[embed]https://www.youtube.com/embed/0EU6MzNznDo[/embed] With 44 World Cup Qualifiers taking place between the 1st and the 6th of September you would think that it would be easy to pick out a small handful of matches that scream “value”. In.
<p>[embed]https://www.youtube.com/embed/0EU6MzNznDo[/embed]</p><p>With 44 World Cup Qualifiers taking place between the 1<sup>st</sup> and the 6<sup>th</sup> of September you would think that it would be easy to pick out a small handful of matches that scream “value”. In reality it’s not so easy. We’ve got a number of games where there are significant favourites and the bookies/betting market has pushed the odds so far down it’s just not worth betting unless you wish to go for the upset.</p><p>Other matches (like Albania v Macedonia) are clearly influenced by a residual feel-good factor stemming from Euro 2016. Is Albania good enough to have odds of 1.78 for a home win? Probably not but I’m not prepared to bet against them right now.</p><p>The there are the games where new managers are in charge and odds have been moved because of an expectation that “things will change”. England are at around 2.01 to beat Slovakia. They couldn’t achieve it in the Euro’s and with a new manager and a slightly experimental squad, I’m not betting on them doing it this time either.</p><p>Italy are in the same boat. Conte has gone and Giampiero Ventura isn’t of the same quality. I expect them to beat Israel on the 5<sup>th</sup> September but at around 1.65, I don’t think there’s enough value there to tempt me into betting on it.</p><p>One match I am betting on is the Switzerland v Portugal game. Looking at the head to head stats I’m not hugely surprised by these odds (there is a fairly even split of results) but the Portugal win at Euro 2016 is a factor I’m not prepared to ignore and when I see odds of 3.13 (BetVictor) for a Portugal win, this is a bet I have to have a little taste of.</p><p>Don’t expect a beautiful game showing all of the beauty that football can offer, that’s highly unlikely to happen but I think we can realistically expect the European Champions to win this one.</p><p>My second and last, bet for this round of World Cup qualifiers is at longer odds and is looking to seize on a potential upset.</p><p>Cyprus welcome Belgium on Tuesday night and I sniff an upset in this one. Roberto Martinez has taken over as head coach of the Belgian national side and Everton fans will know he’s not particularly good at building a defence. The appointment of Thierry Henry as a coach is a clear sign that Martinez is going to subscribe to the school of offensive football.</p><p>Cyprus aren’t world beaters but they’ve pulled off shocks in the past and have used home advantage well in matches just like this one. So I’m taking a bit of a risk and going for a 1X bet in the Double Chance market. <a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4810&book=Bet365">Bet365 are offering odds of 3.5</a> so I’ve taken a little bit of that and will watch to see if Cyprus can hold Belgium to a draw (or even win).</p><p>In my opinion, this is a tough round for betting, maybe future qualifying rounds will give us more.</p>