About those forecasts for bonds to drop…

Bartomeu Amengual | age fotostock | Getty Images

Calls for the bond market to drop this year have largely come to naught, and some analysts are now looking for gains.

"We are still long credit. The rally is not yet over although [those] can't go through the roof forever," said Pascal Blanque, chief investment officer at Amundi Asset Management, which has over $1 trillion under management.

Read More This central bank may be calling bond yields for now

Analysts have expected bond yields, which move inversely to prices, to rise since May of last year when the U.S. Federal Reserve first broached its plan to taper its asset purchases. In response, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose from 1.60 percent in mid-May of 2013 to around 3.0 percent at the start of 2014. But despite expectations it would rise further, it has retraced to around 2.56 percent currently.

Bond sell-off on rate hike will be 'slow burner': Pro
Bond sell-off on rate hike will be 'slow burner': Pro   

Many still believe bonds and credit are overpriced, with going long U.S. high-yield debt and EU peripheral debt considered the two most-crowded trades, according to the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch fund manager survey for September. A net 60 percent of fund managers were underweight bonds, according to the survey.

Read More When is a safe-haven asset not a safe-haven play?

But Blanque doesn't buy into the consensus view.

"The biggest mistake in the forecasting community [during last year's taper tantrum] was to play the classic normalization of interest rates back to so-called normal levels," he said. Blanque expects "normal" rates will be lower than in previous cycles as the economic growth potential has declined amid aging demographics, deleveraging and a slowdown in technical advances.

Another factor likely to support corporate credit: the scarcity of "safe" assets such as Treasurys and bunds, in part due to new regulations requiring banks to hold more of these assets, keeping interest rates low, Blanque said.

Read More Are risky European bonds in a bubble?

"We cannot say that we are faced with a compelling case of obscene overvaluation," he said, noting a preference for European credit. "Despite the tightening [of spreads], it's still offering value relative to what we are seeing in terms of collective defaults."

ECB pushing investors to higher risk bonds: Pro
ECB pushing investors to higher risk bonds: Pro   

He isn't alone in expecting gains.

Read More Bonds are great—in emerging markets

With the European Central Bank (ECB) threatening to begin purchasing assets, "this acts as an umbrella protecting euro 'risk assets,' ensuring they remain in demand even at now dearer prices," Societe Generale said in a note Monday.

"ECB actions should keep European bond yields low," it said. "Lower yields will drive the market as a whole tighter."

—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1