2018 World Cup Group G Expert Betting Picks
Soccer is a funny game. Perhaps more than any other sport, dominance in the game doesn't always correlate to dominance on the scoreboard. Teams can control possession, dictate pace, and monopolize scoring opportunities - and still lose. So when betting on soccer you always want to be careful about getting sucked into wagering on things that seem inevitable.
But Group G looks about as textbook as any in the World Cup. Belgium and England are two of the best teams in Europe and two clubs harboring hopes of a deep run to the semifinals or even a surprise title. Tunisia and Panama are two of the weakest teams in the field and are just happy to be in Russia playing meaningful soccer. There is definitely some intrigue over who will win that Belgium-England showdown, which is the third match for both teams. But if anything other than Belgium and England advancing takes place then it would have to be considered one of the biggest upsets of the entire tournament.
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The 2018 World Cup will take place in Russia from June 14 to July 15. Russia will host this year's quadrennial event, and current 2018 World Cup betting odds and odds to win the World Cup are currently posted at all offshore and Las Vegas sportsbooks.
Here is my World Cup Group G Preview:
Odds To Win Group G: -130
Odds To Advance: -1200
Odds To Win World Cup: +1100
Belgium Group G Predictions: The word most directly associated with the Belgians is "class". Their starting 11 are world class, featuring some of the best players on some of the best club teams in all of Europe. Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku are all stars and the top of a long list of standouts. Belgium rode this talent through an overwhelming qualifying and now they find themselves as one of the favorites to win the championship.
But this is the third tournament in a row that Belgium was proposed as a "sleeper" team to win a title. They struggled to put away the United States and then bowed out in the quarterfinals in Brazil. Then they were upset by Wales in the quarters of Euro 2016. So are we ever going to see this alleged "golden generation" of Belgian players put all that talent together? Or this team simply fool's gold and overrated?
If things go to plan then Belgium is on a collision course with Brazil in the quarterfinals, with Germany awaiting the winner. If Belgium is going to prove itself as the best team in the world they will certainly be forced to earn it.
Odds To Win Group G: +130
Odds To Advance: -900
Odds To Win World Cup: +1700
England Group G Predictions: England is perpetually one of the most overrated and overvalued national teams in the world. England hasn't won a World Cup in over half a century, and they have made it to the semifinals only once in the last 12 World Cups. The Three Lions famously imploded in Brazil, losing twice and failing to exit the group stage. But they come to Russia with fewer expectations and will look to turn the page from that embarrassment.
This team really is vastly different from the one that was besieged by scandal, injury and inconsistency over most of the past decade. Manager Gareth Southgate has seemingly been pushing the right buttons and has put together a cohesive and deep group of players. This team is young and hungry and devoid of the egos that have sunk past English teams.
England also has an extremely manageable draw. They open against pesky-but-overmatched Tunisia and Panama squads. And if they position themselves properly then England may not need anything more than a draw from their third match, which comes against highly-touted Belgium. This team is set up for what could be a surprise run deep in the tournament.
Odds To Win Group G: +1800
Odds To Advance: +500
Odds To Win World Cup: +75000
Tunisia Group G Predictions: This African nation fights hard, but they are completely overmatched. Tunisia will be without its best offensive player due to injury, and they simply lack the overall talent and quality of a Belgium or an England.
Tunisia isn't great defensively, they don't have any playmakers, and they are just going to have to hope to get lucky with some set pieces or some fluke bounces if they want to steal a win here.
Odds To Win Group G: +5000
Odds To Advance: +1000
Odds To Win World Cup: +150000
Panama Group G Predictions: This Panamanian team is essentially the squad that stole the United States' bid. This is their first-ever appearance at the World Cup, and they are just happy to be here.
Panama plays like a bunch of thugs. There is no finesse to their game, and they simply try to bludgeon people. Skillful teams like Belgium and England are going to have to maintain focus and keep their cool against this Panamanian squad. And if they don't then some of these matches will get out of hand. This is clearly one of the three or four worst teams in the field.
2018 World Cup Group G Predicted Order Of Finish:
ROBERT FERRINGO is one of the top all-sports handicappers in the country and will be releasing rated selections in the 2018 World Cup this June and July. Robert has posted back-to-back winning World Cups (2010 and 2014) and went on an insane +$4,700 run with his plays in Euro 2016. Sign up for his plays here .
Read more articles by Robert Ferringo
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