After last week’s Round of 16 slate sent eight teams through to the quarterfinals, the 2018 FIFA World Cup is now entering the home stretch.
On Friday, high-powered France takes on a shorthanded Uruguay, while Neymar and Brazil square off against Lukaku and Belgium. You can read more about those matches here, but following Friday’s action, Saturday will see two more quarterfinal clashes go down.
Online sportsbook Bovada won’t miss a beat, offering bettors a bevy of odds on both of the quarterfinal matches, as well as futures odds to win the World Cup. The match capsules below cover Saturday’s quarterfinal contests:
Sweden vs. England
English football fans worldwide breathed a collective sigh of relief last weekend, as Three Lions survived a penalty kick shootout to escape Colombia’s upset bid.
England had the match well in hand through regulation time, but a last-minute header in stoppage time sent the teams to a shootout. But with England’s disastrous history in penalties at the Cup – losing on kicks in 1990, 1998, and 2006 – looming over the proceedings, Harry Kane and Co. withstood the pressure.
As a reward, Three Lions take on Sweden in the quarterfinals, a matchup that favors the English immensely.
Sweden’s defensive-minded approach has produced three clean sheets in four World Cup showdowns, with their only two goals allowed to Germany. But aside from Mexico, the Swedes haven’t faced a top-tier team thus far.
The light schedule would seem to put Sweden at a decided disadvantage against England, a squad that has legitimate hopes to bring the World Cup “home” to the birthplace of football for only the second time ever.
Given the talent disparity between the two teams, England holds a healthy edge in three-way betting as (-110) favorites over Sweden (+370), while a draw in regulation time comes in at (+225).
And accordingly, England holds (+425) odds to win the Cup, a far cry from Sweden’s last-place price of (+2500).
Russia vs. Croatia
In the annals of World Cup lore, host nations have historically performed quite well, winning six of the 20 tournaments held since 1930.
But it hasn’t happened in the 21st century as of yet, with France becoming the last host turned champion in 1998.
Russia is looking to change that narrative in 2018, and in improbable fashion to boot. After entering at (+3300) to win it all when the tournament kicked off, Russia rolled through an easy Group Stage to secure a berth in the Round of 16. There, they faced Spain as hefty (+550) underdogs, only to draw even at 1-1 in regulation en route to a thrilling penalty kick victory.
Fittingly, a Russian side that has registered 5-0 and 3-0 shutouts in their favor, along with a 3-0 loss, offers an air of unpredictability heading into the quarterfinals.
Croatia also needed penalty kicks to survive the quarterfinals, downing Denmark in a 1-1 slugfest. Before that, they notched 2-0 and 3-0 shutouts over pre-Cup contenders Nigeria and Argentina, respectively.
Playing with a roster that is clearly the more skilled, Croatia is priced as a (+120) favorite over Russia (+280), while a draw comes in at (+205).
But if the home team can advance to the semifinals, their (+1800) odds to win the Cup will improve dramatically. As for Croatia, they’re reasonably priced at (+600) to win their first World Cup title.
The table below contains the most current futures betting odds, per Bovada, on the eight contenders still competing for the 2018 World Cup:
Odds to Win the 2018 FIFA World Cup
|Nation||Odds to Win World Cup on 7/5|