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Brazil, Germany are now co-favorites on 2018 World Cup odds

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A dip in their price has brought Brazil level with defending champion Germany at +450, making them co-favorites on the odds to win the 2018 World Cup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

With the quadrennial competition for global soccer supremacy just more than one month away from kicking off in Russia, the top of the World Cup betting lines also includes Spain (+600), France (+700), Argentina (+900), Belgium (+1100), England (+1600) and Portugal (+2500).

While no nation has won back-to-back since Brazil did so with a young Pelé in 1958 and ’62, Germany remains the team to beat, with Leroy Sane of EPL champion Manchester City drawing into a lineup that includes main holdovers from their triumphant 2014 team.

Brazil has its strong history with a record five World Cup titles, but there is the troubling matter of star Neymar, of Paris Saint-Germain, having been sidelined since suffering a knee injury in February.

The debate over the joint favorites could draw heat away from Spain. The 2010 champion has a potential X factor in goalkeeper David de Gea of Manchester United and looks strong along the back line and through the midfield, where Andres Iniesta has one last shot at glory.

The major question about Spain is whether it will have enough natural offense, since neither striker option, Alvaro Morata or Diego Costa, has had much international success.

France has lost key defender Laurent Koscielny to a major Achilles tendon injury, which might be reason enough to fade Les Bleus. Argentina has the star power of Lionel Messi, but the manner in which it struggled just to qualify for the tournament – going down to the last game, in fact – hardly seems auspicious.

Each of the top six teams on the board has won the World Cup at least once. Belgium has the lowest odds of any non-champion, but it was a quarterfinalist in both 2014 and at Euro 2016 and has strong leadership from forward Eden Hazard. Belgium is worth considering for a darkhorse play.

England is in the same group with Belgium and last got past the quarterfinal in 1986. Similarly, Portugal has only been to the semifinals once in the last eight World Cups.

A true darkhorse worth considering is Croatia (+3300), whose price owes to being drawn into the tough Group D that also includes Argentina, Iceland (+15000) and Nigeria (+20000). Croatia, which has Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic shoring up the midfield, was undefeated at the group stage of Euro 2016 before losing out against eventual winner Portugal.

The World Cup begins June 14, with the final set for July 15 in Moscow.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Matchweek 14 Premier League odds: Arsenal-Tottenham toss-up

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It takes a lot to discount the home advantage Arsenal will take into a north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur, one of the Premier League’s top away teams.

Arsenal is a narrow +160 favorite on this week’s Premier League odds with Tottenham coming back at +170, while the draw is at +265 on the three-way moneyline and there is a 3.0-goals total for Sunday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Arsenal is undefeated in its last six home matches against Tottenham; the Spurs have won five away matches in a row.

Each team has sufficient offensive capability and motivation to attack to prevent a clean sheet on either side, which is a starting point for bettors who would like to focus on totals with the match result so close to call. Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (+333 first scorer, -110 anytime) and Tottenham’s Harry Kane (+375, +105) stand good chances of tallying. In both teams to score props, tie/yes (+300) offers more payout than the draw on the moneyline.

Leicester City (+125) and Watford (+255, draw +235) carry some strong UNDER trends, as Leicester’s last five matches in all competitions have gone UNDER 2.5 goals, while the same is true in eight of Watford’s last nine away games in the league. There is little separating the teams in capabilities or in the standings, so Watford rates a look on the double chance (-145).

Newcastle United (+145) takes on West Ham United (+210, draw +235) having won three games on the bounce. West Ham is having great difficulty winning many games, but it is a pesky road team whose last three away matches have all gone UNDER. West Ham on the double chance (-170) could be the percentage play, and Marko Arnautovic (+450 first scorer, +150 anytime) should get some scoring chances off of counter-attacks.

Relegation-threatened Southampton (+340) hosts Manchester United (-110, draw +265), whose last six away matches in all competition have all gone OVER 2.5 goals. There is value in a powerhouse that’s maddeningly inconsistent, as Yes/Over 2.5 (+125) and Man United win/yes (+275) offer value in the myriad both teams to score props.

Chelsea (-600) and Fulham (+1500, draw +700) have a 3.5-goals total in a Sunday matchup, but their last five games at Stamford Bridge have all gone UNDER 2.5 goals and Fulham has also failed to score in four of its last five away matches. Chelsea is even money for both a clean sheet and a shutout win.

And Liverpool (-260) is undefeated against city rival Everton (+750, draw +400) in their last 21 matchups in all competitions, but the visiting Toffees come into this Sunday matchup on a three-game shutout streak in the league. Liverpool and Sadio Mane (+150 anytime) should be able to break through eventually, but No/Under 2.5 (+200) might have the best value in both-teams-to-score props.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Matchweek 12 Premier League odds: Manchester Derby highlights weekend

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The disparate fortunes of the teams involved in this weekend’s Manchester derby might lead bettors to seek out ways to restore betting value to Manchester City.

Playing at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City are the -250 moneyline favorite on this week’s Premier League odds with Manchester United coming back at +700, while the draw is at +400 with a 3.0-goals total for Sunday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The away team has had a result in the last six games in this matchup (four wins and two 0-0 draws). The law of averages alone indicates it would be tough for that to continue, but there have also been OVER 2.5 goals scored in 21 of Man City’s last 24 home games, as well as OVER 2.5 goals scored in Man United’s last five Premier League games.

Taking Manchester City win/yes (+150) in both teams to score (BTTS) props is a higher-yield play, as they are an aggressive team at home and will work to set up Sergio Aguero (+275 first goal scorer, -145 anytime). Manchester City has also been leading at halftime in six of its last seven games. On the Man United front, Romelu Lukaku’s absence might make for a slow start, but at minus-1.5 (-125) on the goals line, the Red Devils might recoup some value.

Elsewhere, Cardiff City (+155) has not fared well over the years against Brighton & Hove Albion (+210, draw +215), which has drawn or won 11 of the last 12 matchups (all competitions). Since Brighton has won only one of its last 19 away matches in EPL play, its double chance odds (-185) could be a more secure play.

Leicester City (-200) visits Burnley (+650, draw +325) having shown, by winning its previous outing, that it is channeling grief over the tragic helicopter death of chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha two weeks ago. There have been OVER 2.5 goals (-120 on the betting line) in five of Burnley’s last six games, so Leicester might be able to pounce.

Crystal Palace (+355) and Tottenham Hotspur (-120, draw +270) has been a low-scoring fixture. Crystal Palace has failed to score in their last four tries against Tottenham and the teams’ last five matchups have been under 2.5 goals (in all competitions). Taking No/Under 2.5 (+175) in both teams to score props covers the possibility of Tottenham grinding out another win.

Liverpool (-950) takes on Fulham (+2400, draw +1000) in a Sunday matchup that is a mismatch on paper, with a rare 4.0-goals total. Liverpool has kept clean sheets in seven of its last eight games against Fulham in all competitions, and Fulham is on a five-game losing streak. Smarting from a Champions League loss on Wednesday, Liverpool could take out its frustrations and go OVER (+110) on its own 3.5-goals total.

And Chelsea (-240) hosts Everton (+650, draw +400) on Sunday with the expectation of a fully fit squad, save for Cesc Fabregas (illness), after playing a Champions League match on Thursday. Both Chelsea’s last four games and five of Everton’s last six games have gone OVER 2.5 goals, so this matchup’s 3.0-goals total could be bested.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.