The World Cup this year might have a different feel from past tournaments. It’s been moved to a different time of year, Qatar hasn’t exactly been that welcoming to visitors so far and there is a cloud hanging over things already. However, for bettors, none of that really matters. There are plenty of options out there for players who want to find great value. We’ve taken a close look at the best bets that we think will appear on the opening fixture of the tournament.
Best Bets for Over/Under Markets
This is a market that we like to focus on quite often. Players can often find a lot of great value in the over/under market, especially when combined with in-play betting. When it comes to the opening game, Qatar and Ecuador offer a difficult choice for many bettors. Here are our tips on how to get the best bets on the over/under markets.
Without wanting to sound disrespectful, this is a game that will feature two of the weaker teams in the tournament. Qatar is actually quite close to Ecuador in terms of Fifa rankings, but this is a false identifier. As Ecuador is placed in a much harder international group, it means that it is unlikely to rise as high in the rankings as Qatar does. Added to this that Qatar doesn’t have any players that play outside of Qatar in its World Cup squad, it means that there should be a considerable gap in quality between the two sides.
This doesn’t mean that Ecuador will find it easy, but it does mean that there are likely to be goals in this game. As such, our advice for betting on the over/under market in this game would be to use in-play betting to increase the odds that are offered. Watch the game itself and keep your eye on the odds that are offered for over 0.5 goals in the first half. Once this reaches evens (or 2.00 if you use decimal odds) then it’s time to think about placing your bet. If a goal is scored early then you could change your bet to 1.5 goals or look to place a similar bet for the second half.
The same technique should be used for betting on the winner of the game. Ecuador is likely to win, but the longer Qatar is able to hold them off the higher the odds will be. If Qatar manages to score first then this would also be a good time to place a bet on Ecuador winning. As long as you keep your eye on things, you should be able to get good value on some bets that are likely to come in.
Best Bets for Goalscorer Markets
There aren’t too many players in this game who are prolific goalscorers. Qatar actually have more regular goalscorers than Ecuador do, in fact, Ecuador only have one player who has more than 10 goals for the country. This is a little bit of a red herring though. Ecuador has a player who has played at a higher level than everyone else on the pitch. Enner Valencia has played for some top-division teams across Europe and South America. He is also only 33, so there is certainly life in the old dog yet.
Look for the best odds possible on Valencia as the first goalscorer or as a goalscorer anytime. Both of these options are the safest bets on goalscorers here. While it’s obviously possible that someone else can grab a goal, Valencia is the most likely. If you want to take a risk and go for an outside option, Qatar has a few players who might spring a surprise.
Almoez Ali and Hassan Al-Haydos both have more than 30 goals for the country. Ali has the better strike rate of the two, having hit 42 in 85 games compared to the 36 in 169 games of Al-Haydos. Ali is probably the best outside choice to go for as such.
Best Bets for 1×2
The best bets for the 1×2 markets don’t really exist here. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s likely that Ecuador will grab the win here and the odds of that aren’t likely to be too high. As such, if you really want to bet on the result then use the in-play market to try and increase the payouts. Other than that, your best bets would be to focus on other markets.
Best Odds for the Best Bets
This is something that you need to look closely at before you place your bets. You can use our guide to World Cup betting to help you find the very best odds on the market. With this guide, you’ll be able to supplement your best bets with higher payouts due to better odds. A quick read through this will ensure that you can find the best value on every bet that you place.