Colombia is a great World Cup betting odds riddle. Perhaps no other team is a greater handicapping challenge. In 2014 they enjoyed their best World Cup performance ever. But qualification for 2018 was sluggish. And with that comes legitimate questions. Was their performance at Brazil a fluke? Yet as bad as they looked they are the chalk for Group H. For Japan there are no expectations. They are good enough to be a regular at the World Cup. But not good enough to do anything once there. Japan is the longest of shots for Group H.
2018 FIFA World Cup Colombia vs. Japan
Date and Time: Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 8 a.m. ET
Location: Mordovia Arena, Saransk
World Cup Betting Online Odds at SBG:
|Colombia||-½ (-146)||2 (+123)|
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: FS1
What are the odds for this game?
Colombia is a +3600 World Cup Betting Odds choice to win the World Cup. While for Group H they are at +130. Japan is a +25000 pick to win the tournament. And a +750 long shot to win Group H.
Colombia head coach Jose Pekerman was nearly contrite about the uninspired qualifying effort. He admitted that making it to Russia was hard. And there was never a time where qualification was so close. Only a few points separated teams that made it or not. An aging defense proved problematic for Pekerman’s team. Carlos Sanchez helped tighten up the back end. Most frustrating of all is that most believe Colombia is capable of more.
James Rodriguez was the hero of the epic 2014 effort. And helped save the qualifying effort. He led the team in scoring. It may surprise some to recall that Rodriguez is the reigning Golden Boot winner. He scored six goals in Colombia’s 2014 World Cup run. No player has ever repeated as Golden Boot champ.
Japan is a traditionally boring team. They have always emphasized possession. But coach Vahid Halilhodzic tried to change that style. He demanded that his players aggressively counter. This caused a rift with the two star players. Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa did not buy in. And were drooped from the squad as a result. Shinji Okazaki was also told to beat it. All of this sparked fierce debate. And Halilhodzic paid the ultimate price. He was sacked. While Honda and Kagawa were welcomed back with open arms.
Japan’s Road to Russia
Qualification was a mixed bag for the Japanese. To their credit this is their sixth consecutive World Cup appearance. There is some talent on the squad. Honda has been a marquee man for nearly a decade. He has 36 goals and 91 caps in his international career. Kagawa figures to also be a sportsbook online factor. He has 29 goals and 89 caps in his career for Japan. Kagawa also has impressive pro experience. Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United have employed him.
Matchup to Watch
This is where the word “potential” comes into play. Both teams are capable of success with the World Cup Betting Odds. But both also have flaws. Qualification exposed those problems. In this matchup the difference is James Rodriguez and Columbia. They are proven and tested. And perhaps due to click once again.
World Cup Betting Odds Picks
Colombia is the deeper team and should prevail.
World Cup Betting Online Pick: Colombia
World Cup Betting Online Score Prediction: Colombia 1, Japan 0
Check out a preview of James Rodriguez!