We’re down to the final eight at the 2014 World Cup, and there appears to be some great value on the board for futures. The favorites – teams like Germany, Brazil and Argentina – have not impressed so far, and the second-tier squads – teams like Colombia, France and Netherlands – have been the cream of the crop.
For now, we’ll leave long-term bets up to you and have a look at the short-term action this weekend. These are probably some of the most exciting matches thus far, with underdogs like Costa Rica and Belgium rounding out a stellar group of teams battling for a spot in the semi’s! Here are previews and picks for the remaining four quarterfinals games:
France vs Germany – World Cup Prediction
Odds: Germany +135, France +210, Draw +230
Germany comes into this matchup limping. They stomped Portugal 4-0 in their 2014 World Cup opener but have looked mediocre since. They’ve drawn Ghana and barely beat the United States and Algeria. Mats Hummels is doubtful to suit up, and backup Shkodran Mustafi is out for the rest of the World Cup.
France’s impressive 10 goals in four matches gives them confidence. They have won all of their matches rather comfortably, losing in only one of their last overall 15 contests. There’s no question that Germany is vulnerable, and if the trends continue, they’ll lose. But remember that France is a young team, so Germany’s experience should be a key difference. They’ll pull up their socks for this one.
Pick: Germany +135
Brazil vs Colombia – World Cup Pick
Odds: Brazil -130, Colombia +350, Draw +280
Brazil is the favorite to win the tournament, and they haven’t lost on their home soil in competitive matches for 39 years. Still, it doesn’t feel like they’re impenetrable, does it? They barely got past Chile and now have some injury concerns about star Neymar.
Don’t be surprised if we see Colombia slay the giant. They have arguably been the best team in the tournament so far, and they have the attacking strength to put pressure on Brazil. They have scored 11 goals so far, which is the most after Netherlands (12).
If Brazil had more experience, they’d be the choice. However, they’ve got a very young side facing a lot of pressure. Colombia should be able to come in, play loosely and surprise the audience.
Pick: Colombia +350
Argentina vs Belgium – Expert Pick
Odds: Argentina +115, Belgium +250, Draw +240
This matchup features two teams that have not played up to expectations. Argentina is supposed to be a powerhouse, but it’s been a Lionel Messi solo act instead. As for Belgium, the team is supposed to be a dark horse, but it has failed to dominate its opponents despite a relatively easy schedule to this point.
The odds are enticing, but it’s tough to go with Belgium. Their players are young, inexperienced and haven’t looked like they belong in the semifinals. Belgium’s counter-attacks will challenge Argentina, but Argentina will survive.
Pick: Argentina +115
Netherlands vs Costa Rica – Final Prediction Analysis
Odds: Netherlands -225, Costa Rica +650, Draw +350
This is expected to be the biggest mismatch of the quarter-finals, and it’s easy to see why. Costa Rica was not expected to be around at this point. Now the team has to go up against the Dutch, who have arguably looked like the best team in the tournament.
However, don’t be surprised if Costa Rica makes a game of this. They have earned everything they have achieved so far; it hasn’t been luck. On top of that, Netherlands struggled with Australia and Mexico, so don’t assume anything.
However, it’s the knockout stage, and it’s hard to see Costa Rica getting by the Dutch. The dream ends here.