It’s been an exciting tournament so far with goals raining in from all directions. There has been a staggering 44 goals scored so far and with the first phase of group games almost over, this is a trend you would expect to continue. Today we see Belgium take on Algeria in their opening game, Brazil will face Mexico and Russia play South Korea. You would expect the three favourites to triumph fairly easily, but with Brazil at 4/11 (Stan James), Belgium at a best priced 4/11 (Paddy Power and Corals) and Russia at 20/23 (Stan James) the prices are somewhat restrictive.
So with less than appealing prices available for the outright wins we will look at other betting markets to find the value bets.
Belgium v Algeria
Belgium should win this one fairly easily. An African team has yet to win at the tournament and I can’t see that changing today. Get on Belgium to be winning at half time and full time at 20/21 Ladbrokes or 5/6 with Bovada. Belgium are also a tempting 2/1 with Betfred, Paddy Power and Coral to win both halves. I’m afraid I can’t see Algeria taking anything from this game and it should really be a case of ‘how many’ for Belgium. With this is mind, the Winning Margin bet looks appealing. Belgium to win by two goals is a tempting 10/3 with Ladrokes and Bovada. Bovada are offering Evens on Belgium to win without conceding which, in my eyes, is a great bet. The same bet is available at 16/13 with 888sport in the UK.
Best Bet: Belgium to win both halves at 2/1.
Brazil v Mexico
Brazil were impressive at times in their opening game, but it would have been interesting to see how the game finished without their being awarded a somewhat dubious penalty. I don’t think Mexico will be pushovers in what should be a tight affair. I would expect Brazil to win, but they won’t get it all their own way. Draw half time/Brazil full time is 7/2 with Betvictor (3/1 with Bovada). As Croatia showed in the opening game, Brazil look like they will concede goals. Brazil to win and both teams to score is 2/1 with Corals and 8/5 with Bovada.
Best Bet: Brazil and both teams to score at 2/1.
Russia v South Korea
Finally we have Russia v South Korea. On paper this should be a win for Russia. South Korea are capable of springing a surprise though and, with this being both teams’ opening game, it is a difficult one to predict. I would be inclined to avoid betting on the winning team and look towards goalscorer markets for this one. Aleksandr Kerzhakov is widely available at 11/2 (Coral, William Hill, Ladbrokes and BetVictor) to score the first goal. For an anytime goalscorer, Ki Sung Yeung of Korea is a great price at 11/1 with Paddy Power as he will be involved with the set pieces. Korea are a high intensity, high energy team and Russia can be a physical team so the 3/1 available with Bovada for a red card to be shown in the game is appealing. The same bet is available at 7/2 with Paddy Power.
Best Bet: Red Card to be shown in the game at 7/2 Paddy Power, 3/1 Bovada.