France favoured to top group
France reached the finals via the playoffs, beating Ukraine 3-2 on aggregate after a dramatic 3-0 comeback in the second leg in France. In spite of their indirect qualification to Brazil, they emerge as the group favourites at -150 to finish top, at -500 to simply qualify into the knockouts, and, somewhat surprisingly, as the sixth favourite to win it all at +2200.
A mix of young guns and veterans, Les Bleus are dynamic, explosive and attacking-minded. There’s no shortage of talent, quality or skill on the French bench, which explains, in part, why they are favoured in both group, and outright World Cup betting markets. Falling into a winnable Group E, however, largely underscores their price to top the section. Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras are all tremendous long shots in the competition proper, winning it all as unlikely as the moon is to fall out of the sky.
By that same token, it would seem that France’s price to win Group E is too short then at -150. Put against France’s pedigree in this competition, the three remaining nations are found wanting. None have won this competition, or threatened to do so in recent history. You’d think Les Bleus then would have this section firmly cornered in their camp on higher odds, especially when they are priced at -500 to simply qualify, but since they don’t, they really do seem to be a value World Cup picks at -150 to win Group E.
Switzerland value underdogs
Switzerland are the second favourites in Group E at +275, the -150 favourites to simply qualify, and competition long shots at +10000 to win it all. The Swiss qualified directly into the finals by winning a relatively easy group in the process. While they aren’t of the so-called ‘traditional powerhouses,' the Swiss boast a lot of quality, nonetheless. Arguably, their most impressive account was a 1-0 victory over Spain in group action at the 2010 World Cup group.
The strongest aspect of the Swiss game is defence; they are tough to breakdown, as evinced by their two pre-World Cup friendly matches against Jamaica and Peru, which they won by a combined score of 3-0.
In other friendly action, they beat Brazil 1-0 last summer, and – shockingly – crushed Germany 5-3 in 2012. Indeed, the Swiss are a side that can’t be underestimated. If you are looking for a value underdog to surprise at the group level: Switzerland at +275 to win Group E are worth considering on your World Cup picks, just as the Swiss to simply qualify at -150 are as well.
Ecuador and Honduras hope to punch above their weight class
Ecuador are listed at +400 to win Group E, but at a reasonable -110 to simply qualify into the knockouts. Clearly, topping the group is a tough ask. Qualifying into the knockouts, however, isn’t. Given the soft group, with only France dubbed as the clear favourites, Ecuador could legitimately fancy their chances of clinching second place ahead of the popular second choice Switzerland.
Although Honduras come in at a whopping +3300 to win Group E and at +600 to simply qualify, they are hoping to punch above their weight class in Brazil. They’d need a lot to go their way for that to happen. More likely, than not, they’ll turn out to be the group’s punching bag, if the odds were any indication.
World Cup Betting Verdict
Popular opinion have France and Switzerland advancing into the knockouts. Over and above the World Cup odds mentioned above, you can back that outcome in forecast betting: France and Switzerland (in that order) at +250, or Switzerland and France at +450. Ecuador is the only nation that has a probable shot at crashing the party, which can additionally be backed in forecast betting markets as well: France and Ecuador at +300, or with (less likely) options such as Ecuador and France at +700, or Switzerland and Ecuador (in that order and reverse) at +1400.
Free World Cup Picks: Switzerland and France to advance.