2018 World Cup Betting Preview for Day 7
Wednesday’s 2018 World Cup Betting action includes a pair of games from Group B, as both Portugal and Spain look to seize control of the group following their epic draw last week. Let’s take a closer look at all three games on the schedule.
2018 World Cup Betting Preview for Day 7
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) 19 de junio de 2018
Morocco vs. Portugal
Morocco has its back against the wall after a 95th-minute own goal caused them to lose their opener against Iran. On paper, they have their work cut out for them against Portugal, who is a -156 favorite. A Moroccan win is set at +485 with a draw listed at +277.
To be fair, the Atlas Lions dominated play throughout much of their game against Iran, despite their inability to finish in front of goal. Against Portugal, they may not have the luxury of enjoying 63% possession. They will also be facing a team that’s more apt to hurt them on the counterattack than Iran. That being said, Morocco has the talent to play toe-to-toe with Portugal at nearly every position. However, the Atlas Lions can’t squander scoring chances the way they did in their opener.
Portugal, meanwhile, will feel good about their draw against Spain. Of course, as a team, they weren’t all that impressive. Instead, they were saved by three goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, most notably his 88th-minute free kick.
Outside of Ronaldo, Portugal isn’t inherently better than Morocco, so they may need another superhuman performance from their star in order to secure three points.
Saudi Arabia vs. Uruguay
No team should be more embarrassed after their first game than Saudi Arabia, who lost to Russia 5-0. Thus, they have +1944 odds to beat Uruguay, who are the 2018 World Cup Betting favorites at -707. Even a draw has long odds at +726l
Despite allowing five goals against Russia, the Saudis enjoyed 59% possession. However, they could only turn that into six shots, none of which were on net. Against Uruguay, Saudi Arabia will likely have to drop deep and defend more frequently than they did against Russia, forcing them to be efficient the counterattack if they expect to score against the South Americans.
Uruguay, on the other hand, was fortunate to earn three points with a late goal against Egypt, and they’ll be looking to parlay that into more goals against Saudi Arabia. Despite being held off the scoresheet, striker Edinson Cavani looked sharp in the opener. Cavani had at least three shots that could have easily found the back of the net on another day.
The same can’t be said for his strike partner Luis Suarez, who had a dreadful performance against the stout Egyptian defense. But if Uruguay can get both Cavani and Suarez rolling, they could match or exceed the five goals Russia posted against Saudi Arabia.
Spain vs. Iran
Technically, Iran is the Group B leader heading into this game, but they are still +1994 to beat Spain, who is listed as -642 to take care of business against the Iranians.
La Roja will consider themselves quite unlucky to have been denied three points against Portugal after owning 62% of the possession. Spain goalie David De Gea made a rare error on Portugal’s second goal and then could do little on the other two goals, one on a penalty kick and the other on a set piece. Other than giving away free kicks at inopportune times, Spain should feel good about their performance in the opener, especially with striker Diego Costa contributing two goals.
Of course, Iran has proven that they are capable of sitting back and defending, as they show a willingness to defend for most of the game while occasionally surprising their opponent on the counterattack. That will no doubt be the game plan against Spain.
The Spaniards have the technical ability to slice through an organized back line, but they will have to be precise in their movements to find holes in the Iranian defense. If Iran can avoid giving away an early goal, this game could be more competitive than it looks on paper and the 2018 World Cup Betting lines.