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FIFA Soccer: World Cup Day Five News & Notes 6/18/18

FIFA Soccer: World Cup Day Five News & Notes 6/18/18 4 weeks 1 day ago #484653

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites for Monday 6/18/18
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FIFA Soccer: World Cup Day Five News & Notes 6/18/18 4 weeks 1 day ago #484655

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Matchday 5 - Best Bets
June 16, 2018
By Toby Maxtone-Smith


World Cup Betting Results

World Cup: Matchday 5 Betting Preview

Group F & G Best Bets

Monday, June 18

Sweden vs. South Korea (FS1, 8:00 a.m. ET)

Sweden ran France close in their qualifying group before dumping Italy out in the play-offs, so like all Scandinavian teams they should never be written off.

They may have dodged a bullet with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s decision not to return for the World Cup. They were disastrously over-reliant on him at Euro 2016 and without him look more of a unified team.

There is a lack of creativity in this team, with Emil Forsberg on the left the only player to generate any real excitement. Should they go behind to Brazil or Mexico in this group, they may struggle to come back.

But they should have few problems with one of the weakest South Korean teams ever to go to a World Cup.

They are badly lacking in strength in depth. The defence has not been good enough for a long time. It is error-prone and even struggles with physicality in Asian qualifying: Sweden will be licking their lips. The goalkeepers do not look great and there is no real recognised goalscorer in the squad. It is all about getting the best out of Son Heung-min.

At the prices, Sweden look very good value.

Prediction: Sweden 2-0 South Korea
Top Bet: Sweden to win at 21/20

Belgium vs. Panama (FS1, 11:00 a.m. ET)

Group G is the least interesting group at the World Cup. Belgium and England will surely qualify ahead of Tunisia and Panama. It is not helped by the game order, which sees the two frontrunners meet on the final round of fixtures.

Panama are one of the weakest teams at this tournament, and their first ever World Cup match could get ugly against the talented Belgians. Four of their expected starting are over 35. Many have extended their international careers just to have a chance to play in Russia. There are now household names in a squad that looks too old and too slow.

The familiar question marks about Belgium may well surface later in the tournament, but for a team packed with attacking talent this is the perfect first match.

And getting his World Cup off to a great start could be Romelu Lukaku. Panama will defend very deep and Lukaku will have plenty of crosses from Kevin de Bruyne and many others to get on the end of. He is the perfect striker for this kind of match.

Prediction: Belgium 4-0 Panama
Top Bet: Romelu Lukaku to score first at 3/1

Tunisia vs. England (FS1, 2:00 p.m. ET)

England kick off their campaign in Volgograd against Tunisia and, as always, optimism has suddenly risen in England that this team can surprise a few people.

A relatively easy route to the quarter-finals helps, but England really have been playing some good stuff under Gareth Southgate of late. They look fluid in attack and the five-man defence looks solid enough against weaker teams, though it may well buckle against the best.

Tunisia are essentially the Uruguay of Africa: a small country that punches above its weight by harnessing its competitive spirit and its togetherness. Unlike North African neighbours Morocco and Algeria, the majority of Tunisia’s team does not come from the diaspora. This perhaps decreases their flair, but improves their cohesion.

The England player to have improved the most under Gareth Southgate is Jesse Lingard. Fielded in a relatively advanced midfield position (somewhere between a number 8 and a number 10), Lingard is an expert at playing between the lines. He scored England’s winner against the Netherlands in March and looks the best value to score the game’s first goal.

Prediction: Tunisia 0-2 England
Top Bet: Jesse Lingard to score first at 13/2
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FIFA Soccer: World Cup Day Five News & Notes 6/18/18 4 weeks 1 day ago #484656

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Russia 2018 Free Kick: Four Best Ways to Bet World Cup Odds June 18


The World Cup features plenty of betting opportunities – so don't miss out. Our daily World Cup Free Kick looks at the best ways to wager on Monday's games, highlighting our favorite picks for sides, totals, props and alternative odds.

Group F features what could be one of the most tightly-contested battles for a spot in the Round of 16 at the World Cup, with both Sweden and Mexico worthy recipients of a spot in the elimination bracket. The Mexicans will have their hands full against defending World Cup-champion Germany in its tournament opener, while Sweden has a much easier go of it vs. South Korea.

The Swedes were one of the most prolific teams in World Cup qualifying, scoring a whopping 26 goals in 10 matches while leading its group in goal differential at +17. Sweden split its goals nearly down the middle between the first and second half, and should be equally dangerous in both stanzas in a game where it absolutely needs to secure three points.

The South Koreans eked their way into the World Cup despite surrendering 10 goals – tied for second-most in their group – and finishing with a dismal +1 goal differential. The Korean back end is a major concern, and Sweden should have no trouble potting a goal in each half while effectively playing keepaway for the majority of the match.

Top Play: Sweden 1-0 half-time/2-0 full-time correct score (+1,200)
No Waffling From Belgium

Belgium might only have an outside shot at winning the tournament, but it is well-positioned to get off to a positive start as it faces lowly Panama in its Group G opener in Sochi. This one shouldn't be close – which makes crafting a successful wager dependent on just how badly you believe the Belgians will punish their Panamanian counterparts.

Belgium comes in ranked third in the world after steamrolling the competition in World Cup qualifying, racking up 43 goals while conceding just six in a 10-game virtuoso performance. The Belgians are a solid +800 option to lead the tournament in scoring – and much of their first-round offense should be generated in this ridiculously one-sided match.

Panama is at the other end of the spectrum, listed at an unfathomable +50,000 to pace the tournament in goals – and a much more realistic +800 to finish at the bottom of the scoring ledger. The Panamanians were a shocker to even reach the World Cup, and are going to spend nearly all of Monday's opener on their heels against a far superior Belgian side.

Top Plays: Belgium -3 (+333), Belgium 10-minute result (+450)
Kane is More Than Able

Is has been 28 years since England has reached the World Cup semifinals – but the Three Lions look ready to challenge for a spot in the final four as they kick off Group G action against Tunisia. The English will want to get off to a great start in group play - and they'll have the best player on the pitch in Harry Kane, who should make his mark against the Tunisians.

While the English made their bones in World Cup qualifying on the strength of a near-impenetrable back line that conceded just three goals in 10 matches, Kane was the offensive heartbeat of the team, leading all players in the group with five goals. The 24-year-old already has 13 goals in 24 international caps, and is a sure bet to add to that total on Monday.

Tunisia boasts a solid roster and is just outside the top 20 in the FIFA World Ranking, but will likely struggle to contain a pair of world-class opportunists in Kane and Jamie Vardy. Add in the fact that talented forward Youssef Msakni is out due to injury, and the Tunisians will have problems keeping up with an England attack led by a hungry Kane.

Top Play: Harry Kane 2 or more goals (+375)
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