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Update, Preview and Best Bets – FIFA World Cup

Mon, Jul 2, 11:39am by Staff Writer

Host nation Russia produced one of the upsets of the tournament defeating World Cup fancies Spain in penalties overnight. They are now $21 to win the World Cup at Sportsbet.

The Russians held their nerve from the penalty spot in a tense shootout after scores were tied at 1-all after extra time.

A Sergei Ignashevich own goal in the 12th minute was cancelled out by an Artem Dzyuba penalty for an inexplicable handball by Sergio Ramos just before half-time.

Spain appeared to be in second-gear for much of the match and looked lethargic, with the 2010 champions bowing out at the round of 16.

In last night’s other match, Croatia needed a penalty shootout to get past Denmark in Nizhny Novgorod.

Goals in the first and fourth minutes of the match cancelled each other out, with a Luka Modric penalty in the 116th minute cancelled out by Danish keeper Kasper Schmeichel.

It was all to no avail for the Danes however as Nicolai Joergensen missed the final penalty of the shootout to send Croatia through to the quarterfinals. They are $7 to win the World Cup.

The two quarter finals tonight feature two heavy favourites.

Brazil are $1.48 favourites to end the tournament of Mexico who are $6.50 outsiders for their clash in Samara. The draw is paying $4.40.

Mexico will be looking to end a rotten run of luck in the knockout stages of the World Cup, with the side exiting at the round of 16 for six consecutive World Cups.

Brazil has reached the last eight of the past six World Cup’s and are $4.50 to win the World Cup, equal favourites with France.

This will be the 41st meeting between the two teams, with Brazil winning 23 of those matches.

Mexico has not defeated Brazil at the World Cup in their previous four encounters, losing three of them and not scoring a goal.

The last time Brazil didn’t make it to the quarterfinals of the World Cup was in 1990 and with history on their side and against Mexico, it is hard to make a case for anything but a Brazil win.

With the knockout round being unpredictable, one thing is for sure when Brazil plays and that is goals. Backing over 3.5 goals at $3.20 is the play in this one, with over 2.5 goals at $1.85 also worthy of consideration.

In tonight’s other game, Belgium face Japan in Rostov as $1.36 favourites. Japan are $9 outsiders. The draw is paying $4.75 at Sportsbet.

Belgium was undefeated in group play after defeating England 1-0 to top group G.

Japan used a first-up win against Colombia to charge towards the knockout stages, but will be up against it if they hope to defeat Belgium.

These teams have met five times before, with Belgium only winning one of those matches, which came in 2017 thanks to a Romelu Lukaku goal.

The striker has scored 23 goals in 20 appearances for his nation under Roberto Martinez, scoring four goals from four shots on target in Russia.

Belgium is undefeated in its last 22 games and it is hard to see the Blue Samurai inflicting their first defeat since September 2016 tonight.

A Belgium 1-0 ($6.50) or 2-0 ($6) in the correct score market are two value plays, with under 2.5 goals are $1.85 another worth considering at Sportsbet.

FIFA World Cup Round of 16 Match Odds – Sportsbet

Brazil $1.48 Draw $4.40 Mexico $6.50

Belgium $1.36 Draw $4.75 Japan $9

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