It's all coming to a head in Group E as Costa Rica, Spain & South Korea attempt to join section leaders Brazil in knockouts. Here is a preview of Wednesday's matchups, complete with soccer picks.
Costa Rica +900 vs. Brazil -400; Draw +500
Costa Rica look to book their spot in the knockouts at the expense of Group E leaders Brazil on Wednesday night as group action at the world finals comes to a conclusion. Costa Rica began their campaign brightly with an improbable 1-1 draw against a highly fancied Spain, showing great fortitude and resilience by answering back almost immediately after Spain took the lead.
In round 2, Las Ticas went ahead first but an inopportune penalty allowed South Korea to level the score less than five minutes later. The penalty proved more costly though as Las Ticas momentary lapse in discipline allowed South Korea to take the lead four minutes later. However, they scored the last-gasp equaliser in the 89th minute to salvage their World Cup campaign.
As it is, Las Ticas are in second place with just two points, a point ahead of both Spain and South Korea. At the moment, they are in an enviable position. But they are set to face the group's standard Brazil in round 3, which is going to be a tough ask as reflected on the World Cup oods board. Costa Rica are priced as the whopping +900 underdogs while Brazil are matched at -400 to win outright.
Few soccer bettors are going to bet against Brazil in this game. Based on their form in this competition, they are a team to contend with and they are in the lead after winning both games. Costa Rica also knows that a draw, which is trading at +500, might not cut it because a win by either Spain or South Korea in the section's other match would all but send Las Ticas home.
The sentimental soccer pick is Costa Rica to defy the soccer odds and serve up a right shocker at the expense of Brazil. Unfortunately, Brazil haven't shown any signs of letting up, making it impossible to recommend a soccer pick against them. Costa Rica won't be pushovers, but Brazil to win and the OVER 2.5 on the totals at -154 are our recommended soccer picks.
Soccer Picks: Brazil at -400 and Over 2.5 at -154
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Spain -120 vs. South Korea +320
Spain's debut campaign at the world finals leaves much to be desired after an opening draw to Costa Rica and a loss to Brazil. Surprisingly, they still have a shot to advance into the knockouts. Win this game and they are through to the last 16, thereby salvaging their world finals bid that began with a lot of promise and expectations.
The South Koreans won't be pushovers as they too have a stake in this game. Tied with Spain in third place and on a point, a win by South Korea would see them leap frog into second place and into the knockouts. Just like Spain, the South Koreans fell victim to the plucky Costa Ricans and lost to Brazil.
Very little separates these two sides in terms of their bid at these world finals, making the rather lopsided soccer betting line on this game look overly biased towards Spain for no good reason. It's a tossup in our books, but we're going with Spain to win at -120.
Soccer Picks: Spain -120