World Cup Group B Betting Tips: Spain to better Portugal in the battle for top spot

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Julen Lopetegui's side have leading claims for the tournament in Russia and should ensure they progress to the knockout stages in pole position

Group B provides the first heavyweight clash of the 2018 World Cup as Spain face Portugal on just the second day of the tournament.

The European champions are 2/1 (3.0) to claim top spot in Russia but it's tough to look past 1/2 (1.50) favourites Spain, who are 6/1 (7.0) to lift the trophy for the second time in three editions.

Morocco (16/1) and Iran (33/1) aren't expected to trouble the two leading candidates and it's difficult to disagree with that assessment, but simply backing La Roja at 1/2 (1.50) is unlikely to inspire too many punters.

Ricardo Quaresma Portugal

Instead, look to the forecast market which allows bettors to select the team to finish top of the group in combination with the one they feel will come second.

This market requires both sides to finish in the exact order predicted. Here, Spain/Portugal is on offer at 6/5 (2.20) with bet365, a much more appealing selection.

Spain's array of attacking options should allow them to better Portugal's results even if the opening encounter between the pair becomes something of a stalemate, with both teams knowing two much more presentable opportunities are already on the schedule.

That would be understandable given the gulf in class between them and the other Group B sides but Julen Lopetegui's men have to be the favourites to outscore a side that netted just nine goals in the whole of Euro 2016 and only four in the group stages.

David De Gea Spain 2018

Furthermore, with Group A potentially providing a soft last 16 opponent to the winners of Group B, there should be plenty of motivation to claim spot and unless one side is already so far clear of the others that they can’t be overtaken in matchday three, then it’s unlikely that either coach will opt for wholesale rotation.

Even if some players picked up injuries or suspensions, the sheer depth of talent in the Spanish ranks means they’re much the better equipped to cope with such eventualities in the early stages of the tournament.

The difference between Spain at 6/1 (7.0) and Portugal (25/1) also demonstrates how vastly the bookmakers rate the Iberian pair so siding with this forecast bet appeals on multiple angles.

Betting Banner - Best Bet Group B forecast: Spain/Portugal at 6/5 (2.20) for a 2pt stake with bet365

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