Few teams are as big of a World Cup sportsbook betting dog than Japan. In fact, they opened at +25000 to win the championship. Colombia opened at +4550 to win the World Cup. Compared to Japan they look like a powerhouse. Or so it would seem. Yet the line for the match between Colombia and Japan does not show the expected disparity. That opens the question up about value. Is Japan underpriced for this game. Are they not getting enough value from line makers? Or is Colombia a bargain. Should they actually be a bigger favorite than they actually are?
Japan vs. Colombia
Date and Time: Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 11 a.m. ET
Location: Mordovia Arena, Saransk
World Cup Betting Online Odds at available as your favorite sporstbook: Colombia – ½ (-130), Japan + ½ (+115), Over 2 (-140), Under 2 (+125), Japan +455, Colombia -130, Draw +250
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: Check Listings
Colombia caught a lot of World Cup sportsbook betting attention in 2014. That year they made it all the way to the Quarter Finals at Brazil. They ended up finishing fifth in that World Cup. It was their strongest performance in team history. As a result, Colombia gained a lot of respect with punters. But with that comes a more expensive price tag. Beyond that the “Coffee Growers” are no longer taken lightly. Surprise is no longer an element in their game. Opponents will be fully ready. Nor will they disparage Colombia any more.
Japan is a relative newcomer to World Cup competition. Their first World Cup qualification was in 1998. Their best finish was ninth two times. Those finishes occurred in 2002 and 2010. However, in 2014 the Japanese took a big step back. At Brazil they limped home after a 29th place finish. The “Samurai Blue” now must try and redeem their program. And their self-respect.
Colombia lost some sportsbook online esteem in qualifying. In fact, coach Jose Pekerman admitted as much. He confessed that qualification was hard. Also, he attributed the increased challenge to parity. He lamented that so few points separated so many teams. A defense in need of youth was a problem for Pekerman’s team. Another problem was lack of playing time for star players. This was due in part their pro team commitments. Pekerman relied on defense to survive. The idea was to counter attack from defensive turnovers. While not exciting it did get the job done.
Japan has gone through a team cultural revolution. New head coach Vahid Halihodzic prefers to counter attack. Japan has always played a possession-oriented game. The changes caused the two biggest stars on the team to be dropped. Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa preferred the old way. Enthusiasm for the changes was not to be found, however. All of this has caused a lot of debate in Japan. Halihodzic did lead Ivory Coast to the 2010 World Cup. He also led Algeria to the 2014 tournament.
Matchup to Watch
Japan was already shorthanded before losing two top stars. Meanwhile, Colombia has the World Cup sportsbook betting depth advantage. They may not go as far as they did in 2014. But they also have the upper hand on Japan.
World Cup Betting Odds Picks
Colombia should have just enough to get the win here.
World Cup Betting Online Pick: Colombia
World Cup Betting Online Score Prediction: Colombia 1, Japan 0
Check out a team profile on Colombia!