Michael O'Neill's men lost just once en route to their memorable Euro 2016 campaign, but failed to qualify for the last World Cup.
Having lost just two of their last 10 World and European qualification matches on home turf, they are 4/9 (1.44) favourites with 888Sport to get this campaign underway with a victory.
The Blueshirts have only won once in 13 qualification matches on the road, and are priced at 15/2 (8.50) to pull off a shock win here.
None of the hosts' last 16 fixtures in front of their own fans have resulted in draws, but you can get odds of 3/1 (4.00) on this one finishing up all square.
Corry Evans is a doubt after coming off injured in Blackburn's defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend, while Will Grigg and Gareth McAuley will both also face late fitness tests. Oliver Norwood has withdrawn due to personal reasons.
Ken Kallaste has been called into the visiting squad to replace Sander Puri, who was forced to withdraw due to a muscle injury.
Defences on top
While they relied heavily on their resilient defence during the successful Euro 2016 campaign, the Green and White Army's lack of cutting edge has really caught up with them recently.
Having fallen to a 1-0 aggregate defeat against Switzerland in the World Cup play-off tie, they subsequently went on to score just two goals in four Nations League games last Autumn - losing all four.
It is a similar story for Martin Reim's men, who have scored more than once just three times in 16 fixtures and saw four of their six Nations League games finish 1-0.
All in all, odds of 13/8 (2.63) look well worth backing on no more than one goals being scored in a tight match in Belfast.