Matchday 8 – Best Bets

World Cup Betting Results

World Cup: Matchday 8 Betting Preview

Thursday, June 21

Group C Table & Results

Denmark vs. Australia (FS1, 8:00 a.m. ET)

Denmark and Australia achieved opposite results in round one, with Denmark crucially edging past Peru while Australia lost 2-1 to France.

But although three points separate the two sides, there is little gap in true quality between them.

Australia were really excellent against France: the goals they conceded came from the penalty spot and from a very unfortunate own goal. Otherwise, Bert van Marwijk’s side looked organised, competitive and bold. This group may be closer than many thought.

Although Denmark beat Peru, any honest observer of the match would say that Peru were the better team. They missed a penalty right before half-time and their second half was defined by a mixture of bad luck and loss of nerve in front of goal.

Denmark kept their shape reasonably well, but the idea that this is a limited side was not shaken off.

Australia will likely be a bit more attacking here, but bookies are still predicting a low-scorer. Denmark are not the kind of team designed to break down a packed defence, and Australia could get their first point of the competition.

Prediction: Denmark 1-1 Australia
Top Bet: Draw at 5/2

France vs. Peru (FOX, 11:00 a.m. ET)

Peru’s opening match against Denmark was the classic case of a “must-not-lose”. And they lost. Now Ricardo Gareca’s side need a result against France - and very ikely a win - to progress to the last 16 of their first World Cup since 1982.

But as mentioned above, they played excellently for long periods and have enough guile in attack to cause France numerous problems.

France looked horribly disjointed against Australia. Their midfield trio of Kante, Pogba and Tollisso was as unbalanced as predicted, and they sorely lacked the presence of a focal point up front in Olivier Giroud.

It is likely that Didier Deschamps will shuffle his attacking trio with Giroud and perhaps a crosser in Thomas Lemar to come in.

But just five days is not likely to be enough time to coax some cohesion into a side. Before the Denmark game, Peru had not lost any of their last 15 internationals, and the stakes could not be higher for them.

This looked like an easy group for France. It could turn very sour here with a shock defeat to Peru.

Prediction: France 1-2 Peru
Top Bet: Peru at 6/1

Group D Table & Results

Argentina vs. Croatia (FOX, 2:00 p.m. ET)

Group C has shaped up fascinatingly after the opening round of games.

Croatia top the section after a 2-0 win over Nigeria, but the match - one of the least enjoyable at this World Cup - was far more notable for a dismal display from the Nigerians than for any Croatian flair. Croatia were laboured going forward, and their three-pronged attack of Rebic, Kramaric and Mandzukic did not work at all.

Now the Balkan side have been rocked by the news that striker Nikola Kalinic has been sent home after refusing to come off the bench against Nigeria.

Argentina started their game against Iceland very well, with Sergio Aguero netting an excellent opener, but a predictably plucky Iceland quickly hit back. After that, Argentina had chances - most notably Lionel Messi’s penalty miss - but so did Iceland.

And if Iceland can create chances against Argentina’s hapless defence, you can get your bottom dollar that Croatia will too with their midfield creativity in Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

This is a crucial game. Argentina cannot afford to lose. Both teams are naturally inclined to attack. It could be one of the higher scoring games at the World Cup.

Prediction: Argentina 2-2 Croatia
Top Bet: Over 2.5 goals at 23/20