World Cup Betting: Belgium is slipping
Belgium's odds to win the World Cup fell to 14/1 a few weeks ago when star striker Christian Benteke was ruled out of tournament play with an Achilles injury.
The team will be hoping for a spark from 19-year-old attacking midfielder Adnan Januzaj, who was added to the preliminary World Cup team this week.
Januzaj had World Cup eligibility to Albania, Turkey and Serbia but chose to represent his home country of Belgium instead. After spending the last three seasons inactive with Manchester United where he signed as a 16-year-old, Januzaj took to the pitch 24 times this season and scored four goals.
Some wonder if he has done enough to earn a spot on the team, but his upside could make him a valuable asset.
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku will perhaps be the most important player to Belgium's chances. The striker tasked with replacing Benteke's production has 13 goals in 28 caps with Chelsea this season. Belgium is a -175 favorite to win Group H over Russia (+200), South Korea (+750) and Algeria (+2800).
The injuries just keep piling up for England's national team. Two World Cup hopefuls that play for Tottenham were ruled out of the tournament this week in defender Kyle Walker and winger Andros Townsend.
Once considered by oddsmakers to be just slightly less likely to win Group D than Italy (+150) and Uruguay (+180), England has now fallen to +225 to win the group. Both Italy and Uruguay are going off at 22/1 to win the World Cup while England is 28/1.
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has expressed concerns this week that political protests being planned during the World Cup could negatively affect the country's chances of winning. While there is no question that the fervor in the stadiums shouldn't be affected, the distraction of political unrest could work against the players.
With that said, the national team did fine in dealing with the distractions during last year's Confederations Cup, and was always going to have a ton of media pressure and distraction as the host country anyway. Brazil is a 3/1 favorite to win the World Cup and a -450 favorite to win Group A.