Belgium favoured to win Group
If World Cup betting markets are to be taken at face value, Belgium are set to top Group H. Belgium are listed as the top favourites at -150 to win outright, a price that remains exactly the same since odds makers first went to press with Group H odds. Surprisingly, this favourable outlook extends to outright betting where Belgium are tipped as the fifth favourites to win it all at +1600.
A lot of the hype surrounding the Belgians has to do with their solid qualifying campaign, in which they went 8-2-0 to win their UEFA Group A convincingly. However, at the start of the World Cup qualifying stretch, Group A was widely acknowledged an open section, with several nations boasting a genuine chance to clinch top spot, including Croatia, Serbia, Scotland and a Gareth-Bale inspired Wales. When the section lacked a credible powerhouse, perhaps Belgium’s run should be taken with a grain of salt.
As it were, Belgium’s World Cup campaign benefits from another favourable group, which includes Russia, South Korea and Algeria. Aside from Algeria – allegedly, the group’s no-hopers at +2800 to win Group H – the remaining pair has a legitimate shot. Russia is listed at +220 to win Group H while South Korea are listed slightly larger at +700.
Belgium’s odds to win the group are advanced further by the fortuitous draw that pits them against Algeria in their group opener. The thinking is: they’ll kickoff with an easy three points to assume one of the two coveted top spots, if not the top spot itself. You can back Belgium at -225 to win outright over Algeria (+700).
The Russians loom as the likeliest to advance out of this group with Belgium, according to group forecast markets, and group qualification betting. Russia topped their UEFA qualifying group ahead of Portugal with a 7-1-2 record, a run of form that included three wins and a draw in their last four fixtures. That form they’ve stretch since to nine undefeated, three wins and two draws over five friendly encounters. Russia to advance into the knockouts ahead of Belgium is listed at +300.
Russia have a tough ask against South Korea to start their campaign; hence, the coy World Cup betting line that has both nations tipped just short of even money at +115 and +260, respectively. In fact, this clash is deemed pivotal towards the group’s hierarchy, so the premium on the win couldn’t be greater. Arguably, the winner would be in pole position to advance into the knockouts, and one can’t dismiss South Korea’s chances here. You can back Russia to simply advance into the knockouts at -250 in group qualification betting.
South Korea are making their ninth World Cup appearance (eighth in a row), which makes them the most successful Asian team in the history of the event. What’s more, they’ve been as far as the semis in 2002, the year they co-hosted the tournament with Japan. This isn’t a side to be taken lightly, even if they are tipped longer than the top tandem of Belgium and Russia.
World Cup Betting Verdict: Belgium are expected to win Group H by odds makers, but this section might not be as straightforward as odds makers would have you believe. Let’s face it, Belgium’s World Cup credentials are meagre, to say the least. Russia haven’t advanced beyond the group stage since becoming an independent nation (post Soviet Union).
South Korea therefore loom as a tempting alternative for your World Cup picks in all group markets – from outright win to group qualification and group forecasts. If you fancy going against the grain all together, Russia and South Korea to advance in first and second, respectively, is listed at attractive +1600; in reverse order, it’s an even larger +2800 bet.