Beware of False Hopes for Faves England & Croatia in Saturday Props

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 1:42 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 4, 2018 1:42 PM UTC

Bettors generally prefer favorites and the "over," but the correlated underdog and "under“ parlay looks promising in the Sweden-England and Russia-Croatia World Cup quarterfinal tilts Saturday.

<h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" title="Soccer Betting Forum">Saturday World Cup Props</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" title="Complete Game Odds">Sweden vs. England (10 a.m. ET)</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3391157, "sportsbooksIds":[43,1275,1389,999996,139], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>A statistic that has proven to be misleading is performance during qualifiers. Examples of this include the entire Germany team, which won all 10 qualifiers but only won a single group game, and Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, who led all goal scorers in qualifiers, but didn’t score at all in the World Cup. Another example is Swedish striker Marcus Berg, who led Sweden with eight goals during qualifiers, but has yet to score. After seeing his performance against a Switzerland squad without two of its most important defenders, I’m ready to relinquish hope in him. Berg looked out of place, failing to develop chemistry with his teammates, to show skillful technique, or to be a scoring threat in any way. Sweden’s one and only significant threat remains midfielder Emil Forsberg, who is responsible for Sweden’s only goal against Switzerland (granted, some may want to call it an own-goal against Switzerland, especially since the strike itself was off-balance and did not look too pretty).<br /><br />England doesn’t show much promise in attack, either. It has an inflated amount of goals because it played Panama and Tunisia. But England has only one goal against its other two opponents, Belgium and Colombia, and that goal was a penalty. Sweden has yet to concede a penalty and is an unlikely candidate to participate in a game as chippy and physical as the match between England and Colombia was. Besides Harry Kane from the penalty marker, England has been sorely disappointing in attack with Marcus Rashford failing to replicate his amazing goal in a June friendly against Costa Rica, Jesse Lingard looking out of sorts in the final third, Raheem Sterling showing poor form and losing the favor of his manager, and the list goes on.<br /><br />Sweden has a strong defense that plays intelligently. For instance, it showed knowledge of its last opponent’s best player — this being Xherdan Shaqiri — by keeping him off his favorite foot. Conversely, both teams show poor form in the attack. <a href="" title="World Cup Odds">You can bet on under two goals at +150</a>. Both squads look very even with ineptitude in the attack and strong defense characterizing the Swedes above all. So let’s say that the game is a coin-flip (50% chance that either team wins). There are three possible results (a 33% chance of hitting). If you lay -110 with Sweden draw or win (a k a the handicap +1), you will win with either a draw or Swedish victory, thus giving yourself a 66% chance of winning a coin-flip. In other words, Sweden is +400 to win and oddsmakers are giving them too little respect.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;What an amazing display, Team Sweden! Can you believe it, we're through to the World Cup quarter-finals after beating Switzerland 1-0! &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— (@swedense) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;July 3, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" title="Complete Game Odds">Russia vs. Croatia (2 p.m. ET)</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3391156, "sportsbooksIds":[43,1275,1389,999996,139], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]<br /><br />The whole world is calling for Russia’s tournament run to end after beating an unconvincing Spain side that had sacked its manager two days before the tournament began. However, I have a bad feeling about Croatia. Teams are not supposed to peak during the group stage. In the deeper stages of a tournament, they are supposed to get better. But Croatia struggled to slip past Denmark. They equalized because a Danish defender’s attempt at clearing the ball hit his teammate in the face and then landed in front of Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic. Ultimately, Croatia needed penalty kicks to survive and won, despite missing two penalty kicks.<br /><br />Russia’s defense was strong against Spain because it stayed organized. The Spaniards mustered 79% possession and 23 shots, but the only goal that they could achieve was a ridiculously lucky blind heel-fllck from a Russian defender who got tangled up with Spain's Sergio Ramos inside the box. Otherwise, the Spaniards couldn’t break down Russia’s defense. The Russians proved that discipline can overcome talent. They’ll benefit from the return of defender Igor Smolnikov, who had been suspended in the match against Spain due to accumulating too many yellow cards. Moreover, goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev is showing strong form which climaxed in his game-clinching performance during penalty kicks against Spain.<br /><br />Croatia is heading backwards in terms of form, while <a href="" title="Free Sports Picks">Russia, with the home crowd behind it, will continue riding its defense</a>, midfielder Denis Cheryshev and striker Artem Dzyuba, both of whom have three goals. Cheryshev provides lethal playmaking ability with his pace and creativity while Dzyuba is a threat in the air and generally with his size. Expect the underdogs to keep up with Croatia. You can bet on Russia or draw at -143. <a href=";book=Bet365" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Bet365</a> also offers draw no bet at +150 — which means that you win if Russia wins in regulation, you neither win nor lose if both teams are tied after 90 minutes plus stoppage time, and lose if Russia loses in regulation. In anticipation of another low-scoring affair, you can bet on under two goals at +150 while Croatia under 1.5 goals looks promising but is too chalky for me.</p><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href=";book=worldcup-picks">Check Out SBR's World Cup Page</a></h2>
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