After finishing the preliminary stage with the best mark at 12-3 and serving as the hosts of the Final Six, France is seen as the betting favorite to capture the inaugural 2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League.
Odds aren’t always about who is the best, and instead can be about what line will get a fair amount of bets on each, but still it can provide a picture of public perception on the favorites and underdogs. Of course, this article is not to push you toward placing wagers on the action – unless of course you are in one of the newly legal sports betting states or Las Vegas – but it can be interesting to see who the betting experts peg as the teams most likely to win.
Bet365 has a list of all the odds for the six teams remaining in the VNL, with those numbers per nation seen below:
- France: +230
- Brazil: +300
- Russia: +400
- USA: +500
- Serbia: +650
- Poland: +1200
This obviously shows France as the favorite, although Brazil isn’t too far behind. The match that kicks things off in Pool A on Wednesday between France and Brazil could easily tilt who is considered the top overall team. It also shows there is still faith in Brazil, likely because of their ranking as #1 in the World and their prestige, despite them going just 10-5 in pool play and missing one of, if not their best, players via injury.
Russia and USA follow and seem like either could be ahead of the other. They also are in an easier pool in terms of getting to the semifinals – with Poland as the third team instead of Serbia – which raises their odds to being a bit closer to France and Brazil’s.
Rounding things out is Serbia and Poland. Poland is the clear underdog here, with even a spot in the semifinals against the odds. Serbia’s odds would likely be where Russia or the United States were if not for being in the same pool as France and Brazil, where they are favored to be eliminated.
In terms of the opening round matches, that aforementioned France-Brazil meeting shows France (as expected considering everything previously said) as a -150 Moneyline favorite to +120 for Brazil. That’s not an overwhelming number, especially when compared to the Russia-Poland match, where the Russians are -250 to Poland’s +200.
All-in-all, if the odds hold serve – which is unlikely considering an upset or two will likely occur – here’s how things would play out:
France defeats Brazil & Serbia
Brazil loses to France; defeats Serbia
Serbia loses to France & Brazil
Russia defeats Poland & USA
USA loses to Russia; defeats Poland
Poland loses to Russia & USA
France defeats USA
Brazil defeats Russia
Gold: France defeats Brazil
Bronze: Russia defeats USA
Again though, that’s just what the expectations are from betting lines. Even though Brazil has high expectations, they could be a favorite who flops a bit if they continue to struggle without Ricardo Lucarelli. If that does end up happening, Serbia could be an underdog to shake things up and one to watch. Additionally, if either Russia or USA shows conviction over the other, they could be a solid middle tier nation to fight for the title. Still it will be difficult to take things away from France, who has the experience of winning it all last year, the depth and balance in their game, top-notch form and home court advantage on their side, which all reflects in their spot as the betting favorite heading into Wednesday.