With the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship starting tomorrow in Italy and Bulgaria, lets take a look at who a European online betting company thinks will win the tournament and also the pools.
First we will look at the odds for winning the tournament. As always, these odds are for entertainment purposes only, and every individual is responsible for adhering to their local laws.
Explanation of odds: 2.80 to 1 means that a bet of $1 will earn the bettor their original dollar back, plus an additional $2.80. Odds of $0.35 to 1 means that a bet of $1 will earn the bettor their original dollar back, plus 35 cents of ‘profit.’
According to Bwin.com, they feel that the Russian men have the best chances of winning the tournament with 2.80 to 1 odds. I am guessing that Bwin.com feels that the Russian win in the Volleyball Nations League gives them an advantage over the competition. In second place are one of the two hosts, Italy at 4.50 to 1. Bwin.com is thinking that having the home crowd behind them in all of their matches will help the Italians to go further in the tournament. Additionally, adding Zaytsev and Juantorena to your lineup probably does not hurt either, and, per the odds, they have the weakest intro pool to get through, with the next-best teams in the odds being Belgium and Argentina at 40:1 (and Italy holding 0.35:1)
Third comes France at 5.00 to 1. The French men have been very successful recently, but kind of hit a bump in big tournaments. Right now they are waiting for Earvin Ngapeth’s abdominal injury to heal and still don’t know when he can play. Still with the rest of the team, this spot feels about right. In fourth, comes the USA at 6.00 to 1. The talent is there, but can it click at the right time? Rounding out the top five is Brazil at 7.00 to 1. With all of Brazil’s injuries, this may be too high in my opinion, but it would be an interesting bet at this level.
Poland in Pool D has the best odds at 14.00 to 1, which seems high. However, with Poland over the years it looks great and then falls apart. Of course this is excluding their great run to win the title in 2014. Serbia with the USA and Russia in their first round pool is at 16.00 to 1.
Do not forget that in the second round, only the pool winners and the two best ranked second place teams advance to the third round. So if Serbia lose twice in the first round, it may be too much for them to make up in the second round.
For those people who are interested in really long shots look at Egypt (1,500 to 1), Tunisia (2,000 to 1), Puerto Rico 3,000 to 1), Cameroon (5,000 to 1) and the Dominican Republic (5,000 to 1).
Now moving on to the odds for winning each pool.
Italy is a prohibitive favorite to win Pool A, where you would only win 35 cents on a $1 bet. Belgium is a surprising second at 5.50 to 1. I would have expected Japan or Argentina to be higher. Slovenia is at an enticing 14.00 to 1 as the 2017 Group 2 World League champions are looking to make their mark in the World Championships in their first appearance.
In Pool B, France and Brazil are the heavy favorites at 0.85 to 1 and 1.35 to 1 respectively. Canada, if it can pull off a couple of upsets is intriguing at 10.00 to 1.
For Pool C, Russia is the favorite at 0.85 to 1. The USA is at 2.00 to 1, while Serbia is at 4.50 to 1. These three teams are much stronger than the other three in the pool.
As for Pool D, Poland is the favorite at 1.30 to 1, while co-host Bulgaria is at 2.20 to 1. Iran follows closely at 3.00 to 1.