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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 8 Premier League odds: Man City the underdog at Liverpool

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A first-place showdown between powerhouses unbeaten in the Premier League puts it on bettors to weigh recent form against long-term trends.

Liverpool is a narrow +155 favorite on the Premier League odds with Manchester City coming back at +180 on Sunday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The draw offers +255 on the three-way moneyline and the total is 2.5 goals.

The teams are dead-level at the top of the table with 19 points from seven games, but Liverpool is 7-1-2 (wins/draws/losses) in its last 10 matches against Manchester City since 2015. Liverpool also has a string of eight clean sheets in a row at home at Anfield, while manager Jurgen Klopp has typically got the better of Man City counterpart Pep Guardiola.

The host Reds have shown some fraying during recent losses in the Champions League and other outside competitions, though. Manchester City, with the midfield trio of Bernard Silva, David Silva and Fernardinho making people forget Kevin De Bruyne is out of action, is capable of breaking Liverpool’s press and generating scoring chances. If this match seems too close to pick a side, the both teams to score/OVER 2.5 goals has a decent -120 payout.

In the individual props, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane (+190 anytime scorer) and Man City’s Raheem Sterling (+190 anytime) each offer more value than more ballyhooed strikers Mo Salah and Sergio Aguero.

Brighton & Hove Albion (+170) is winless in its last five league matches, while visiting West Ham United (+180, draw +235) is unbeaten in three games going into a Friday matchup. Five of the last six games in this matchup have gone OVER 2.5 goals, so there is a good chance of seeing some offense here, perhaps through Brighton’s Glenn Murray (+135 anytime) and West Ham’s Andriy Yamolenko (+200 anytime).

Watford (+110) has long thrived against Bournemouth (+255, draw +255), with a win or a draw in 13 of their last 14 matchups. Bournemouth has also conceded goals in nine consecutive away games, so a Watford win with both teams scoring (+275) seems like a percentage play. Watford’s Troy Deeney (+550 first goal scorer, +170 anytime) has five goals in his last four home games against Bournemouth.

Crystal Palace (+200) and Wolverhampton (+160, draw +220) are each on low-scoring trends, which explains the 2.0-goals total. However, their last four matches in all competitions have gone OVER 2.5 goals. With Crystal Palace struggling at home, Wolverhampton are worth backing on the double chance.

Manchester United (-215), almost unthinkably, is mired in 10th place with manager Jose Mourinho hearing calls for his job, but lowly Newcastle United (+750, draw +345) is on a seven-match winless skid in the league. Manchester United should be able to wrest victory here, while counting on Marcus Rashford (+400 first scorer, +130 anytime) to chip in offensively.

Fulham (+400) and Arsenal (-150, draw +335) is a Sunday matchup with the week’s only 3.5-goals total, but that high bar might be clearable with the wide-open style the Gunners have embraced under manager Unai Emery. Arsenal has been a second-half team, what with having been tied at halftime in five consecutive games.

Southampton (+500), which hosts Chelsea (-165, draw +315) in a  Sunday matchup, might well have earned its squad goal for the week by reaching the fourth round of the Carabao Cup. Southampton has won only once in its last 14 league games at home and Chelsea is on a seven-match unbeaten streak; both trends are hard to go against.

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 7 Premier League odds: Liverpool away favorite against Chelsea

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With manager Jurgen Klopp toggling back to his first-choice lineup, Liverpool might well prove it’s tough for one elite team to beat another twice in a row.

Liverpool is a +155 away favorite with host Chelsea coming back at +180 on the Premier League odds for Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The draw offers +255 on the three-way moneyline and the total is at 3.0 goals. It’s the second match in four days between the clubs, as Chelsea won 2-1 in a Carabao Cup match at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium on Wednesday.

However, Liverpool has won all six of its league matches and has led at halftime in all six. Liverpool also has won or drawn in six of its last eight league visits to Chelsea.

Klopp should have the attacking troika of Roberto Firmino flanked by Sadio Mané and Mohamad Salah. Salah (+115 anytime goal scorer) and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (+160 anytime) are their team’s respective best bets to score. Chelsea might have a positional edge in the midfield through Jorginho and N’Golo Kante.

West Ham United (+350) has not scored against Manchester United (-115, draw +280) in their last three matchups (all competitions) and have won just one of their last 19 Premier League matchups. With that said, Manchester United has been less than the sum of its parts and West Ham, presuming Marko Arnautovic is fit to play, has a chance to wrest on the draw and could help the both teams to score prop hit.

Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku has 11 goals in his last 11 games against West Ham.

Arsenal (+220) takes a six-win streak into its match against Watford (+575, draw +400), which has failed to win in 13 of its last 14 away matches in the league. Eight of the 12 matches involving either of these teams have gone over 2.5 goals, so taking both teams to score is the relative percentage play as the 3.5-goals total could be daunting. Arsenal winger Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (-135 anytime scorer) has the top prop to tally.

Newcastle United (+160) and Leicester City (+200, draw +225) are each riding an OVER streak, as Newcastle’s last four home games and Leicester’s last six away games have all had over 2.5 goals. Newcastle, one of the least threatening offensive sides in the league, is desperate for a win and could grind out a low-scoring victory, but there’s more value backing Leicester to win on the road, with a goal coming through Jamie Vardy (+450 first goal scorer, +190 anytime).

Cardiff City (+160) is winless in six league games as it readies to host Burnley (+210, draw +205) in a Sunday matchup. Both teams are dragging bad trends – Cardiff has conceded at least three goals in its last three games, whereas Burnley is winless in its last five away matches. However, until Cardiff shows it has a semblance of a defense, its opponents are always worth backing on the double chance.

Bournemouth (+125) may be a bit vulnerable against Crystal Palace (+230, draw +250), in a Monday matchup. Bournemouth has lost two of its last three league games and while this might be a case of where being at home cures what ails the Cherries, Crystal Palace expects to have Max Meyer (+450 anytime scorer) making his first Premier League start and offers value on the double chance and 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 listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.