World Cup 2018 Group B Betting Preview & Predictions, Teams Analysis, Betting Tips, Odds And The Bookmakers Sign-Up Offers
The highlight of the year in football is quickly approaching: the debut of the 2018 edition of the World Cup is less than one month away. The tournament starts with the home side playing on the 14th of June, and will then follow up with a month of exciting, passionate football.
Although most commentators are focus on the knockout stages of the competition, we believe the Group Stage is just as interesting. Only 2 teams will progress from each group, making the World Cup dream very short for some. These games are also a lot more interesting for World Cup betting – although teams are just finding their feet.
2018 World Cup Group B Betting Preview & Teams Analysis
After our previous analysis of Group A, we are now considering the second group of the tournament. It’s easily one of the easiest to predict on paper, due to the presence of two European giants: Spain and Portugal. Morocco and Iran are the teams which fill the group, and either of them winning more than 3 points can be considered quite the upset.
The consensus is that the Iberic teams will qualify with extreme ease, but we aren’t content with this idea without further investigation. In the paragraphs below, we will be analyzing each team’s chances in the group and proposing a few betting ideas around their games.
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The Spanish found themselves at two complete opposite ends of the performance spectrum at the last two World Cups. After dominating the 2010 edition almost from start to finish, the team found itself eliminated in the Group Stage in Brazil four years later, after a string of disappointing performances – including a 1-5 loss against a Dutch team far from its prime.
They are coming in Russia to at least reach the Semi-finals, although they objective is to win the title. It remains to be seen if they actually have the strength to pull it off, especially since the squad doesn’t look as scary as other years.
They have an interesting mix of experienced players with lots of trophies under their belt (Iniesta, Pique, Ramos or Jordi Alba), a select few players which have shined during qualifiers (Isco, Koke, Azpilicueta), but a few question marks as well. Their midfield is full of stars, as usual, and their defensive line is experienced and trustworthy – the issue is clearly up front.
The coach experienced with lots of players (Diego Costa, Iago Aspas, Morata, Rodrigo, and even Aduriz and Villa), without finding a clear option for the Spanish attack. Morata is the most likely candidate for the starting eleven, but he’s not in his greatest form.
Despite this issue, we do believe Spain will easily qualify from this group, dismantling Morocco and Iran and making their debut game versus Portugal quite irrelevant. Bookmakers also give very small odds for their progress out of the group, making other bets more interesting.
We’d go for outright wins against both Iran and Morocco, and maybe even betting on a clean sheet in both games. Spain has a world-class defense backed by one of the best goalkeepers around – scoring against them won’t come easy for anyone.
After winning 2018, Portugal’s ambitions are quite high for this year’s World Cup: at least reaching the semi-finals, giving them the opportunity of equalizing their best performance – 3rd place in 1966.
The disappointing group stage exit in 2014 should be well behind them, as the team is more experienced, has more value, and an easier group this time around. But what are their strengths and weaknesses?
The most obvious plus sides are their personality, and their star player – Cristiano Ronaldo, which we won’t talk a lot about. We all know him, one of the best players in the World, the most capped player in Portugal’s history, etc. He is a leader of a very determined squad which won Euro 2016, showing great teamplay as well as individual skill.
Most of the players will be in Russia as well, and some of them have quite a bit of experience: Rui Patricio is a heroic goalkeeper for them and has 70 caps, Bruno Alves, Pepe and Moutinho all have more than 100 games for their national squad, and Fonte, Quaresma, Nani and Coentrao are no strangers to success either. A few youngsters like Andre Silva, Guedes and Guerreiro are also very interesting players, who are sure to step up during the World Cup.
As for their betting opportunities, we believe outright wins against Iran and Morocco are almost a given. We’d recommend going for a “both teams to score” bet in the game against Spain, and maybe even going for Ronaldo as the competition’s top goalscoarer. We can see him scoring 4 or 5 goals in the group stage alone.
Moving away from the group favorites, we must now analyze Morocco’s chances in Group B. They are not a common presence in the World Cup, and their ambition of equalizing their best performance (round of 16) will most likely not happen this year.
Even reaching the World Cup is a good performance from the African team, and they most likely objective is a win against Iran and getting as much as possible from the games against Spain and Portugal. The only notable players in Morocco’s team are Boussoufa, Belhanda, Amrabat, Ziyech, Benatia and Dirar.
As you can see, most of these are midfielders, and all have a fair bit of flair. We do believe in their ability to create chances and score a few goals, which is also our betting recommendation here – that Morocco will score against Iran and Portugal. We’d also go with an over 2,5 goal bet in the game between Morocco and Iran, since both teams will want to win that game.
Last but not least, we look into Iran’s chances in the group. After a few disagreements and drama, Quieroz is still in charge of the Iranian national team, and still brings players from outside their domestic league (thankfully for their fans).
These players – Davari, Dejagah, Ghoochannejhad, Nazari, Ghoddos and Beitashour bring a wealth of top footballing experience to the Iranian national team, and are the ones we’re looking at to produce goals.
Sadly, they don’t seem to be able to produce enough points to exit the group stage. They never have, in their 4 presences at the World Cup so far. Our betting ideas involve them performing badly, losing heavily against Spain and Portugal and scoring few goals.
To take advantage of these ideas, as well as your own, you will need a trustworthy bookmaker to join you on your road to World Cup glory. We recommend opening your betting account before the competition starts, as you’ll be able to take advantage of some very nice World Cup welcome bonuses. For example:
Sign-up Bonuses For World Cup Betting
Mr. Green offers a £10 ACCA free bet to all the people registering a new account with the bookmaker. This free bet can easily be used in one of the harder to predict games of Group B – like Spain vs Portugal. Going for an outright draw on that free bet is a great idea: either win three times your money, or get it back. Great risk-reward right there.
Jetbull gives one of the biggest starting bonuses in the UK betting scene: a 50% deposit bonus, up to £75. Only bets of over 2.00 will qualify towards the bonus conditions, but you can surely find those among many World Cup game. This bonus is especially useful if you plan on betting on lots of games during the competition, as it can certainly help your budget.
32Red are at the other end of the spectrum: if you have little or no funds to bet on World Cup games, they offer £10 no-deposit bonus, just for registering on their website and fulfilling a few conditions.
To sum up, remember to open your new World Cup betting account before the start of the competition, to familiarize yourself with the broker’s particularities, terms and conditions. The welcome bonuses are no small feature either, as they can greatly improve your betting experience during the biggest footballing even of the year.