World Cup Odds: Can Underdogs Switzerland & USA Advance?

Nila Amerova

Monday, June 30, 2014 3:23 PM GMT

On the last day of R16 action, Argentina take on Switzerland while Belgium come up against USA. Both Argentina and Belgium won their groups & look to maintain that undefeated run into the quarterfinals. Can Switzerland or USA surprise? We share our picks here.


Argentina vs. Switzerland
Argentina take on tournament value underdogs Switzerland in the R16. La Albiceleste are installed as the runaway favourites at -200 to win their match against Switzerland and they are tipped at firm -450 odds to reach the quarterfinals. Given the overwhelming vote of confidence, it’s hardly surprising that World Cup bettors are assuming Argentina are the smart bet. Two days into the R16, all favourites have advanced – Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Holland. Granted there was drama, the matches were not as straightforward as the odds suggested but, nonetheless, all has come to plan. With sportsbooks finally getting a handle over the finals, it’s convenient to simply fall in line.

The thing is, Argentina advanced through a relatively easy group by picking up maximum points, but it would be a gross misrepresentation to suggest their progress was convincing. There have been glaring defensive issues, and aside from Lionel Messi (the only player pulling his weight), the rest of Albiceleste’s shiny offensive baubles are doing nothing more than simply dangling about the field.

Argentina were tested by debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina and by tournament underdogs Iran, two sides that many thought they’d ride roughshod. In their final game against Nigeria, they were supposed to really light up. Instead they seemed to digress as they were pushed to the limit. The most concerning aspect about the 3-2 win was the conspicuous issues on defence Nigeria exposed, an extreme vulnerability to the counter attack.

This doesn’t mean that Argentina are ripe for the upset in the next round per se. They could have been saving energy for the knockouts, careful not to peak too early in the tournament. They have the quality and depth to perk up, but because they haven’t been playing particularly well up to this point, it does raise questions. Let’s not forget, Switzerland are a decent lot. They are ranked sixth in FIFA, which on paper means they are a side that could beat Argentina. Odds makers aren’t putting much stock in a Switzerland win at +650 odds, nor are they putting much stock in Switzerland to reach the quarterfinals at +333. However, if Argentina come out flat and lacklustre against the Swiss, they might pay the price.


World Cup Picks
Sportsbooks have been getting it right so far so it would seem backing Argentina is the way to go on your World Cup picks. Call us cautiously optimistic, but we quite fancy the Swiss to pull off the shocker. Beating Argentina isn’t going to be an easy feat, make no mistake we’re not taking it lightly. But if the Swiss can get on the board early, well they could work themselves into the advantage.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":304542, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]


Belgium vs. USA
Belgium have been a major talking point at the finals this year, seeing it is their so-called golden era in football. Frankly, though, they’ve not lived up to the hype despite reaching the R16 unscathed. Their group deposit left much to be desired: not a whole lot of offense given all the attacking potential on their bench. But, it should be pointed out that they did a lot of sensible defending.

USA, meanwhile, emerged out of the ‘Group of Death’ against all the odds, which should be a huge confidence boost ahead of the R16. Few would have predicted USA advancing in Portugal’s or Ghana’s stead. But that’s the American never-say-die attitude for you. There’s something in it, obviously. An intangible that is hard to quantify in the context of World Cup betting. Therefore, even if USA are listed as the quintessential underdogs (yet again) to beat Belgium at +320 and the +188 bet to reach the quarterfinals, surely backing an underdog that has upset the odds to get here is a good strategy to consider.


World Cup Picks
Belgium might have succumbed to nerves in the group stage, victims of high expectations. On one hand, it’s admirable that they’ve reached the knockouts with a perfect record in group action, tallying nine points. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that their victories were narrow, slim and unconvincing against one of the lightest fields in the competition. Put that against USA, a side that has shown dodged determination, grit and heart, and it doesn’t look so straightforward anymore. USA have punched above their weight class. They could do so again. If you agree, take our recommendation to back USA on your World Cup picks at +320 to win outright and at +188 to reach the quarters. 

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":304906, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]