The Belgians open their European Championship qualifying account with a home match against Andorra, and we know they'll be heavy favorites in the soccer odds. Which is the best value pick to play?
The soccer betting lines are incredibly one-sided, as the Belgians are priced at -10000 at some sites to get the three points. Obviously that leaves very little value on a straight money-line play, meaning you'll have to get creative if you're eager to make a play on the favorites.
Andorra is a tiny fish here, priced at +3300 soccer odds to get a shock in in this qualifying match. A draw, listed at +1600, is also a longshot to come through.
We all know how good this Belgium side is when firing on all cylinders. We saw it in this summer's World Cup, when the Belgians made a run to the quarter-finals before bowing out of the competition.
At this time, Belgium is ranked fifth in the FIFA world rankings, signalling that they're a force to be reckoned with. We can't take the rankings too seriously, but few would question whether the Belgians deserve their spot in the top five. They've got the results and quality to show for it.
This Friday's match will be Belgium's first qualifying encounter, with the rest of Group B (aside from Israel) already having played once. Other competitors in the group include Bosnia and Herzegovina and Wales, but there's no doubt who the overall favorite to emerge in the top spot is. The Belgians will want to show why that's the case in their opener.
The amount of talent on this squad is downright scary. Thibaut Courtois appears to be fine after taking a knock in Chelsea's recent Premier League match, and should be able to make the starting XI this Friday. Then there's captain Vincent Kompany in the heart of the defense, with the likes of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld surrounding him.
It gets even scarier, as Belgium can call on the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Nacer Chadli and Dries Mertens among others. Young striker Divock Origi has also shown a lot of potential, as has Manchester United midfielder Adnan Janujaz. Whoever makes the Belgium squad and ends up playing, we know it'll be a strong lineup.
It's going to take some kind of miracle for Andorra to earn a spot into the tournament. They've been dealt a tough hand in their group.
Anything can happen obviously, but we're not feeling good about Andorra's chances, considering they're ranked #203 in the world at the moment.
It was at least encouraging to see the Andorrans put up a good fight in their opening qualifying match, a home date with Gareth Bales and his Welsh teammates. Andorra went ahead in the sixth minute through a penalty, but Bale struck twice to give Wales a 2-1 victory.
Primarily consisting of amateur players, the Andorrans are at a clear disadvantage in qualifying, but they've already shown that they're willing to put in a hard shift to make life difficult on their more talented opponents.
The gulf in quality is most certainly going to be of epic proportions on Friday, though Andorra will have the benefit of knowing that they have absolutely nothing to lose.
Since there's no value in siding with Belgium on the money-line, we've got to look for another avenue with our soccer picks.
Let's look for the Belgians to win by three or more goals, which will offer cappers a lot more bang for their buck in this huge mismatch. Not only do they have far more quality all over the pitch, but they're at home and they have something to prove after going out earlier in the World Cup than they would have liked.
Belgium will enter the 2016 European Championships as one of the top overall favorites, but first they must take care of business in qualifying. Expect them to kick things off in style with a dominant win over Andorra.
Free Soccer Pick: Belgium 4 Andorra 0 at 5Dimes