2018 World Cup Betting Preview Day 9

Posted by Derrick Harper on June 21, 2018 in

Friday promises to be a fascinating day in the 2018 World Cup Betting action. Iceland will give us their encore following their historic draw against Argentina last weekend. Meanwhile, Brazil will look to respond after their disappointing opener. Let’s take a closer look at the three games on Friday’s schedule.

2018 World Cup Betting Preview Day 9

Brazil vs. Costa Rica

  • Time (Local): 3:00 p.m.
  • Where: Saint Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg
  • 2018 World Cup Betting Odds: Brazil -475 / Costa Rica +1519 / Draw +520

Brazil’s draw against Switzerland in their opening match has had little impact on their status as favorites against Costa Rica. A Brazilian win is listed at -535, while a win by the Ticos is set at +1695. Even a draw has long odds at +579.

Of course, the Ticos do present an interesting challenge for Brazil. Costa Rica has become known for playing five defensive players on their back line and staying organized throughout the game, hoping that opportunities will present themselves on the counterattack. Even for a team like Brazil, that’s loaded with technically brilliant players, the Costa Rican defense could prove difficult to crack. A scoreless draw is not out of the question in this game unless Brazil can create a magical moment.

Despite losing their opener to Serbia, Costa Rica would likely be satisfied with a draw against mighty Brazil. A loss could knock Costa Rica out of contention, but a draw keeps them alive heading into their final game. Of course, Brazil will not feel the same way. Anything short of a win would be considered a disaster from Brazil’s point of view.

Nigeria vs. Iceland

  • Time (Local): 3:00 p.m.
  • Where: Saint Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg
  • 2018 World Cup Betting Odds: Brazil -475 / Costa Rica +1519 / Draw +520

Coming off their shocking draw with Argentina in the first game of Group B, Iceland is actually a slight +166 favorite to beat Nigeria, who are listed at +188. Of course, a draw between the two sides also has near-equal odds at +207.

Nigeria has one of the youngest teams in the tournament, and they saw their speed and athleticism completely neutralized by a more experienced Croatian squad in their opening match. Unfortunately, Croatia provided Iceland with the perfect blueprint for keeping Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa, and company under wraps for 90 minutes. Iceland, despite holding their breath during a few close calls, stayed defensively stout against Argentina and should be capable of doing the same against Nigeria.

Nigeria is the 2018 World Cup Betting underdog against Iceland.

Of course, if Iceland hopes to advance, they will need to win at least one of their next two games, so it’ll be interesting to see if they attempt to push forward more against Nigeria. On the other hand, the Super Eagles can’t afford a second loss, so they will have to press high and possibly leave themselves vulnerable on the back end as they make a strong push to score goals and secure three points.

Serbia vs. Switzerland

  • Time (Local): 8:00 p.m.
  • Where: Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad
  • 2018 World Cup Betting Odds: Serbia +165 / Switzerland +194 / Draw +203

This is another matchup with near-even betting lines. A Serbia win is listed at +173 while a Switzerland win is set at +185. Meanwhile, a draw between two sides that both won their opener is listed at +202.

Serbia and Switzerland tend to have similarities when it comes to their tactics. Both teams are more apt to shore things up defensively before they worry about committing bodies forward on the attack. That doesn’t mean these teams are incapable of scoring goals. However, it should be noted that both Switzerland and Serbia have better playmakers than they do pure finishers, so scoring will no doubt be at a premium in this game.

After winning their opener, Serbia may be more willing to settle for a draw. However, they must remember that Brazil looms in their final group game, so this could be their last opportunity to take three points from a game. Switzerland, meanwhile, will also want to push for the win knowing that nothing is guaranteed in their final match against Costa Rica.