Stunning upsets and remarkable comebacks have been just a few of the storylines for the 2018 World Cup. Let’s take a quick preview at the four quarterfinal matches scheduled for Friday and Saturday while we glance at the corresponding odds to win it all.
The headline reads Vive La France because several weeks ago we previewed the World Cup and after clicking over to Sportsbook Review, a site that reveals odds from the best online sportsbooks on everything from NASCAR to World Cup, we were surprised that the odds on France to win it all were a rather generous +610 prior to the start of the tournament. This meant that for every C-Note wagered we got $610 in return on one of the most uniquely talented teams in the competition. A bet on France meant we got plenty of value on a top-notch team which is why they were our pick to win the World Cup. Fast forward to this coming weekend and France is still alive which means – so are we!
Uruguay is no joke and at pre-World Cup odds of +3300 there will be more than a few bettors biting their fingernails in this match against France. However, the prevailing odds on this head-to-head match favor France at -200, which means that it would be considered an upset if Uruguay was to prevail. Both teams are coming off huge wins as Uruguay ousted Portugal 2-1 and France bested Argentina 4-3 to advance to the quarterfinal stage. Nevertheless, we are sticking with the one that brought us here which means France moves on to the semifinals.
Brazil went 2-0-1 in the group stage and most recently dispatched Mexico 2-0 in the knockout round. All three of Brazil’s victories have been by that exact 2-0 score and now they will face a team in Belgium that had the highest goal differential (+7) in the group stage and engineered the most stunning rally in the round of 16 when they rebounded from a 2-0 deficit and defeated Japan 3-2.
Now that two of the most dangerous teams in Germany and Spain have made an earlier-than anticipated exits, it leaves Brazil as the only true superpower left in the tournament. And perhaps they are getting Belgium at the perfect time after their exhausting desperation match with Japan. Let’s watch Brazil climb ever closer to the top of the mountain and back them in this quarterfinal tilt.
Sweden is considered the second-biggest surprise remaining in the tournament after Russia. At odds north of 100-1 before the World Cup commenced, the Swedes emerged as the top team in Group F despite their 2-1 loss to Germany. After a gritty 1-0 victory over Switzerland in the knockout round opener, Sweden will face one of the more polished teams in England, coming off a shootout win over Colombia and reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since 2006.
England may be more talented on paper but Sweden has a mojo rolling through this tournament that is hard to reconcile. Aside from their lopsided 6-1 win over a weak Panamanian squad, England hasn’t dominated in this tourney and could be fruit ripe for the picking by a team that nobody saw coming in Sweden. We’ll take a flier on an underdog that keeps on cashing with Sweden defeating England in an upset!
Homefield advantage and feeding at the bosom of Mother Russia has done wonders for the host nation’s team that didn’t factor into anyone’s plans for a deep run into the World Cup. But here they are after a huge upset win over Spain in a shootout to take on a squad in Croatia that faced their sternest test thus far when they defeated Denmark in the opening round of the knockout stage.
Croatia may be favored on paper in this match but something is telling us that Russia’s stunning victory over Spain will propel them to even greater heights. This is a team that clearly feeds off the energy of the home crowd and has proven to be a talented, resilient group worthy of their nation’s adulation. Watch Russia roll over Croatia and into the semifinals.