2022 World Cup Group F Betting Odds and Expert Predictions
Group F odds to win group:
The World Cup is just days away, and the group stage betting lines are now open. There are numerous ways to attack the markets, and plenty of money can be made during the group stage. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the competitors.
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Belgium has qualified for their 3rd straight World Cup after missing out in 2006 and 2010. Most recently, they had a successful 2018, finishing 3rd in Russia. Entering the tournament, Belgium is the 2nd ranked team in the world yet only has the 9th best odds to lift the trophy. The golden generation of Belgium is aging, and this is likely the last chance they have to win the trophy for the first time, as once the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku retire, the level of talent will quickly fall off. Belgium has had the pieces needed to be successful yet have consistently failed to step up when it matters most. Heading to Qatar are some familiar faces, as Belgium fields one of the most experienced 11’s at the tournament. In attack, Eden Hazard, Lukaku, and Dries Mertens will all be looking to get on the scoresheet. De Bruyne and Axel Witsel will command the midfield, and a consistent backline featuring Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, and Thomas Meunier will look to keep their clean sheet intact. Group F is a difficult group to navigate, as there will be no easy wins for the European giants. Canada and Morocco will both be quietly confident they can make waves, and Croatia will be looking to improve on their runner-up finish in 2018. Belgium has their work cut out for them.
Canada is featuring in their first World Cup since 1986 and will be looking to score their first goal in Qatar. The men's national team for Canada has always been significantly worse than their women’s side, and it’s nice to see them finally take that next step and qualify for the World Cup. Canada flew through their qualification process, finishing above perennial heavyweights USA and Mexico. While the World Cup experience is missing, the determination the Canadians bring is certainly present. The star of Canada is Alphonso Davies, yet he hasn’t made a significant impact on the national team due to injuries. Considering Canada rose to the occasion and qualified without their star, the confidence heading into Qatar is higher than most after not participating for almost 4 decades. Canada lost their captain Doneil Henry in their final friendly against Bahrain but still has the level of talent needed to compete. The extra rest the Canadians will have since their domestic league has been off for months will be vital to their success. It’s an uphill battle, but the Canadians are optimistic they can qualify for the knockout stages.
Croatia came within the finest of margins from lifting their first World Cup, falling to France 4-2 in the final of the 2018 World Cup. Croatia will be heading to Qatar to participate in their 6th World Cup and will be looking to take it one step further and win it all. The clock is ticking for the Croatian squad, as this will be superstar Luka Modric’s last chance. The squad they bring is a healthy dose of veterans and young talents. In the midfield, Modric will line up alongside Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic, creating one of the deadliest trios in the competition. The household names are missing from the rest of the squad, but the talent is undeniable. One fascinating player to watch is Ivan Perisic. Perisic has found new life at Tottenham and has been reigning terror up and down the left flank. His ability to attack and defend makes him a tough competitor to face, and he will certainly be a crucial part of Croatia’s attack. It’s a tricky Group F, but Croatia will be confident they have what it takes to advance.
Morocco will be featuring in their 6th World Cup and will be looking to reach the knockout stages for the first time since 1986. They went a remarkable 7-1-0 in qualifying, keeping their undefeated record intact heading to Qatar. Leading the way for Morocco is Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi. The bonafide European stars will have their work cut out for them and can not afford any mistakes on the pitch. While Ziyech and Hakimi can compete with the best, but the rest of the Moroccan squad quickly drops off quality. The midfield and defense will be exposed against the fluid attacks of the groupmates, and Morocco may take the short flight home with their tail between their legs. If the role players can step up, they have the talent to compete. However, in a tough Group F, the entire 11 will have to be at their best.
Group F will be one of the tightest groups in the competition. Canada and Morocco will both feel they have what it takes to upset Belgium or Croatia, and the European giants will feel comfortable in their odds to advance. To top the group, Belgium comes in as the favorite at -170, with Croatia coming in at +225. I think Belgium will crash and burn in Qatar. They do not deserve to be such a heavy favorite against the former runners-up, and Croatia will take top spot in Group F, and at +225 odds they hold tons of value.
To qualify, Belgium and Croatia are both heavily favored, and we’re not getting a good enough price on either Canada (+300) or Morocco (+200) to warrant an underdog bet. Let’s stay away from there.
At the bottom of the group, I expect Morocco to end up taking up the basement slot. +120 odds represents solid value in what should be a two-horse race to the bottom. Late money has been flying in on Canada and Morocco to qualify, but I expect the Europeans to get the job done. It will come down to the finest of margins on the final day, and Group F will be the closest group in Qatar.
Group F Prediction:
Croatia: 6 Points
Belgium: 4 Points
Canada: 4 Points
Morocco: 3 Points
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