Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM
Day 1 Quarters - Best Bets
Quarterfinal Matchups | Betting Odds | World Cup Betting Results
World Cup: Quarterfinal Preview - Day 1
Uruguay vs. France (FS1, 10:00 a.m. ET)
Kylian Mbappé produced the performance of the tournament so far as a rampant France ended Argentina and Lionel Messi’s hopes of winning the World Cup. The match ended 4-3 as France constantly tore through Argentina’s open defence with Mbappé’s pace and movement proving key.
France’s odds to win the World Cup tumbled. They had drifted to 8/1 to win it after an unconvincing group stage but are now in at 4/1.
However they face a very different - and arguably much tougher - test in the quarter-finals as they meet a Uruguay team who seem to be hitting form at the perfect time.
Oscar Tabárez’s men showed all the qualities they have become admired for in their 2-1 win over Portugal. They were fantastically well-organised and fought for every ball, while Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani combined wonderfully up front with Cavani bagging both goals.
The big worry for Uruguay here is whether Cavani will be fit enough to start. He, rather than Suarez, has emerged as their key man in Russia, and they would be severely weakened if he is absent. But Uruguay still burst with value, as they have done all tournament. It is easy to pass over France at 4/1. They struggled to break down massed defences in the group stage, and Argentina are a team against whom it is very easy to look good.
Uruguay have the best defence at the World Cup along with Brazil. They are a nightmare to go behind against and they have vastly improved their discipline, only picking up one yellow card so far. They are the perfect tournament team, and once again they look underrated to win the match at 18/5.
The best bet, however, would be to back them to qualify at 13/8 - a big price in a two-runner race.
Prediction: Uruguay 1-1 France (Uruguay win on penalties)
Top Bet: Uruguay to qualify at 13/8
Brazil vs. Belgium (FS1, 2:00 p.m. ET)
This promises to be the highest quality match of the World Cup so far as the 11/4 favourites Brazil meet the 6/1 joint fourth favourites Belgium meet in Kazan.
Brazil have been the best team at this tournament so far, despite never blowing a team away. They were unfortunate to only draw 1-1 with Switzerland in their first game, but three consecutive 2-0 wins against progressively better teams in Costa Rica, Serbia and Mexico promises much.
Belgium have scored more goals than any other team at this World Cup, but they were on the end of an almighty scare in the last 16 as they turned around a 2-0 deficit against unfancied Japan.
That match may be what Belgium needed after a very easy group stage, and they certainly have the tools to run Brazil very close.
But as this tournament progresses, Tite’s Brazil look the team to beat. While Neymar’s antics off the ball have grabbed the headlines, he has been playing better and better in recent games. Philippe Coutinho has been outstanding all tournament while Willian stole the show in the second half against Mexico.
Belgium’s wing-backs are their weak point, and it is easy to see Thomas Meunier and Yannick Carrasco getting overrun by Brazil’s width.
More importantly at this stage of the tournament, perhaps, is that Brazil have conceded just six goals in 25 games under Tite. The pairing of Miranda and Thiago Silva is working extremely well, while Fagner adds much needed solidity with Marcelo bombing up and down from left-back.
This is Brazil’s biggest test since the famous 7-1 defeat to Germany. They can pass it.
Prediction: Brazil 2-0 Belgium
Top Bet: Brazil to win to nil at 13/5