The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is now entering the next phase, with half of the 32 original nations already on their way home and the remaining 16 now set for a knockout stage fight to the death.
This edition of the World Cup has already seen a number of shocking results, and a number of the teams left in the competition are not countries you’d expect to have made it this far, and that means that some of your World Cup betting predictions may not have played out as you might have wished.
The good news is that there is still time to beat the World Cup odds and achieve that mythical beast, a big payout. Now is the time to refocus your efforts as the tournament sets off on the unpredictable journey through the knockout phase.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Round of 16 clashes in order of importance and interest.
England vs Senegal
Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions advanced to the last 16 with relative ease and can be confident of progress even though they are facing a potentially tricky opponent in the form of Senegal.
England have held firm at the back, conceding just one goal from open play in their three matches thus far, and they’ve been very effective up front, scoring nine goals (no nation has scored more) and in the midfield, Southgate has seen Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham make a real impact at the highest level.
As for potential bets, we are very tempted by the price boost offered by BoyleSports, which offers you 10/1 on Marcus Rashford scoring two or more goals. Similarly enticing is the 7//2 they offer on England to win and BTTS (both teams of score).
Verdict: ENGLAND to advance
Brazil vs South Korea
Tite’s Brazil side started the competition as the World Cup favourites, and though they slipped to a surprise defeat against Cameroon, they are still very much leading the pack and will be glad to have Neymar back for this Round of 16 match.
The PSG man missed the last two matches through injury but is expected to return against a South Korea side that edged into the last 16 by virtue of having scored more goals than Uruguay in the group stage.
Brazil have plenty of strength in depth and should easily get past the hard-working South Koreans, and we’d imagine they’d do so without conceding.
Grosvenor Sports offers 22/5 on a double of Brazil winning and Neymar netting first, which is a bet we’d gleefully grab with both hands.
Verdict: BRAZIL to win comfortably
Argentina vs Australia
This is Lionel Messi’s last chance to secure a World Cup crown to add to his many other accolades, and a last-16 encounter with Australia may well leave the PSG man licking his lips, and any World Cup betting enthusiasts would do well to place a bet on the Argentine to finish as the top-scorer in the tournament before this game kicks-off.
BoyleSports have Messi as the second favourite in the Golden Boot race, and 6/1 is worth your attention.
The Aussies won two of their three group-stage matches and have already surpassed expectations, and the chances of Graham Arnold’s side going any further are very slim indeed, and they may well find themselves on the receiving end of a thrashing.
Luckland is offering 13/1 on Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick, and we think those odds are well worth a punt.
Verdict: ARGENTINA to thump Australia
Netherlands vs United States
The Netherlands were many football fans outside bet for the World Cup, and they made light work of their group stage schedule, albeit they didn’t have a particularly challenging set of fixtures.
Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk has helped keep things tight at the back, hence the Dutch conceding just one goal thus far, and going forward, Cody Gakpo has impressed, and they will be confident of making it to the last eight.
However, we have a sneaking suspicion that the United States may just pull off something of an upset. Arsenal back-up keeper Matt Turner has only conceded one goal thus far, and that came via the penalty spot and Greg Berhalter’s team are well drilled and have the capability of upsetting the odds.
BoyleSports are offering 3/1 on the US progressing; take that bet!
Verdict: UNITED STATES to cause a major upset.
France vs Poland
Didier Deschamps is looking to secure back-to-back World Cup triumphs, and he’ll be very confident of his French side easing past an average Poland side in this Round of 16 match.
Kylian Mbappe has been in sensational form thus far and is sure to have too much for the Polish defence, and we don’t see there being any issues for Les Bleus from this uneven contest.
Verdict: FRANCE to ease past the Poles
Portugal vs Switzerland
Cristiano Ronaldo may be without a club at the moment, but he is certainly not letting uncertainty over his future upset his dreams of a World Cup crown. The Portuguese forward became the first player to score in five World Cup finals tournaments when he netted against Ghana, and he isn’t done.
The Swiss aren’t the toughest of opponents for Fernando Santos’s side, and we like the 14/1 offered by Grosvenor Sports on Cristiano Ronaldo scoring at least twice and Portugal progressing.
Verdict: PORTUGAL to have too much for the Swiss
Spain vs Morocco
Luis Enrique’s side came into the tournament with something to prove after poor displays in previous World Cup tournaments, and they started with a bang as they thrashed Costa Rica 7-0. They then drew with Germany and lost to Japan, so their expectations may have tempered somewhat.
Conversely, Morocco is riding a wave, having finished top of a group that included both Belgium and Croatia. This match may prove, however, to be a step too far, and we feel that Spain will emerge victorious.
BoyleSports offer 15/4 on Spain winning and Alvaro Morata scoring first, and the Atletico Madrid man has netted in all three games thus far, making this bet a fairly safe double.
Verdict: SPAIN to win but not at a canter
Japan vs Croatia
Japan eliminated Germany from Group E when Ao Tanaka scored a controversial winner against Spain, with some debating that the cross for his goal came when the ball was out of play.
The Japanese finished top of their group and will be on a high while Zlatko Dalic’s Croatia somewhat limped into the knockout stage, and that’s one of the reasons we feel that they may be heading out.
You can get 11/4 on Japan winning the game and a nice 11/2 on them scoring in both halves, both from BoyleSports.
Verdict: JAPAN to march on