Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

Rd 16 - Tuesday's Best Bets

Round of 16 Matchups | World Cup Betting Results

World Cup: Round of 16 Preview - Day 4

Sweden vs. Switzerland (FOX, 10:00 a.m. ET)

This half of the World Cup draw has opened out spectacularly. One of Croatia, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, England and Colombia will make the final. Other than Sweden (1958) and England (1966), none have ever played in the World Cup final before.

The stakes are huge for Sweden and Switzerland, who face off in Tuesday’s opening match. Sweden are 40/1 to win the World Cup with Switzerland 33/1, and it is Switzerland who are narrow 17/10 favourites with Sweden 21/10.

The draw looks a very strong runner here at 2/1. These games are now so important for the more minor nations that nerves will take over and managers and players will adopt more defensive systems.

This was particularly evident in the Croatia v Denmark game. There were two goals in the first four minutes before none in the next 116 as the game petered out into a nervy draw. The last 16 started with a crazy 4-3 between France and Argentina but things have become much tighter.

Switzerland deserve their slight favouritism. They have more spark going forward, but it would take a brave man to take on Sweden after they spectacularly rose to the challenge of beating Mexico in their final group game.

Sweden have kept clean sheets in four of their last five, with the exception against Germany. Switzerland, meanwhile, managed to keep Brazil out despite mounting pressure in their opening 1-1 draw. The second 0-0 of the World Cup at 5/1 looks reasonably likely here, but a safer option would simply be to back the draw in a match between two even sides.

Prediction: Sweden 1-1 Switzerland
Top Bet: Draw at 2/1

Colombia vs. England (FOX, 2:00 p.m. ET)

Colombia and England are gripped with World Cup fever as the group stage combined with Sunday’s results opened the draw out to give them a fantastic chance of at least reaching a World Cup final.

England are somehow 11/2 to win the World Cup with Colombia 18/1, and England are reasonably strong favourites to prevail in Moscow at 11/10. Colombia are 31/10 with the draw 9/4. In the “To Qualify” market Colombia are 6/4 with England 1/2.

England have undoubtedly played some fine football at this World Cup, beating Tunisia 2-1 (and deserving more) before despatching Panama 6-1. The 1-0 defeat to Belgium can be largely discounted from your considerations given the weakened XI both sides played.

But for me there simply is not enough evidence to make England such strong favourites.

They deserve favouritism, especially if Colombia’s talisman James Rodriguez is injured or only semi-fit.

But Colombia’s group stage performances deserve a lot of credit. They lost to Japan but had 10 men for all but the first five minutes, before thrashing Poland with an excellent display of attacking football. They were then more workmanlike against Senegal but still got the job done.

Juan Fernando Quintero has been one of the tournament’s breakout stars. He can spot a pass better than any English player. In Falcao and Juan Cuadrado Colombia have two talented players with a point to prove after both failed in their brief stints in the Premier League.

England, of course, have a razor-sharp attack and one of the best forwards in the world in Harry Kane.

But I cannot have them at 11/10. This could be a lot more even than [...]s expect, and Colombia are the value.

Prediction: Colombia 2-1 England
Top Bet: Colombia at 31/10

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