Will Iceland Surprise at Another International Tournament?

Will Iceland Surprise at Another International Tournament? article feature image

The Odds

  • To Win World Cup: +32000
  • To Win Group D: +1200
  • To Advance to Round of 16: +300

Bet to Make
Iceland to finish last in Group D +110 

Iceland is the smallest nation by population to ever reach a World Cup, but they’ll enter with plenty of confidence. After they won a tough qualifying group and surprised everyone at Euro 2016 with a magical quarterfinal run, there’s no doubt they will be trendy underdogs to both root for and bet on this summer.

The Nordic island nation will open the group stage as big +1050 underdogs vs. Argentina and then play a key toss-up game against Nigeria in which both teams have the same odds to win (+183). Iceland will then wrap up the group stage as sizable underdogs vs. Croatia.

Iceland will have no problem getting physical, which could frustrate opponents, but there’s nothing too complicated about their playing style. They still have the weakest roster in the group, and there’s also a lingering injury concern with attack-minded Gylfi Sigurdsson (knee) in a race to be fit in time for the opener.

Iceland has a 25% chance of advancing to the Round of 16, according to the odds (+300), and 7.7% chance of winning Group D (+1200 odds). They’re already shaping up to be a trendy underdog pick to beat Nigeria in the second group match, and also getting decent support to upset Argentina in the opener. There’s no more flying under the radar for Iceland.

However, I’m very high on the other three teams in the group (Argentina, Nigeria, Croatia) and can’t see Iceland getting more than a point in total. I’m fading the trendy underdog and going contrarian — instead of betting Iceland at -400 to be eliminated in the group stage, the better value is +110 to finish dead last in Group D.

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