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FIFA World Cup: June 29: Update, Preview and Best Bets

Fri, Jun 29, 1:27pm by Staff Writer

Belgium defeated England 1-0 to top group G and remain undefeated during the World Cup.

Tunisia managed to grab a win against World Cup debutants Panama 2-1.

In group H, Poland snared a win against Japan by a 1-0 scoreline, but were eliminated from knockout round contention after losing their first two matches.

Colombia did enough to beat Senegal, winning 1-0 and securing a spot in the round of 16.

The round of 16 begins this weekend with four matches across two nights.

Group C winners France take on Argentina in Kazan, with Les Bleus $2.36 favourites at Sportsbet. Argentina are $3.40 outsiders and the draw is paying $3.

Argentina was less than impressive in group play, managing only one win from three matches, and that was in the dying moments against Nigeria to assure their progression.

The mercurial Lionel Messi has only managed one goal this tournament, with the team’s 3-0 loss against Croatia highlighting that this certainly is not a vintage Argentinian side.

France did enough to top group C without being spectacular. A scratchy win against Australia was followed by a win against Peru and a bore draw against Denmark.

Many of these knockout matches will be defensive matches, with teams hesitant to push too many players in front of the ball for fear they will be scored against on the counter.

Under 1.5 goals at $2.44 is the play in a match that could go to extra time.

Group A winners Uruguay and group B runners up Portugal play in Sochi in one of the highlight matches of the knockout stages.

Uruguay are narrow favourites at $2.72, with Portugal $2.94 outsiders. The draw is paying $2.90.

Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo has scored four goals already this tournament and will be his sides main avenue to goal.

Uruguay has two strike threats in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, both of whom have scored this tournament.

Very little splits this two sides, but based on group play, Portugal should just edge this contest and deserve to be favourites, so back them to win at $2.94.

Hosts Russia have a difficult task ahead of them if they hope to make the quarter finals as they take on one of the tournament favourites Spain.

Spain are $1.60 favourites for the match, with Russia $6.20 outsiders. The draw is paying $3.85.

All three of Russia’s group games have totalled over 2.5 goals, which makes that bet in this match a worthwhile one, given Spain’s attacking power.

Spain have scored five goals this tournament, but needed an injury time goal to see off the bottom of the group Morocco in the last group game.

Russia were a revelation in their opening game, but faltered badly against Uruguay, showing that they are certainly punching about their weight.

This should be a regulation win for Spain and taking the over 2.5 goals at $2.04 is worth a shout.

The final of the weekend’s matches features Croatia and Denmark, who will meet in Nizhny Novgorod.

Croatia has won all three of its matches this tournament to finish on nine points and atop group D.

Denmark defeated Peru and drew with Australia and France to progress to the knockout rounds.

Croatia are $1.86 favourites to win, with Denmark $5 outsiders. The draw is paying $3.25.

Croatia should be too good for the Danes in this one, although the past five matches between the sides have featured two wins apiece and a draw.

If Croatia stops Christian Eriksen, then they will stop Denmark and they should be able to handle the gifted Tottenham man.

Croatia are $1.86 are the best value bet of the weekend at Sportsbet.

FIFA World Cup Round of 16 Match Odds – Sportsbet

France $2.36 Draw $3 Argentina $3.40

Uruguay $2.72 Draw $2.90 Portugal $2.94

Spain $1.60 Draw $3.85 Russia $6.20

Croatia $1.87 Draw $3.25 Denmark $5

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