The second group might be the most interesting one in the 2018 World Cup. It features what is certainly one of the most highly anticipated matches: Portugal vs Spain. And, as if that was not enough to keep you glued to the screen, online betting sites in Russia are offering tempting Group B betting specials.
While the clash between the neighboring European countries will most probably be the key match of the group, Morocco and Iran should not be underestimated, either. Have online sportsbooks in Russia made the mistake of doing just that?
The official betting odds for Morocco and Iran
At Unibet Sportsbook, gamblers putting faith in the underdogs are rewarded with 4.00 if Morocco gets past the group stage as either the first or the second of group B and 9.00 if Iran does the same. That is the best choice if you want to support these teams as betting on Iran’s finishing 2nd offers a lower return (6.50) than betting on their being in the top 2. In Morocco’s case, there is only a minimal difference between their finishing 2nd (4.25) and being in the top 2 (4.00). As for finishing first, neither Morocco (15.00) nor Iran (30.00) has a real shot.
Before you rule these two teams out, however, take into consideration that Morocco and Iran had the best defense in their respective qualification campaigns: Morocco conceded only 1 goal in 8 matches, Iran 5 goals in 18 meetings. To be fair, their opponents are also good at neutralizing their rivals. In fact, Spain had the best defensive record in Europe (3 goals in 10 games).
The favorites of the Group B betting specials: Spain and Portugal
Unsurprisingly, online sportsbook sites in Russia have noticed Spain’s low number of conceded goals. Sergio Ramos’ team is the bookies’ favorite, with a low but reasonable return on their finishing first (1.50). Their being in the top 2 offers a mere 1.04.
Portugal’s being in the top 2 (1.27) is a safe bet, but so is their being the winners (3.50). Fernando Santos, the manager of the Portuguese side, is fully aware that they are not the favorites of the tournament or even Group B, but reasons that their combination of humility and confidence might upset the official odds.
Granted, Ronaldo’s club year hasn’t been as impressive as his fans had hoped. But let us not be so quick to announce that he is past his prime, as Ronaldo has surprised commentators who had done so.
(Image source: Flickr)
As for the key match, where Ronaldo will face many of his Real Madrid teammates, we are expecting a draw. Following the rest of the games in the group, the exact finishing order will probably be either Spain as winners and Portugal as runners-up (2.50) or the other way around (4.50). These options, along with Iran as the team to finish fourth, are the most tempting of the Group B betting specials for us. Do you share that feeling?