On one hand Nigeria’s qualifying performance is a testament to their improvement. Nigeria showed strong potential in a dominating romp. However, their youth is held against them with the World Cup betting odds. As one of the biggest long shots on the board the Super Eagles have much to prove. Few buy into them despite their ease of qualification. Nor even a comeback win over Argentina in a friendly match sold fans. Bargain hunters will point to their Round of 16 appearance in 2014. A March 23 win over Poland moved them up to 47th rank with FIFA.
2018 FIFA World Cup
Date and Time: June 14 through July 15, 2018
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: Check Listings
Nigeria Opens Group D
Nigeria will open Group D play on June 16. Croatia is the opponent with Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad the venue. Next will be a match with Iceland on June 22. Volgograd Arena in Volgograd will host the match. Group D action concludes on June 26. Powerful Argentina will be the opponent. Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg is the site. Nigeria is a team that often outperforms expectations with the World Cup betting odds. First place in the CAF qualifying did garner some respect. And they were runner up in the African Nations Championship. This enhanced their World Cup credibility.
A Tough Foursome
Group D is a tough foursome led by Argentina. This group has also served to make Nigeria a sportsbook underdog. Nigeria last met Argentina in group action back in 2002. The Super Eagles have lost their previous three meetings against the Argentines. Each defeat was by the margin of one goal. But last November in a friendly match the tables turned. Argentina took a 2-0 lead as expected. But Nigeria rallied for four straight goals in a stunning win.
In Group D the match against Iceland may offer some promise. This will be Iceland’s first ever qualification in the World Cup. Iceland suffered bad losses to Mexico and Peru in recent friendlies. Since June of 2017 Nigeria has impressed with its defense. They have held opponents to fewer than two goals in their last 12 matches. Seven clean sheets were posted during that span. Undertakers are salivating at those prospects.
Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi and John Obi Mikel
A trio of great players spark hopes that Nigeria can exceed expectations. Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi and John Obi Mikel shine bright. John Obi Mikel has been a steady influence as team captain. He has been a stellar leader both on and off the pitch.
Another asset is Coach Gernot Rohr. The 64 year old German has been a strong influence. He was a surprise choice to lead Nigeria in August 2016. He previously led national teams of Gabon, Niger, and Burkina Faso. His familiarity with African football became an asset.
Matchup to Watch
Nigeria aims to be the most successful African team ever with the World Cup betting odds. No team from Africa has made the final four in tournament history. Perhaps the biggest question is if Nigeria can produce enough goal scoring. A win over Iceland is mandatory. Catching Argentina napping is also possible.
2018 FIFA World Cup Betting Odds Picks
Nigeria could be ready for a decent run. Under the total is a smart thing to consider when they play.
World Cup Betting Online Pick: Nigeria to defeat Iceland in the Group stage.
Check out highlights of Nigeria’s qualification!