfully offensive against Ivory Coast, but failed to maintain the intensity for the full 90 minutes. If they can somehow find form in this match, they could very well outpace and outmuscle a seemingly beatable Greece. Therefore, we recommend Japan at +115 on your World Cup Picks. As well, our bonus World Cup picks include the Over 2.5 at +105 and Keisuke Honda to score. The imaginative and creative striker has been the orchestrator of many Blue Samurai goals, including their only goal against Ivory Coast. As well, when he scores, Japan tends to play better, if not win games. Keisuke Honda is matched at +210 to score anytime.

World Cup Picks: Japan at +115; Over 2.5 at +105 and Keisuke Honda to score at +210