Matchday 15 – Best Bets

World Cup Betting Results

World Cup: Matchday 15 Betting Preview

Thursday, June 28

Group H Table & Results

Japan vs. Poland (FS1, 10:00 a.m. ET)

Poland have been extremely underwhelming at this World Cup, losing 2-1 to Senegal before being thoroughly taken apart by Colombia. They were the only European team to be eliminated after just two matches.

Something is clearly not right. They have changed formations constantly. Star player Robert Lewandowski has been hopelessly out of sorts while the defence has looked slow and disorganised.

However key centre-back Kamil Glik returns for this game, and even though opponents Japan have everything to play for - a win guarantees them top spot while a draw would probably be enough to see them through - it might be worth trusting Poland one last time.

They are 2/1 to win the match. Before the tournament started they were roughly evens. How much can really change in two games?

Are Japan suddenly a better team than Poland? They were lucky to beat Colombia who had ten men for all but the first three minutes of the match. They then drew 2-2 with Senegal in a fairly even game, but Japan have lost their last four matches against European opponents.

Poland, despite everything, can come away with a win here.

Prediction: Japan 1-2 Poland
Top Bet: Poland at 2/1

Senegal vs. Colombia (FOX, 10:00 a.m. ET)

There is absolutely everything to play for when Senegal meet Colombia. This is one of the most important - and possibly exciting - match of the group stages.

If Colombia win they qualify. If they draw, they would need Poland to beat Japan to go through. A draw would see Senegal qualify, while a loss would require Poland to beat Japan by a larger margin than Senegal’s defeat.

Colombia’s 3-0 win over Poland was one of the best performanes of the World Cup so far. With James Rodriguez and the wonderful Juan Fernando Quintero pulling the strings behind a born-again Falcao, they tore through their opponents with some fantastic football.

They seem to have hit form at the right time, and they could be too good for Senegal, who are unfortunate to meet them on matchday three. They are probably the best African team at this World Cup, yet they may just end up going home here.

Colombia are 17/20 favourites, and that is good enough for me. They will be a side to avoid in the knockout rounds.

Prediction: Senegal 0-2 Colombia
Top Bet: Colombia at 17/20

Group G Table & Results

England vs. Belgium (FOX, 2:00 p.m. ET)

This promises to be one of the strangest games at the World Cup. So much depends on what has happened in Group G, and to a lesser extent Groups E and F.

It could well be that finishing second leads to a much easier path. The likely two to qualify from Group H are Japan and Colombia - and Japan would be by some way the weakest team in the knockout rounds. Furthermore, second place could lead to a potential quarter-final against Mexico or Switzerland.

Both teams will make changes. Roberto Martinez has hinted that he may change almost his entire team, while Gareth Southgate could make up to six.

It would take a brave person to bet on this match before Group H has been decided. But if it is the case that finishing second leads to an earlier path, it is Belgium who would be more likely to take the pragmatic approach than England.

England are riding a wave of national optimism, and Gareth Southgate is not experienced enough to take the risk of chucking the game. The English spirit of fair play is still very strong. England will probably be the best bet - but only once the situation beccomes clear.

Prediction: England 2-0 Belgium
Top Bet: England at 17/10

Panama vs. Tunisia (FS1, 2:00 p.m. ET)

This is the World Cup for the hardcore. Two of the least fancied sides play off in a dead rubber.

But given that this is Panama’s first ever World CUp and Tunisia’s first appearance since 2006, this is far from an unimportant match for both sides. They will be desperate to come away from the World Cup with at least a point and preferably a win, so optimism that these two relatively defensive sides could open up looks well-founded.

Tunisia had 16 shots against Belgium after barely threatening England’s goal in the first game. Panama deservedly hit the net against England and also had a few chances on the break against Belgium. Defensively they have been dreadful, conceding nine goals.

Tunisia have been priced up as 17/20 favourites, but this seems much too short. The price came crashing in during the first half of England vs. Panama, but it should not be forgotten that Tunisia conceded five to Belgium and were very lucky only to lose in the last minute to England.

This World Cup is becomingly steadily more attacking, and this match may well continue that trend.

Prediction: Panama 2-2 Tunisia
Top Bet: Over 2.5 goals at 8/11