World Cup Qualifiers Betting

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A big night tomorrow as things get finalised in terms of World Cup qualifying. 18 teams have already joined hosts South Africa and another eight will be known by the early hours of Thursday morning. After tomorrow we’ll just have the four European and one  South/North American playoffs to get through in November before the 32 are set.

There are lots of meaningless matches now that many sides have qualified but let’s look at the interesting games that remain and see if there’s any value in betting.

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Europe

Looking through the groups only three have anything left to be decided. In Group Six, Ukraine just need to beat pointless Andorra to ensure a playoff spot so no value there. Group Two sees Switzerland needing a point to win the group ahead of Greece who will beat Luxembourg at home and otherwise join them on 20 points. The odds aren’t great but 1.8 on Switzerland to beat Israel might be worth including on your betting slip.

Group Three sees Slovakia lead Slovenia lead the Czech Republic. Slovenia will end the Czech Republic’s hopes and go top with victory over San Marino leaving Slovakia in all likelihood needing an away victory over Poland to maintain automatic qualification (their goal difference isn’t good enough for the draw). Poland have been frustratingly poor and have thrown away a good position with a draw and two straight defeats. With that in mind I fancy Slovakia to beat Poland @ 2.2.

Elsewhere I fancy Spain to complete a clean sweep of their group and beat Bosnia away @ 2.32.

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South America

Uruguay v Argentina is the main attraction here and indeed anywhere. It’s pretty simple for Diego Maradona and his men. Avoid defeat and they’re through automatically (barring a super Ecuador away win in Chile). If they lose and Ecuador don’t win, it’s a playoff against Honduras or Costa Rica. If they lose and Ecuador win, they’re out completely and Lionel Messi puts his boots up for the summer.

Looking at the form book, it seems unlikely Argentina will win, given their one away victory in qualifying and Uruguay’s one home defeat. They did win in the reverse fixture 2-1 but I don’t see a repeat. The temptation to bet on a nervy draw at 3.3 is interesting but I think it might be safer looking at over 2.5 goals @ 11/10 or even over 3.5 goals @ 11/4.

Will we see this again?

Will we see this again?

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Africa

Can’t find any odds listed on the major bookies. Shenanigans!

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North America

The USA have qualified and face Costa Rica in their final game. Despite needing a victory, I don’t think Costa Rica are capable of beating USA away so let’s go with USA win at evens.

A few bets then but nothing to really get excited over. The playoffs should be more interesting!

.

T.

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