The group phase of the 2018 World Cup is over, the defending champion Germany is surprisingly knocked-out, so we’ll get a new world champ in Russia. So far, it was a tremendous tournament full of upsets and dramatic games, while none of the strongest favorites from bookmakers’ lists impressed with their performance.
The Round of 16 starts this Saturday, June 30th, 2018, with the derby clash between France and Argentina, so let’s take a closer look at the latest World Cup winners odds update provided by BetDSI Sportsbook, and analyze the strongest contenders to beat the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
2018 World Cup Winners Odds Update – Round of 16
|Brazil +350||Spain +400||Belgium +650||England +750|
|France +800||Argentina +1200||Croatia +1000||Uruguay +2200|
|Colombia +2200||Portugal +2500||Switzerland +3300||Russia +6600|
|Mexico +6600||Sweden +6600||Denmark +8000||Japan +12500|
The five-time World Cup champions had a tough task in the Group E, particularly after a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in the opening game, while Selecao hardly manages to overcome Costa Rica 2-0 with a couple of goals in the stoppage time of the second half. They easily vanquished Serbia 2-0 to secure the top spot ahead of the Swiss, but Selecao showed a lot of flaws in their play, while some important players suffered from injuries including the left-back Marcelo who’s one of the key players in this team. Philippe Coutinho looks on fire and ready to step up when it’s needed, but Neymar and Gabriel Jesus both disappointed so far with their displays.
Brazil could have a tricky job in the round of 16 against hardworking Mexico side, while Belgium is lurking in the Quarter-Finals. In the last four Brazil would meet another heavyweight, so if Selecao continues with mediocre displays, I don’t see them going all the way.
The Red Fury was on the verge of elimination in the Group B, losing 2-1 against Morocco in the final game of the group stage, but Iago Aspas’ late equalizer clinched the spot in the Round of 16. Thanks to Iran’s draw against Portugal, Spain ended on the top of the Group B table, and the rival in the last 16 will be the hosts Russia, as Spain is a -190 favorite in this clash, according to BetDSI Sportsbook. In the Quarter-Finals, it could be Croatia or Denmark on the other side of the pitch, so it seems like an open road for the Red Fury, although Croatia showed some strong performance thus far.
Spain possesses plenty of talent in the middle of the park, while Diego Costa is an enormous threat at the front, but the defensive line could be an issue. However, if they manage to hold the things at the back, the Spaniards will certainly be the strongest candidate to beat the 2018 World Cup.
The Red Devils appear like a goalscoring machine with plenty of options in the final third, as Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku both are playing in a top form. Lukaku scored a couple of braces in the first two matches against Panama and Tunisia, taking exactly four shots on target in total on those two occasions. On the other side of the field, Belgium’s defense doesn’t look sturdy enough, allowing some dangerous opportunities in front of Thibaut Courtois who conceded two times in a convincing 5-2 victory over Tunisia.
Belgium will be a clear -250 favorite to beat Japan in the last 16, as the Red Devils are surely a far better team than Samurai Blue, but the potential rival in the Quarter-Final could be mighty Brazil.
Prior to the 2018 World Cup, the Three Lions were at +1600 to win the title in Russia. After strong displays against Panama and Tunisia, and a solid performance in a 1-0 loss to Belgium, the bookies set a much lower price on Three Lions. However, it is a kinda strange thing to favor a side who’s beaten two teams from B class of the world soccer, although England seems like a disciplined and well-organized side with some top-notch players among the squad.
England will face Colombia in the Round of 16 as a +105 favorite to win the clash, but it could be a tricky match for the Three Lions. If they manage to proceed to the last eight, the potential opponents are Sweden or Switzerland.
On a paper, the Blues are undoubtedly the heavyweight side with some exceptional individuals in each line of their team, but in three matches of the group phase, they didn’t look like a team capable of winning the World Cup Trophy. The Blues struggled to create chances in a 2-1 victory over the weakest side in the Group C Australia, while the 1-0 win against Peru was pretty unconvincing. A nil-nil draw with Denmark in the third game was another disappointment, although both sides needed one point to secure their places at the group table.
Considering what we have seen from the Blues thus far, I wouldn’t wager on them to beat the 2018 World Cup. The clash with Argentina will be the first proper test of France’s abilities, while Uruguay or Portugal lurks in the potential Quarter-Final, so the Blues have to improve as soon as possible. On the other hand, their defense looked very well in the group phase, and it could be a huge encouragement ahead of further matches.
The Blazers are certainly one of the pleasant surprises of the 2018 World Cup, as they cruised through the Group D in a tough competition with Argentina, Nigeria, and Iceland. Croatia has easily beaten Nigeria 2-0, thrashed Lionel Messi’s Argentina 3-0, and beaten Iceland 2-1 to record all three wins in the group stage. Croatia possesses a couple of world-class players in the middle of the park, as Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic are both extraordinary individuals playing in a great form at the moment. The defensive line looked surprisingly sturdy, and if Croatia continues with a strong defensive work, they could achieve something great in Russia.
Croatia is at -118 to beat Denmark in the Round of 16, while the potential clash with Spain in the Quarter-Finals should be a key moment for the Blazers, and with a reliable defense, they certainly stand a chance against the Red Fury.
The Dark Horses – Uruguay, Portugal, Argentina, Colombia
The defending vice-champion Argentina has managed to reach the knock-out phase with a narrow 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the final clash of the group stage, while they’ve completely disappointed with displays in a 1-1 draw with Iceland, and a 3-0 defeat against Croatia. Lionel Messi and co. doesn’t look like a united team with a clear plan in their play, so even if they eliminate France in the Round of 16 as +260 underdogs, I don’t see them beating the 2018 World Cup.
Uruguay is at +2200, while Portugal is at +2500 to win the title in Russia, and these two sides will face each other in the Round of 16, so that explains some great odds on La Celeste and Cristiano Ronaldo and co. Uruguay relies on a powerful defense, while at the front, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani are battling on their own, as Uruguay’s midfield is arguably one of the weakest at the 2018 World Cup. On the other side, Portugal somehow survived Iran in the Group B, and with a current form, they will have a difficult time in the match against La Celeste where Portugal is a slight +200 underdog.
Colombia is another sturdy side left in the competition, and Los Cafeteros are playing an exceptional defense, while at the front, they have Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez, and Juan Cuadrado to provide some scoring chances. They will meet England in the Round of 16 as +280 underdogs, while the potential rivals in the next round are Sweden or Switzerland which seems like a great match for Colombia. I would like to pick one more team here, and it is Mexico at +6600. El Tri had a couple of excellent games against Germany and South Korea, and the Mexicans are a hardworking team with tremendous pace, but they will have a mountain to climb against Brazil in the Round of 16.
My Pick: Belgium (+650)
Additional Pick: Spain (+400)