Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM
Matchday 6 - Best Bets
World Cup Betting Results
World Cup: Matchday 6 Betting Preview
Group H Best Bets
Tuesday, June 19
Colombia vs. Japan (FS1, 8:00 a.m. ET)
Colombia are narrow favourites to win Group H ahead of Poland. They face the section’s outsiders Japan in what looks like a very winnable opening game.
The South American side were one of the 2014 World Cup’s biggest success stories, with James Rodriguez proving to be the tournament’s breakout star.
But since their quarter-final finish four years ago, Jose Pekerman’s side have arguably gone backwards. Their qualification campaign was muddled and uninspiring, and their 4-4-2 system (which they play to get the best out of Falcao) limits their creativity.
Nonetheless they should be fine here. Japan were also unconvincing in qualifying. They have the same familiar failings: they pass the ball around better than any side in Asia, but have never found a reliable goalscorer. Bad finishing has been a theme of this World Cup and it could continue here.
At 4/6 Colombia look about the right price. The best price looks like being on James Rodriguez to score the game’s first goal. He scored six in Brazil and has shone in pre-tournament qualifiers.
Prediction: Colombia 2-0 Japan
Top Bet: James Rodriguez to score first at 5/1
Poland vs. Senegal (FOX, 11:00 a.m. ET)
Poland and Colombia are quite similar sides. Where Colombia were favoured at the 2014 World Cup, many people had the Poles as their dark horses for Euro 2016 when they were knocked out by eventual champions Portugal in the quarter-finals.
And like Colombia, Poland have not really improved since then. A few of their key players, most notably Robert Lewandowski but also Kamil Glik and Grzegorz Krychowiak, have endured difficult seasons.
Senegal, meanwhile, look more star-studded than the other African teams in Russia and have attracted quite a lot of attention.
But I think they are overrated. While they have good pedigree with Kalidou Koulibaly, Sadio Mané and a host of other players playing at decent levels in Europe, they look unbalanced.
There is a desperate lack of creativity in midfield, where they play three similar destroyers. Diallo the goalkeeper looks jittery, and they may well follow fellow West Africans Nigeria in putitng in a disappointing opening display.
Up front they have a reasonable sprinkling of strikers with Moussa Sow, Oumar Niasse and a handful of others. But there is little reason to think that Senegal will be markedly better than the other African sides at this World Cup.
Prediction: Poland 2-1 Senegal
Top Bet: Poland at 27/20
Group A Table & Results
Russia vs. Egypt (FOX, 2:00 p.m. ET)
The first match of the second round of group stage games comes from St Petersburg, where hosts Russia meet Egypt.
It is hard to know just how much to take from Russia’s opening day thrashing of a simply dreadful Saudi Arabia side. They were clinical, but were up against an absurdly open opponent who kept giving the ball away in their own half.
While Alan Dzagoev’s injury may prove a major blow for Russia, there were unambiguous good points. Aleksandr Golovin showed why he is so sought after, while Denis Cheryshev also shone.
There are more reasons to be worried about Egypt here. They were dreadfully negative in their 1-0 defeat to Uruguay and deserved to concede the late goal after retreating back against an out-of-sorts Uruguay in the last quarter of the game.
Their talisman Mohamed Salah did not make it off the bench in Yekaterinburg, and so it is probably unlikely that he will start here just five days later.
Russia know that a win would almost certainly guarantee them a place in the last 16, and they can achieve their main goal with a narrow win here.
Prediction: Russia 1-0 Egypt
Top Bet: Russia at 23/20