Former World Cup winners France and Argentina meet, while Uruguay take on Portugal
With the group stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup nearing its conclusion, the knock-out rounds of the tournament are set to begin in earnest this weekend. And this coming Saturday (30 June), with two matches taking place, three of the four teams involved have previously been crowned World Cup winners.
First things first, head on over to the Oddsshark website, find your favourite betting agency, and get your account up and running with your credit card. As a new customer and with the excitement of knock-out ties set to start, there should be several special offers and promotions for you to take advantage of.
Where should I be investing my money?
And the knock-out rounds starts with a huge game between 1998 World Cup winners France and two-time world champions Argentina, at the Kazan Arena, in Kazan. Looking at the simplest kind of bet you can make on this game, it is the French who come in as slight favourites – you can back them at 2.37 to win the tie in 90 minutes, while Argentina are further out at 3.60, according to Oddsshark.
You can also simply choose to bet on who will go through to the quarter-finals. Again, France are priced shorter at 1.66, whereas you can more than double your money if you opt to back Argentina, with the South Americans priced at 2.10 to make the last eight.
And after getting on the score sheet last time out against Nigeria, once again Lionel Messi will likely be the saviour for Argentina, should they need one. The 31 year old is at just 2.50 to score during the 90 minutes and is at 5.00 to open the scoring, as he did against the Super Eagles in the final group game.
For the French, meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann remains their most potent attacking force. He is just behind Messi in the goal scoring odds, priced at 2.87 to net during the game and at 6.00 to score either the first or last goal of the match.
This may well be a low scoring game, as in five of seven competitive fixtures played this year Argentina have scored once or less, failing to find the back of the net on three occasions. While it is never easy trying to predict the exact score of a tie, France to beat Argentina 1-0 is priced competitively at 6.50.
Odds (after 90 minutes): France (2.37), Argentina (3.60), draw (3.10)
Later on the same day, Uruguay and Portugal meet trying to book their place in the semi-finals. The South Americans came through their group unscathed, winning all three of their matches without conceding a goal, and rounded off Group A with a comprehensive 3-0 win over World Cup hosts Russia.
Portugal, for their part, had a tougher assignment having been drawn alongside one of the favourites for the World Cup in Spain, but they also came through the group unbeaten and, with Cristiano Ronaldo in form, will fancy their chances against just about anyone. There is precious little to separate these two sides, with Uruguay priced at 1.80 to progress and Portugal just behind them at 1.95.
With these two sides so evenly matched, it could well end on a draw after 90 minutes. Looking at the outcome at the final whistle, a stalemate is priced at 3.00, as is a Portugal victory, whereas Uruguay go in as slight favourites and are priced at 2.80 to win inside 90 minutes.
A draw would of course mean extra time, and backing one of these sides to make it through to the quarter-finals after 120 minutes means raised prices, and therefore increased prize money. You can back Uruguay to progress after extra time at 11.00, while Portugal are at 12.00 – that would mean more than a ten-fold return on any investment.
Both these sides play a more contained, defensive game, looking to hit on the counter. There may not be many goals in this one, and you can back under 2.5 goals in the match at just 1.44 – if you think there will be over 2.5 goals, then the price almost doubles to 2.70.
Uruguay in particular have looked rock solid defensively. They are yet to concede a goal at the World Cup, and have now kept a clean sheet in their last six matches, but now they will have to deal with Ronaldo.
Luis Suarez against Cristiano Ronaldo looks a fascinating duel, with the former priced at 2.62 to score during the match and at 5.00 to open the scoring. Ronaldo is on even shorter odds – just 2.20 to net at any time and 4.00 to bag either the first or last goal of the game.
Odds (after 90 minutes): Uruguay (2.80), Portugal (3.00), draw (3.00)
2018 FIFA WORLD CUP THIRD ROUND GROUP GAMES
Monday, 25 June
3.00pm – (5.00) Saudi Arabia 2x 1 Egypt (1.80)
3.00pm – (2.90) Uruguay 3 x 0 Russia (2.87)
7.00pm – (6.00) Iran 1 x 1 Portugal (1.66)
7.00pm – (1.36) Spain 2 x 2 Morocco (11.00)
Tuesday, 26 June
3.00pm – (3.00) Australia 0 x 2 Peru (2.50)
3.00pm – (4.75) Denmark 0 x 0 France (2.25)
7.00pm – (3.50) Iceland 1 x 2 Croatia (2.25)
7.00pm – (6.50) Nigeria 1 x 2 Argentina (1.55)
Wednesday, 27 June
3.00pm – (2.40) Mexico 0 x 3 Sweden (3.30)
3.00pm – (17.00) South Korea 2 x 0 Germany (1.20)
7.00pm – (7.50) Serbia 0 x 2 Brazil (1.50)
7.00pm – (1.80) Switzerland 2 x 2 Costa Rica (6.00)
Thursday, 28 June
3.00pm – (2.50) Japan x Poland (3.20)
3.00pm – (4.40) Senegal x Colombia (1.90)
7.00pm – (2.90) England x Belgium (2.80)
7.00pm – (4.50) Panama x Tunisia (1.85)