Colombia became the first team in Group C to advance into the knockouts following the drab draw between Japan and Greece that concluded Day 8 in World Cup betting. Colombia with six points on the back of wins against Greece (3-0) and Ivory Coast (2-1) join Netherlands and Chile (from Group B) in the R16. It remains to be seen whether they’ll finish top of Group C, thereby earning a date with the runner-up of Group D – which could be any one of the four contenders – Costa Rica, Italy or Uruguay. Should Colombia finish runner-up in Group C, they would take on the winner of Group D – again, the same aforementioned suspects mentioned. In any event, Colombia are whopping -10000 favourites to win Group C now. Only Ivory Coast, in second place at the moment with three points could potentially win Group C at +2500.
Which side will advance with Colombia?
The only thing left to be decided in this group is which side will join Colombia in the knockouts. As it happens, all three are still in the running, so there’s everything to play for in the last lap of Group C. Ivory Coast are in pole position and are tipped at favourable -300 odds to advance. They beat Japan in their campaign opener, but succumbed to Colombia in the second round. Their last clash would appear a fortuitous clash (at least on paper it is) against Greece.
Naturally, Greece and Japan (both with one point in the competition) could still ambush Group C; the former by upsetting Ivory Coast, while the latter by upsetting Colombia. Curiously, the Japan-Colombia clash is nestled on a slightly tighter betting line than the Greece-Ivory Coast affair. Japan are listed as the +240 underdogs while Colombia are listed as the favourites, albeit on +120 odds. Meanwhile, Ivory Coast are on +105 odds while Greece are rather long at +280.
Group Qualification markets tell another story as well, with Greece listed as the +400 soccer pick to crash the Group C party while Japan are listed as the large +800 soccer pick to do the same. All the while, Japan have the slight edge over Greece (in third) on account of a better goal differential. A bit of a discrepancy in market casting, wouldn’t you say?
Indeed, it’s rather difficult to get a sense of what odds makers are thinking here. In group markets, Ivory Coast have a chance to still win (slim though it is) the group and/or just simply advance. Similarly, Greece seem to have the upper hand over Japan in the event of an ambush in Group C, but Greece are sat bottom of the group. What’s more, match-betting odds suggest Japan’s clash with Colombia will be the tighter affair. Does that mean it’s more likely to deliver the improbable upset? The reality is that if Greece do beat Ivory Coast they’ll be through provided that Japan don’t beat Colombia by a margin one-goal slimmer.
World Cup Betting Verdict: This is going to be a tough group to handicap in the final round. It’s going to come down to luck, amongst many other things. There could potentially be a late surprise that would turn things upside down, in a manner of speaking. That said in January, in our early previews, we picked Ivory Coast and Greece (in that order) to advance. Ahead of the actual kickoff in June, we revisited Group C odds in search of best value and decided to add these choices to our World Cup picks: Colombia to win the group and Greece to finish second. On the merit of the first two laps, we haven’t been entirely wrong. Now, though, we fancy our top picks from both separate previews – Colombia and Ivory Coast (in that order) to advance.