With just three weeks remaining before the start of the 2018 World Cup, a pair of European powerhouses are jockeying for top spot on the Group G betting lines, with Belgium edging England as a -125 favourite on those World Cup group odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Belgium dominated during UEFA World Cup qualifying, racking up an impressive 9-1-0 win-draw-loss record to finish atop the Group H table, and is unbeaten in three friendlies since.
The Belgians will likely face their toughest group stage test when they battle England on June 28. The Three Lions closely trail Belgium at +120 on the odds to finish atop Group G after allowing just three total goals while posting an 8-2-0 record in qualifying matches. However, England has struggled offensively in recent outings, scoring just two times during a 1-3-0 run.
England has a lot to prove at this tournament after getting bounced in the group stage at Brazil 2014 and sits at +1600 on the 2018 World Cup odds as they look to claim their first World Cup title since 1966.
Two other groups feature tight races at the top of the odds. Colombia narrowly leads Poland as a +120 favourite in Group H, while Uruguay leads Russia as an even-money favourite on the Group A odds.
Colombia struggled down the stretch during CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, going 2-5-2 in their final nine matches, and are a middling 2-1-1 in four friendlies since, capped by a scoreless draw with Australia as a -275 favourite on March 27. Poland has also struggled since compiling an 8-1-1 qualifying record, failing to score in three straight friendlies before knocking off South Korea 3-2 as a -190 favourite.
Uruguay finished second only to Brazil in CONMEBOL qualifying with a 9-4-5 record, and has benefitted from a World Cup draw that has grouped them alongside Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia, which sports surprising +125 odds to finish first in Group A.
As host nation, Russia didn’t need to qualify for this year’s tournament, but at No. 66 on the FIFA World Rankings it is among the lowest ranked teams at this year’s tournament.
Brazil has emerged as the strongest favourite on the Russia 2018 group stage odds, pegged as a -400 wager to win Group E. Defending champions Germany are set as heavy -310 chalk to win Group F, while France leads the way as a -350 bet to win Group C. Spain sits ahead of Portugal at -200 on the Group B odds, while Argentina is pegged as a -180 favourite on the World Cup betting lines for Group D despite struggling to qualify for this year’s tournament.