Odds to reach quarterfinals
Brazil and Chile get the R16 underway this weekend, with the hosts fancied to win outright at the expense of Chile, a side that is proving to be a revelation at these finals. Indeed, the South American underdogs could put the heat on. Last week, after the first round of group play, Chile were listed at +350 to reach the quarterfinals. If you can believe, they were on larger odds than Spain (at +275), despite La Furia Roja’s humiliating defeat to Holland. Chile quickly sorted markets out with a 2-0 win over Spain and moved into a position to potentially win the group in their final match against Holland. They failed at that hurdle, earning a date with Brazil in the R16. However, interesting enough, their odds to reach the quarterfinals have been trimmed down to +300. Put against Brazil, the whopping favourites at -400 to advance, Chile would appear to be a long shot World Cup pick to upset the odds. Yet, Brazil weren’t so convincing in the group stage, made to work harder than they should have been, which was down to a combination of a) the field rising to the challenge, and b) inherent issues within the Brazil litter. Are they really as good as they sum of their individual parts suggests? If you like what you’ve seen from Chile, don’t ignore their potential to surprise in this competition at tempting +300 odds to advance into the quarters.
World Cup Picks: Brazil should win but Chile could mastermind the upset, so chance the upstarts to advance into the quarters at +300 if you are an eternal optimist. Just don’t go betting the farm on this one.
Two more South American teams battling to reach the quarters
Colombia and Uruguay feature in the second match of the day’s card, following Brazil and Chile. Their upcoming showdown has been slightly marred by the Suarez incident, which has been a main talking point over the last few days. FIFA has finally delivered its verdict, suspending Suarez for the remainder of the finals. The crux of the matter: Uruguay are without Suarez now – a fact that has seen them drift from +280 to +320 to win their match. Their somewhat topsy-turvy group account set their World Cup odds to win outright adrift, from +2500 to +4000, where they’ve anchored for the time being. As well – and this is the most revealing – they’ve seemingly fallen out favour in World Cup betting circles. Partly down to the backlash from Suarez-haters appalled by his behaviour. Mostly, though, there is an ingrained belief that Uruguay sans Suarez lacks punch, a fact nowhere more so evinced than by their victory over England in the second round, which featured a healthy, teething Suarez back in the line-up and scoring both goals to lift Uruguay back into World Cup contention.
Suarez is a world-class striker, a goal-scorer that raises the profile of any team in a matchup. However, with or without Suarez, there’s a lot to recommend Uruguay on your World Cup picks. Avid followers of the beautiful game will recall Diego Forlan was the best player in 2010 World Cup. Edinson Cavani is a sought after striker that could light up and Atletico Madrid’s Godin could threaten as well. The burden of carrying this team will fall onto each and every shoulder on the pitch, all of whom maybe feeling slightly maligned by Suarez’s actions, if not disappointed by him entirely. If they lose, won’t it prove they’re only as good as he is on any given day. That can’t possibly sit well with them.
Odds makers have reacted, tipping Colombia as the favourites at -200 to advance into the quarterfinals while listing Uruguay at +163. Over and above the aforementioned Suarez fiasco that has wittingly subdued Uruguay’s odds in World Cup betting markets. Another two aspects/facts make us wonder whether this is a true evaluation of the merit of both teams because a) Uruguay have the healthy head-to-head edge over Colombia, and b) Colombia emerged out of a relatively straightforward group, a group that proved easily negotiable and made instant World Cup stars out of James Rodriguez, Teofilo Gutierrez, Juan Cuadrado and Camilo Vargas, to name a few. Taking it to Greece, Japan and Ivory Coast is one thing, but it’s another to take it to a South American nemesis. Fact is we are yet to get a real sense of the measure of Colombia. So how can they merit such favourable odds?
World Cup Picks: Uruguay to show backbone. Uruguay to advance into the quarterfinals at +163