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Jun 24, 2018

Matchday 12 - Best Bets

World Cup Betting Results

World Cup: Matchday 12 Betting Preview

Monay, June 25

Group A Table & Results

Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt (FS1, 10:00 a.m. ET)

Monday heralds the end of the glorious period of the World Cup where there are three games at different times of the day. This is the final round of group games, where both matches in each group happen simultaneously to prevent two teams from having an advantage by playing second.

First off we have the tournament’s first dead rubber as Egypt face Saudi Arabia, and there will be no tears from most neutrals to see these two sides heading home early. Saudi Arabia looked way out of their depth in a 5-0 defeat to Russia before a slight improvement in a 1-0 defeat to Uruguay.

Egypt, meanwhile, needed to beat Russia after losing to Uruguay but turned in another hopeless performance, losing 3-1.

It would be no surprise if this was one of the worst games of the tournament. Neither team are set up to play in the carefree way that dead rubbers sometimes encourage. It is impossible to make a case for Egypt at odds-on quotes of 17/20, while Saudi Arabia are so blunt in front of goal that 15/4 does not appeal either.

Prediction: Saudi Arabia 0-0 Egypt
Top Bet: Draw at 13/5


Uruguay vs. Russia (FOX, 10:00 a.m. ET)

[...]s are rating Uruguay and Russia much closer than they were before the tournament after two excellent, bold performances from the unfancied hosts. They are the tournament’s joint highest scorers with eight goals after easily seeing off Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Before the tournamen there was talk of Uruguay being bolder, but they have turned in two rather flat 1-0 wins. Perhaps Oscar Tabárez is reverting to type and encouraging more caution from his side.

This remains one of if not the best defences in the tournament, and these two games have shown that Uruguay are better suited to must-not-lose knockout football than to smashing also-rans in the group stage.

Nonetheless, the stakes are high for Uruguay to win as a defeat would mean a likely meeting with Spain in the last 16. They have enough in their side to score at least once. In that impenetrable defence, Russia are meeting a far stronger opponent than before. Uruguay look value to nick this and win Group A.

Prediction: Uruguay 2-0 Russia
Top Bet: Uruguay at 13/8


Group B Table & Results

Iran vs. Portugal (FOX, 2:00 p.m. ET)

Assuming Spain beat Morocco, this is the big decider in Group B. Iran must beat Portugal to qualify. Portugal only need a draw. Iran are 5/1 to achieve a famous victory, with Portugal 7/10 and the draw 11/4.

Portugal are doing what they have done so well over the last few years in tournament football, picking up narrow wins over weaker teams and stalemates with everyone else.

This looks like the perfect chance for them to pick up the former - a narrow win. Carlos Queiroz’s Iran conceded just two goals in qualification, and though they faced inferior competition compared to what Portugal will provide, they were able to put up a fight against Spain as they lost 1-0, also keeping a clean sheet in their win over Morocco.

With Cristiano Ronaldo on fire at the moment with four goals at the tournament already, Portugal have enough going forward to breach Iran’s stubborn backline. The 7/10 available on Portugal looks good value despite Iran’s plucky showing thus far.

Iran have proved themselves worthy of a place in Russia, but this match may be one step too far for them.

Prediction: Iran 0-2 Portugal
Top Bet: Portugal to win to nil at 6/4


Spain vs. Morocco (FS1, 2:00 p.m. ET)

Spain need to get a better result against Morocco than Portugal do against Iran to win their group. There are still some unlikely circumstances which would see Fernando Hierro’s team eliminated after this game - for example a defeat combined with a draw between Iran and Portugal.

However should Uruguay fail to beat Russia earlier on in the day, a second place finish might not be such a bad thing for Spain, as they would face Russia in the round of 16. In this match they are fortunate to be playing a Morocco side that are already out of the World Cup after two 1-0 defeats. They were very disappointing against Iran, starting well before the match disintegrated into a tedious mess of a second half. Against Portugal they conceded early, but gave it a very good go. However finishing and final balls have let down Herve Renard’s team.

It is hard to look good against a team as defensive as Iran, but Spain were deserving of their narrow win, which followed one of the best displays of the tournament so far in a 3-3 draw with Portugal.

Despite some dodgy results, they have been one of the most impressive teams at the World Cup so far. They should have few problems here.

Prediction: Spain 2-0 Morocco
Top Bet: Spain -1.5 at 5/4


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