UEFA Nations League 2018/19 Betting Odds, Tips and Pointers

The finals of the 2018/19 UEFA Nations League will take place in Portugal in early June. Portugal and Switzerland meet in the first semi-final at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto on June 5th, with Holland and England squaring off a day later at the Estadio D. Afonso Henriques in Guimaraes.

Before a ball has been kicked in the semi-finals, Gareth Southgate’s England are the 2/1 favourites to win the first ever Nations League tournament. But the Three Lions face some stiff opposition in hosts Portugal.

European Champions to Beat the Swiss

With the latter stages of the tournament taking place on Portuguese soil, Fernando Santos’ Portugal will fancy their chances of lifting the trophy. The UEFA Euro 2016 winners entertain Vladimir Petkovic’s Switzerland at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao in the first semi-final.

The Portuguese had a fine group campaign, winning two and drawing two to progress through to the finals. Santos’ side kicked off their tournament with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Italy in Lisbon, which they followed up with a 3-2 victory against Poland in Chorzow. The European champions then drew 0-0 in Milan before ending Group 3 with a 1-1 home draw with the Poles.

Switzerland did a superb job to get the better of Belgium and Iceland in Group 2. The Swiss got off to a stunning start, smashing the Icelanders 6-0 in St. Gallen. Petkovic’s side were then beaten 2-1 in Brussels before winning by the same scoreline in Reykjavik. Against all the odds, Switzerland cruised to a 5-2 victory over Belgium in Lucerne on matchday four to book their spot in the semi-finals.

Portugal may effectively be at home, but Switzerland have been on the rise under Petkovic in recent years, and they will certainly make it tough for the Portuguese. However, football betting odds of 4/6 in our odds comparison for Portugal to get the win are too good to turn down. We also like the look of the hosts to win and both teams to score at best odds of 13/5.

Southgate’s Side to Squeeze Past the Dutch

England go up against Holland in the second semi at the Estadio D. Afonso Henriques. The Three Lions are the current 6/5 favourites, with the Dutch just behind at best betting odds of 23/10. With both nations desperate to make it to the final in Porto, this will no doubt be a cracking Nations League semi-final in Guimaraes.

The Three Lions, who reached the last four of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, started their Nations League with a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Spain. After picking up a solid 0-0 draw behind closed doors in Croatia, the English then secured a stunning 3-2 win against Spain in Seville to stamp their authority on the group. A 2-1 win over the Croatians at Wembley Stadium on the final night proved to be enough for Southgate’s boys.

Holland had a very impressive Nations League campaign last year, picking up seven points from four games to beat the likes of France and Germany to first place in League A, Group 1. After opening up with a 2-1 defeat to the world champions at the Stade de France, Holland beat Germany 3-0 and France 2-0 in Amsterdam and Rotterdam respectively. Late goals from Quincy Promes and Virgil van Dijk in Gelsenkirchen earned the Dutch a 2-2 draw and a place in the Nations League finals.

Both nations are on the up after several years of mediocrity, which should make for an enthralling contest in Guimaraes. There’s not too much to split these two in the betting, but England will back themselves to edge past the Dutch in this one. Our money is going on the Three Lions win at nice odds of 6/5. As for the correct score, we like the big odds of 8/1 for England to win 2-1.

Three Lions to be Crowned First Nations League Champions?

This has been a great Nations League campaign, and the two semi-finals, third-place play-off and the final are also set to be capitating. All four countries would love to be the first to lift this trophy, but who will it be?

If the Three Lions can beat an ever-improving Netherlands in Guimaraes, then Southgate and his troops will fancy themselves to get the better of either Portugal or Switzerland in the final in Porto.

It’s been a memorable last couple of years for the English, and they are certainly capable of topping it off by being crowned the first ever Nations League champions in June.

Nations League Stats

  • First Nations League Tournament - This is the first ever Nations League tournament, with the competition being a huge success so far. The tournament has replaced the more traditional international friendlies ahead of European qualifying, and all of the games have been played with real interest and intensity
  • No Team With a 100% Record - The fact that no nation picked up a 100% winning record in the group stage speaks volumes about how competitive the competition has been. The introduction of promotion and relegation has also benefited the tournament
  • Three Lions in First Finals - England are the only home nation to have booked their place in the finals. Of course, the other British nations could only be promoted or relegated, as the English were in League A, Wales, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland featured in League B while Scotland started their campaign in League C
  • Scots Promoted - Scotland had a very successful tournament, winning three of four matches in League C, Group 1 to gain promotion to League B. Along the way, the Scots scored an impressive 10 times
  • Republic & Norn Iron Relegated - Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland both suffered relegation to League C. The Republic finished bottom of Group 4, failing to win any of their four matches. As for Norn Iron, they lost all four of their Group 3 games. Wales, meanwhile, finished second to remain in League B

The Battle Continues at the Nations League Get the Latest Betting Odds and Tips

England v Croatia – England to Win and Both Teams to Score

England bode a fond farewell to Wayne Rooney with a 3-0 friendly win over the USA but they don’t yet have to wave goodbye to their chances of winning the Nations League thanks to Croatia’s chaotic 3-2 win over Spain. The winner of this game will top the group whilst a loss will condemn either side to relegation so it promises so much. Both teams have goals in them so expect them each to score but home advantage and England’s quality attacking play of late hands them the edge. The best betting odds for Sunday could well be England winning and both teams scoring at 11/4.

Germany v Netherlands – Both Teams to Score

Will this prove to be Joachim Low’s last game as Germany manager? After a disastrous World Cup campaign Germany have arguably been more disappointing in the Nations League and face the prospect of relegation into League B. Low has a chance for some slight recovery when the Netherlands visit Gelsenkirchen. Odds comparisons show that the home side are the odds on favourites but the Netherlands are in resurgent form so will make a game of this. Therefore, the best bet could well be on both teams to score at 31/40.

Denmark v Ireland – Under 2.5 Goals

Joachim Low is far from the only international manager under serious pressure. Ireland fans who have been calling for Martin O’Neill’s head saw nothing in the Republic’s goalless draw with Northern Ireland on Thursday night to suggest that the former Leicester and Aston Villa manager is the man to take the Boys in Green forwards. Ireland will be their normal organised selves away to Denmark but there is no surprise that the home side are the favourites in the football betting. This could be another low key, low scoring fixture for Ireland so bet on under 2.5 goals at 10/11.

Portugal v Poland – Portugal to Win

Portugal went into the last round of Nations League fixtures knowing that they had two chances to win Group 3 and progress to the finals. Fernando Santos ensured that his team were motivated for Friday night’s match in Italy but everybody knew that they could fall back on the visit of Poland. The Poles have been among the biggest disappointments in League A and are understandably the underdogs on Tuesday. Portugal’s performances lately suggest they are deserving of another win at best betting odds of 10/11. That looks the most likely outcome.

Croatia v Spain – Over 2.5 Goals

England’s win over Spain put the cat firmly among the pigeons in Group 4 of League A. Spain remain top of the group courtesy of two wins including their 6-0 humbling win over Croatia but will be expecting a much improved performance from Zlatko Dalic’s men on Thursday night. The football betting odds suggest this is going to be a close encounter. Picking the winner of the match at the Maksimir Stadium is no easy task but it’s clear there will be plenty of attacking talent on show so betting on over 2.5 goals at best betting odds of 11/10 should provide a nice profit.

Netherlands v France – The Draw

Having failed to qualify for either the 2018 World Cup or Euro 2016, the Netherlands could count themselves a little fortunate to be placed into League A. Their recent problems have led to suggestions of a long term decline in Dutch football but they beat Germany last time out and played well in a narrow defeat against France in September. France certainly know they are in for a tough game in Rotterdam and given their position in Group1 they would welcome a point. Our odds comparison shows that the draw is available at a very fair price of 13/5.

Wales v Denmark – Both Teams to Score

Wales found a Christian Eriksen-inspired Denmark too good for them when the two teams met in Aarhus in September. Still, the fixtures have worked out well for Ryan Giggs’ men who are top of Group 4 in League B ahead of their final match. Whereas Wales beat Ireland twice, Denmark dropped two points in Dublin last time out so a win on Friday night would be enough for Wales to win promotion to League A. That’s a prize Denmark are very keen on themselves so expect a fully committed performance in Cardiff in which both teams score at best betting odds of 11/10.

Albania v Scotland – Scotland to Win

Alex McLeish has only recently returned to the number one job in Scottish football but he’s already facing calls to be replaced following a poor Nations League campaign. There is still time for Scotland to turn it around though. Beating Albania in Shkodra is the first step and the bookies clearly believe that is possible as the away side are available at best betting odds of 28/17. Scotland were fairly comfortable 2-0 winners when these two met at Hampden Park and they should be able to keep their promotion hopes alive by beating Albania again.

11th – 13th October 2018 Betting Odds Comparison

Israel v Scotland – Under 2.5 Goals

Alex McLeish’s second spell in charge of Scotland began poorly with a big loss to Belgium at home. That was just a friendly though and Scotland managed to turn things around when it mattered with a 2-0 win over Albania in their first UEFA Nations League match. Israel themselves lost to Albania in their opener so need a big performance when Scotland visit Haifa. The Nations League is a big opportunity for this newly motivated Scotland team and we think they’ll be hard to beat which makes the best odds of 5/8 available on under 2.5 goals look a good bet.

Poland v Portugal – Both Teams to Score

Portugal are potentially entering into a new Ronaldo-less era. The Portuguese star was absent from the 1-0 win over Italy and his off field problems have seen him left out of the squad for Portugal’s second Nations League match against Poland. Fernando Santos will believe that the players available to him should ensure at least a goal against Poland but, as our odds comparison shows, this is an incredibly close group including three teams with high hopes for Euro 2020. The home side’s firepower makes it highly likely that both teams will score at evens.

Austria v Northern Ireland – Over 2.5 Goals

The thousands of Northern Ireland fans who packed into Windsor Park for the match against Bosnia and Herzegovina left disappointed as they were pipped 2-1 in the first match of their Nations League campaign. Austria were also beaten by the Bosnians which leaves both teams needing a win quickly to stave off the threat of relegation into League C. The bookies’ football odds don’t suggest an entertaining match is in prospect but four of the last five Northern Ireland matches have seen over 2.5 goals scored so that bet is tempting at odds of 11/10.

Croatia v England – 1-1 Correct Score

Spain bounced back from a very disappointing World Cup campaign with wins over both England and Croatia leaving them in a very strong position in their Nations League group. In contrast, Croatia and England need a win on Friday night but raising their performance levels will be tough given that the match will be played behind closed doors. Croatia were much better than England when these two met in the World Cup semi final but the Three Lions can improve this time around. Rather than simply backing the draw though, the best betting odds from this match could be the 11/2 available about the 1-1 correct score.

Belgium v Switzerland – Belgium to Win and Both Teams to Score

Switzerland left the King Power Stadium very disappointed after losing a friendly to England having failed to take multiple chances in the first half. The Swiss will have worked on their finishing ahead of their match against Belgium which will hopefully result in an exciting match. The Belgians have a wealth of attacking options so should have little problem scoring enough goals to beat Switzerland. Will they be able to keep the Swiss at bay though? We’re not so sure, and so we recommend taking the betting odds of 2/1 available on the home side winning a match in which both teams score.

Netherlands v Germany – The Draw

Having missed out on both the European Championships and World Cup, many Netherlands fans worried that their team was in a prolonged period of decline. The start to life under Ronald Koeman brought yet more disappointment with a 2-1 loss to France but can they bounce back against Germany? Die Mannschaft are still reeling from their group stage elimination from the World Cup which has left Joachim Low modifying his approach. Germany are unlikely to be at their best against the Netherlands but won’t need their best to secure a point at odds of 13/5.

Republic of Ireland v Denmark – Denmark to Win

The Nations League has thrown up some intriguing encounters involving teams with recent history of facing each other. That’s the case with Saturday’s match in Dublin where the Republic of Ireland host Denmark. The Danes ran riot in their World Cup playoff at the Aviva Stadium but will have to make do without the injured Christian Eriksen this time around. The visitors should still have enough to prevail at best betting odds of 85/40 though as Martin O’Neill comes under increasing scrutiny.

2018 Nations League Odds Comparison

Wales v Republic of Ireland – Goals to be at a Premium in Cardiff

It’s a tale of two managers when Wales meet the Republic of Ireland on Thursday night. Ryan Giggs is very much in his managerial infancy and takes charge of just his fourth match as Wales boss. Martin O’Neill, by contrast, has decades of managerial experience but is facing a battle to win back the Ireland fans after playing some frankly dreadful football during their unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign.

After beating China 6-0, Wales lost 1-0 to Uruguay and then drew 0-0 with Mexico. It makes sense to expect another low scoring match when Ireland, who are far from free flowing, visit Cardiff. Under 2.5 goals should be a safe bet at 4/9 in our odds comparison but the 1-1 correct score is a more tempting option at best betting odds of 5/1.

Betting Tip: 1-1 Correct Score at 5/1

Germany v France – France to Carry on and Make Life Increasingly Difficult for Löw

France is still, as a nation, basking in the glow of their World Cup triumph. Didier Deschamps can be forgiven for putting his feet up after silencing the critics in Russia but it’s time for Les Bleus to get back to work this week with a daunting trip to Munich.

The fallout from Germany’s group stage exit at the World Cup will rumble on for some time yet. Joachim Löw’s position is not yet under any real danger but he must be feeling under pressure to get the public back on board after the shock of this summer.

Germany’s home advantage gives them the edge in the betting. However, they trail France in the head to head record while Löw is having to rethink things as France will turn up with all the confidence in the world. This should be a fascinating game and a bet on both teams to score should return nicely at 4/5.

Betting Tip: Both Teams to Score at 4/5

Italy v Poland – No Mistakes for Italy This Time

Italy were the main absentees from the 2018 World Cup after losing their playoff to Sweden. Roberto Mancini’s task as the new Azzurri manager is to book their place in the Euros as early as possible. Italy are the 10/11 favourites to win Mancini’s first competitive match in charge and you can be certain they’ll be approaching this potentially tricky fixture with the utmost importance.

Poland were at the World Cup but they didn’t return home with much credit. Jerzy Brzeczek is the man tasked with improving their fortunes but he could well get off to a losing start in what is a very tough test.

Betting Tip: Italy to Win at 10/11

Northern Ireland v Bosnia-Herzegovina – Home Advantage Can Tip This Match Towards Northern Ireland

You could forgive the Northern Ireland players for going on holiday this summer and doing their best to ignore the World Cup. Their chances of qualifying were ended in the playoffs by a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Switzerland thanks to a controversially awarded penalty in the first leg.

Michael O’Neill was proud of his team’s performances in qualifying and will believe that they can kick on in the Nations League to secure their place in Euro 2020 and even push for promotion to League A. This competition certainly gives sides just beneath the continental elite a great chance to qualify for a major tournament.

First up for Northern Ireland is a home match against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mehmed Baždarević has some quality players at his disposal but no team enjoys a trip to Windsor Park. The bookies are struggling to separate these two but at betting odds of 17/10 in our odds comparison, Northern Ireland surely represent the value option in the game.

Betting Tip: Northern Ireland to Win at 17/10

England v Spain – Spain to Leave Wembley with a Draw

Some international managers would prefer a friendly match after the World Cup so they can play around with a few options. New Spain manager, Luis Enrique, is among that number but he is thrown straight in at the deep end with a trip to Wembley to face this rejuvenated England side. Gareth Southgate is at the other end of the spectrum. He’s been itching for England to get back to work ever since they lost the third place playoff match against Belgium.

The worry for England is that their performances in Russia grow expectations too much. They did well in Russia with the bar set incredibly low but in truth they didn’t beat anyone they weren’t expected to. Things will get a lot harder now, with the nation daring to dream big once again.

The Three Lions are the favourites for Saturday’s match and you have to think they look a little short at a general 6/4. Spain are in transition but Enrique has plenty of experience and some great talent at his disposal so this does look a tight match where the draw seems very well priced at odds of 12/5.

Betting Tip: The Draw at 12/5

The UEFA Nations League may not be familiar to everyone but the idea was first mooted back in 2013. It is in essence a third tournament for UEFA members to take part in, along with the World Cup and the Euros. There is no question that it is a very distant third to those two major events but even so, it is hoped it will add a lot more interest to the annual schedule of international friendlies.

One key innovation is that the Nations League will also offer the chance for teams to qualify for the European Championships. This is sure to make at least some countries take a much keener interest in the Nations League and should make for much more competitive games. In time it is thought that this competition may also offer a route into the World Cup too, although that remains unconfirmed at present.

That’s of interest to betting fans in particular because predicting the outcome of friendly matches is usually so tough. Whilst many games within the Nations League may still be used for experimentation, lots of fixtures will be contested at full intensity. This, in theory should make betting on the Nations League much more interesting and less of a lottery.

If you do want to have a bet on the Nations League then this page is the place to be. We’ll have odds comparison for all the fixtures right here, helping you to get the best betting odds on a range of markets.

Nations League Format and Structure

The first ever Nations League gets underway in September 2018 following France’s victory in the World Cup in July. Games will take place during dates previously allocated to international friendly matches, with the main qualification games for the Euros and World Cup unaffected.

The format is relatively simple but we would expect changes to be made as the competition develops. For the 2018-19 Nations League there will be 55 sides, including Kosovo who became an officially recognised UEFA nation in 2016. There will be four Leagues, with League D the weakest and set to feature 16 sides. League C will have 15, with the top two divisions both consisting of 12 nations.

The divisions for the initial season will be decided using a ranking system based on recent results. League A, the top tier, will include England, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Poland and Croatia.

The 12 sides in Leagues A and B are split into four Groups (1-4) and will play each other home and away. League C has four groups of four and one of three, with the 16 teams in Group D divided into four groups of four.

The winners of each group in League A meet in the Nations League semi finals before a final will decide the overall champion. In the other Leagues, the group winners are promoted to the league above, with group losers (the nation finishing bottom), relegated.

Obviously there is no promotion from League A or relegation from League D. Aside from promotion, relegation and the overall title, there are, as said, four spots at the Euros up for grabs. These will be decided using the highest ranked non-qualified sides from each group in order to generate 16 teams. The 16 nations will be split in to four, with semis and a final deciding which four nations will be heading to the European Championships.

This new tournament offers a number of big advantages, guaranteeing the best sides lots of high class friendly games that should prove easy to market. In addition, the lesser nations will benefit as the TV contract with UEFA is centralised. Moreover, such sides will have an extra chance to qualify for the Euros.

Some may argue this latter points is a negative, devaluing the main qualification process. However, all in all we think the early signs about the Nations League are positive. The tournament should definitely serve to make friendly games far more interesting and, hopefully, make betting on them a little more predictable.

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UEFA Nations League Outrights