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FIFA Soccer: World Cup Quarterfinal Day 2

FIFA Soccer: World Cup Quarterfinal Day 2 1 month 1 week ago #485624

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites for Saturday 7/7/30/18
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FIFA Soccer: World Cup Quarterfinal Day 2 1 month 1 week ago #485625

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Day 2 Quarters - Best Bets
July 6, 2018
By Toby Maxtone-Smith

World Cup: Quarterfinal Preview - Day 2

Sweden vs. England (FOX, 10:00 a.m. ET)

England and Sweden are the only teams ever to have reached the final in their half of the draw. Both achieved it only once and on home turf, with England winning in 1966 and Sweden finishing runners-up to Brazil in 1958.

This represents both teams’ best chance since then. England are 6/4 favourites to reach the final - a match they would almost certainly be underdogs to win - while Sweden are 7/1. But we are still only at the quarter-final stage, and this match at the Cosmos Arena in Samara promises to be another tight, tense affair.

The city on the Volga saw its highest temperature for 50 years as Brazil faced Mexico there in the last 16, and patience may well be the key for England as they attempt to break down a stubborn, organised defence.

Sweden are a limited side, but they are superbly disciplined and are unlikely to give away any penalties, England having already scored three of their nine goals from the spot at this tournament.

The hype in England is such that the bettor is desperate to find a way of opposing them, but I thought they would be shorter here.

Nine of England’s last 13 victories have been without conceding, while Sweden’s four first halves at this tournament have seen just one goal. Their approach will be predictable, and England, who have relied rather to heavily on set-pieces, could struggle to break it down.

But they should eventually, and the 19/20 on an England win appeals. But in order to squeeze the best value out, a better option might be to get on England to be drawing at half-time but winning at full-time.

Prediction: Sweden 0-1 England
Top Bet: Draw-England half-time/full-time at 10/3

Croatia vs. Russia (FOX, 2:00 p.m. ET)

This was supposed to be Argentina vs. Spain, but due to the shocks at this crazy World Cup, it is hosts Russia who meet Croatia in Sochi by the Black Sea.

Russia defended gallantly against Spain before winning the match on penalties, but the draw was perhaps more down to Spain’s wastefulness in possession. They passed it around but created vanishingly few good opportunities.

By the end of the 120 minutes Russia looked absolutely exhausted, and they will have been glad to see their quarter-final opponents Croatia go the full distance against Denmark. The match saw two goals in the first four minutes but quickly became tense and defensive. Croatia could not deal with Denmark’s formation and, despite Luka Modric’s late penalty miss, were rather lucky to make it to penalties.

Zlatko Dalic’s side have only really put in one convincing performance so far, which was the 3-0 win over Argentina in their second group game.

In fact the Croatians have built their game plan around a very strong defence, and it is a struggle to see how the hosts will break that down given they’ve only conceded once from opening play in this tournament.

Stanislav Cherchesov will likely take the same ultra-defensive approach in the knowledge that Russla’s players are nowhere near as good as Croatia’s.

Croatia, even away from home, are rightfully favourites. But they have not sparkled enough going forward in the tournament so far for them to be good value at 5/4. The draw looks the best bet here.

Prediction: Croatia 1-1 Russia
Top Bet: Draw at 2/1
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FIFA Soccer: World Cup Quarterfinal Day 2 1 month 1 week ago #485631

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Sharps on England, public pounding Sweden in World Cup quarterfinals
By: Patrick Everson

Sharps on England, public pounding Sweden in World Cup quarterfinals

One semifinal is set at the World Cup, and the other will be determined by the outcome of Saturday’s two quarterfinal matches. Covers checks in on the action and odds movement for both contests, with insights from D.J. Fields, odds consultant for offshore sportsbook Bookmaker.eu, and Will Bernanke, lead analyst for CG Analytics in Las Vegas.

England vs. Sweden

England continues its quest to rid itself of the ghosts of World Cups past, following a riveting victory in the Round of 16. The Three Lions were +117 favorites in three-way betting against Colombia on Tuesday, and played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and 30 minutes of overtime. That led to a penalty-kick shootout that England won 4-3 to advance to Saturday’s 10 a.m. ET quarterfinal.

Sweden made it through to the quarters as an underdog, requiring only the standard 90 minutes and stoppage time to do so against Switzerland on Tuesday. The Swedes got a 66th-minute goal from Emil Forsberg and made it stand up as a +225 pup.

Three-way betting – which covers only 90 minutes and stoppage time, not overtime or penalty kicks – remains the featured option at Bookmaker.eu, though the shop will offer the two-way “to advance” option for in-game wagering. In three-way play, England opened a -125 chalk, dipped to -104, then rebounded to -112, while Sweden opened +400 and got to +368 before peeling back to +390.

The draw opened +252 and now rests at +225.

“Sharp money is favoring – or should I say favouring – England, while we have seen a groundswell from the public for Sweden,” Fields said. “This divide carries over to wager size. Big-money wagers are all on the Three Lions, while we have a ton of small bets on the Nati trying to cash in on an almost +400 ‘dog. The discord on who is going to win, unfortunately, does not carry over to the total. With 90 percent of the money on Over 2 goals, players are expecting fireworks from England's youthful offense. We are going to be hoping for a Draw or 1-nil game.”

CG books, including at The Cosmopolitan and Venetian on the Vegas Strip, are dealing both three-way wagering and the two-way “to advance,” but three-way is drawing far more action. England opened -120 and tightened to -115, Sweden held steady at +375, and the draw went from +225 to +220.

“Action is fairly even on account, while 67 percent of over-the-counter money is on Sweden,” Bernanke said, adding that on the total of 2 goals, account betting is running even, and 71 percent of over-the-counter action is on the Under. “The public is on Sweden and the Under. Bettors still don’t believe in England, considering their recent World Cup history, and bettors feel England was fortunate to get past a depleted Colombian squad.”

Croatia vs. Russia

The host country is through to the quarterfinals after pulling off an upset of Spain to open the knockout stage. Russia, a +468 underdog, gave up an 11th-minute own goal, but rebounded when Artem Dzyuba converted a 41st-minute penalty kick after a Spain handball. The two sides remained tied at 1 through overtime, and Russia won the penalty-kick shootout 4-3 Sunday.

Croatia also had to go to penalty kicks against Denmark on Sunday to reach this 2 p.m. ET quarterfinal. The Croatian side fell behind in a hurry, giving up a goal in the first minute, but equalized nearly as quickly on a fourth-minute goal from Mario Mandzukic. From there, it was 114 minutes of scoreless soccer, and Croatia won the PK round 3-2, with goalkeeper Danijel Subasic making three saves.

Bookmaker.eu opened Croatia a +126 fave, dropped to +110 and was at +121 Friday evening. Russia opened +277 and stretched a bit to +294, while the draw opened +202, ticked up to +210 then down to +199.

“There is a strong consensus among the public and sharps that Croatia is the play,” Fields said. “Seventy-five percent of the money is backing Croatia, but the real story has been the total (2 goals). Everyone is pounding the Over. With 17 combined goals between both teams so far in the World Cup, players don't see any way this game stays under 2 goals. We are staring down steep unfortunate exposure, as 85 percent of the money is on the Over.”

CG opened Croatia +120, Russia +270 and the draw +200, with Croatia sticking at that number Friday night, while Russia and the draw adjusted slightly to +275 and +195 respectively.

“Action is fairly even on account, while 73 percent of over-the-counter money is on Croatia,” Bernanke said, noting that on the total of 2, 68 percent of the cash was on the Over. “The public is on Croatia and the Over thus far.”
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