When it comes to FIFA World Cup futures betting, I love taking a stab on teams that have easy groups. A bonus is if they possess young talent coupled with an established star or two that can help them reach their potential. When coming up with this list, I was trying to find four long-shots (10-1 odds or greater) to hoist the Cup with those characteristics. Right off the bat, those odds eliminate the big favorites like Germany, Brazil, France, and Spain.
Before we jump into why, let’s take a look at the latest odds:
Belgium (11/1): Belgium burst onto the scene in the last World Cup, and its roster is loaded with phenomenal talent. The trio of Kevin De Bruyne (Man City), Dries Mertens (Napoli) and Eden Hazard (Chelsea) gives Belgium a deadly ‘Big 3’ that should put on a show in group play. The Belgians have a weak group besides England, so they should easily advance. This is the most talented Belgium team ever, so anything less than the semis would be a disappointment.
Portugal (20/1): One word: Ronaldo. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), arguably the best player in the world, might be 33 but he has not lost a step. This team will get out of the group stage for sure, and if Ronaldo gets some help, watch out.
Twenty to one odds for the Euro 2016 champs is hard to pass up. So why the long odds? Most of this Portugal squad comes into the World Cup on the wrong side of 30. Besides Ronaldo, three of the team’s key players are up there in age, including Bruno Alves (36), Jose Fonte (34), and the heart and the defense, Pepe (35).
Some of Portugal’s youth will need to step up, and one name that comes to mind is Goncalo Guedes. Guedes, who now plays for PSG, is young (21), fast, and can create. Guedes and Ronaldo might give Portugal the spark it needs to be there at the end. This might be Ronaldo’s last World Cup, so I expect him to go out with a bang.
England (16/1): The Three Lions have had a lot of disappointments in the past, but this is a young team that won’t be burdened with the ghosts of yesterday. Their roster is full of young and athletic kids, headlined by captain Harry Kane (Tottenham). Kane can score at will yet is also an all-around player. If Man City’s Raheem Sterling can get it going, look out.
This England team is loaded with Barclays Premier League players, does not have a lot of weaknesses, and its group is weak other than Belgium. England should easily advance out of the group stage and be a contender when all is said and done.
Uruguay (30/1): I love Uruguay strictly based on their group. Russia is not a powerhouse, Saudi Arabia should be an easy victory, and Egypt star Mo Salah is coming off an injury. This roster has experience and talent in Luis Suarez(Barcelona), Edinson Cavani (PSG), and Matias Vecino (Inter Milan). That will be good enough to get them out of the group stage. This will possibly be Suarez’s last World Cup, which is just another reason for this group to come together.
If you do take any of these teams, be sure to look for hedge opportunities if needed after the group stage. Good luck!