Preview for the Weekend’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Knockout Round Matches
Following two weeks of Group Stage competition, the 2018 FIFA World Cup field has been carved in half from 32 to 16, with the surviving teams now preparing for the all-important knockout rounds.
And as always, online sportsbook Bovada has bettors covered with futures odds on all 16 contenders for the Cup.
Below you’ll find match capsules for the weekend’s first four Round of 16 collisions, complete with odds on each team to win the match – and of course, odds to claim the most coveted Cup in football.
Saturday, June 30 – France vs. Argentina
This match pits two nations that are no strangers to the World Cup Final against one another.
Argentina was the runner-up to Germany in 2014 and 1990, but they did beat the Germans in 1986. As for France, 1998’s title romp over Brazil was followed by a runner-up finish to Italy in 2006.
France is the (+135) three-way moneyline favorite, while Argentina sits at (+245) to win in regulation, and the draw offers (+200) odds.
While France is ranked 7th in the world according to FIFA, and Argentina holds the 5th spot, these teams are moving in different directions. But with Lionel Messi emerging from his Group Stage slumber with a late goal to finish off Nigeria, the Argentinians may be poised for the upset.
As for odds on winning the Cup, both France (+900) and Argentina (+1400) are in the middle of the pack, owing to a tough bracket that sees the winner face either Uruguay or Portugal.
Saturday, June 30 – Uruguay vs. Portugal
While Messi has struggled to tickle the twine thus far, his rival for “best player on the planet” status certainly has not.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick to spark a 3-3 draw against Spain in Portugal’s opening match, then added another in a 1-0 win over Mexico to push his team through almost singlehandedly.
Uruguay has taken a more balanced approach, with star striker Luis Suarez contributing two of the team’s five goals in 3-0, 1-0, and 1-0 victories.
Two evenly matched teams produced an even line, with Uruguay at (+180), Portugal at (+190), and the draw at (+185). And accordingly, both teams hold identical (+2200) odds on winning the Final.
Sunday, July 1 – Spain vs. Russia
Spain brings skilled players and pedigree to the proceedings, while Russia will have the home crowd whipped into a frenzy.
But despite a stirring start to Group play which saw Russia win 5-0 and 3-1 over Saudi Arabia and Egypt, respectively, the hosts were exposed in a 3-0 whitewashing by Uruguay.
Spain, meanwhile, barely escaped the Group stage after 3-3 and 2-2 draws were supplemented by a 1-0 win over Iran that ousted the latter by a single standings point.
Both teams boast competent scorers, with Russia’s Denis Cheryshev and Spain’s Diego Costa tied for fourth in the Cup goal scoring race at three apiece.
The odds heavily favor Spain at (-180) here, while Russia offers a hefty underdog premium at (+550), and the draw offers (+290).
And with Spain then set to play either Denmark or Croatia, they’re second overall on the Cup betting board with (+450) odds. Russia’s odds to pull of a miracle on home turf stand at (+6600), fourth worst of the 16 survivors.
Sunday, July 1 – Croatia vs. Denmark
Croatia won all three Group matches quite easily, including a 3-0 demolition of Argentina en route to an 8-1 goal differential thus far.
Denmark took the opposite approach in navigating through its Group, packing it in defensively with a 1-0 win over Peru, a 1-1 draw against Australia, and a scoreless draw versus France.
With bettors gravitating towards high-flying teams like the Croatians, they’re a big favorite at (-120). Denmark offers (+400) as the big underdog, and the draw rates as a (+225) wager.
Croatia also holds a huge edge to win it all, offering (+1000) to Denmark’s (+10000) longshot.
See the table below for a full rundown on World Cup title odds for all 16 teams still left in the tournament, as currently listed on Bovada:
Odds to Win the 2018 FIFA World Cup
|Nation||Odds to Win World Cup on 6/29|