World Cup Group C Odds are wide open

World Cup Group C Odds: Group Is Wide Open Now

Shocked. It’s how we all feel after Saudi Arabia took all three points in their matchup with Argentina. After going down 1-0 to a Messi penalty, the Saudis were +12500 underdogs. And they pulled through with a 2-1 victory. Well done to anyone who put money down on those odds.

The win doesn’t totally overturn the expected outcome in this group. Argentina remains the favorite to top the group at +150 according to sportsbook Sportsbook. But it certainly makes it much more interesting than we all thought it would be.

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World Cup Group C Odds: To Win Outright

odds to win group C outright
CountrySportsbook OddsCurrent Odds
Saudi Arabia+2800+250

Odds as of November 23 at Sportsbook

World Cup Group C Odds: Odds To Advance From Group Stage

odds to advance from group stage
CountrySportsbook OddsCurrent Odds
Saudi Arabia+650-120

Odds as of November 23 at Sportsbook

World Cup Group C: Locked Group Is Now Wide Open

Before the start of the World Cup, the story of what would happen in Group C was basically written in stone. Argentina was going to walk through to the Round of 16. Mexico and Poland would duke it out for the second qualifying spot and Saudi Arabia would be simply happy to be there.

After the first 90 minutes of play in the group, that story was tossed out like yesterday’s salad. Argentina is still expected to win the group (+150) and to obviously qualify (-225) but who joins them in the Round of 16 is wide open.

With three points on the board, Saudi Arabia is now a favorite to qualify at -120 after being the +650 underdog of the group before the tournament began. The two other sides in the group sit tied at +110 to qualify.

So which of those three sides goes through with Argentina?

Find the best odds for an Argentina bet over at Sportsbook:

Group C Odds: Mexico (+110)

Mexico still has Argentina and Saudi Arabia to play. Let’s toss out their pre-tournament stats and just focus on what they’ve been able to do so far in this tournament. 

El Tri was in charge of their Sportsbook game against Poland. They held the majority of possession (60%), just over double the attempts and four times the attempts on target. Their 4-3-3 formation was the right setup against Poland’s more conservative 4-1-4-1, but if not for Guillermo Ochoa, it could have been all for naught. 

The veteran keeper stopped a Robert Lewandowski penalty in the 58th minute to preserve the clean sheet.

Against Saudi Arabia, this same tactic should prove fruitful and net them three points. With all due respect to the Saudis, their result against Argentina isn’t sustainable through the rest of the group stage. 

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Group C Odds: Poland (+110)

A 0-0 draw against Mexico was a good result for Poland, not only because it earned them a valuable point in the group table but because they didn’t necessarily deserve the point. Poland generated little in the game outside of the penalty that was stopped. 

Poland held a better expected goals rate than Mexico at 0.9, but 0.8 of that came from Lewandowski’s penalty. They generated nothing from open play. Poland had half of Mexico’s shot-generation actions (20-10). And their pass completion rate was nine percentage points lower than their opponents. 

For how little Poland had the ball, these numbers need to be much better for their quality-over-quantity approach to work.

That’s a massive flaw in their system. Of the two sides at +110 to qualify, I’d back Mexico over Poland.

Group C Odds: Saudi Arabia (-120)

IT’S A TRAP. Saudi Arabia is favored to qualify thanks to those three points on the board. But let’s be honest: That’s just not going to keep happening through the rest of the group stage.

Saudi Arabia held 31 percent of the ball, had a 66 percent passing accuracy rate and only managed two shots on target. They generated 0.7 xG on five shot-generating actions. They got lucky. It really comes down to just that.

The Green Falcons will have to be much much better against both Mexico and Poland if they hope to make it through. They arguably only need two draws to make it through to the Round of 16, but given the way they played against Argentina, they’ll be lucky to get those two points. 

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