World Cup Odds: Portugal offers value against rival Spain

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With each team dealing with distractions, it might be worth taking a chance on Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo against rival Spain in the big matchup on the first full day of World Cup action.

Spain is listed as a +105 betting favorite on Friday’s World Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com with Portugal coming back at +305, while the draw is priced at +225 on the three-way moneyline and there is a 2.0 total.

Favored Spain had a shake-up on Tuesday when manager Fernando Hierro was airlifted in after the shock firing of Julen Lopetegui. Spain’s defensive strength is also touch-and-go with right-back Dani Carjaval (hamstring).

That said, form in international play over the last year points to Spain, which is 7-0-3 (wins/losses/draws) in its last 10 international games whereas Portugal is 1-2-2 in its last five.

Being in Group B with the aforementioned European squads means Morocco (+120) and Iran (+280, draw +195) will each need to play to win in their matchup in St. Petersburg. The over on the 2.0 total is enticing at even money.

Uruguay (-185) faces Egypt (+600, draw +275) in Yekaterinburg. Egypt has failed to win any of its last six outings and might not have a fully healthy Mohamed Salah (shoulder), suggesting a likelihood of Uruguay grinding out a result in a game that finishes under the 2.5 total.

Argentina (-300) will ride the Lionel Messi effect against Iceland (+900, draw +400) in a Saturday World Cup betting matchup in Moscow. Iceland, with an attack built around Johann Berg Gudmundsson of Burnley, won’t roll over easily and the over on the 2.5 total should hit.

France (-425) is among the contenders on the overall odds to win the World Cup, while Australia (+1000, draw +550) will be looking to exasperate Les Bleus with defensive tactics in their matchup at Kazan. It might not come easily, but France has a strong chance to cover the minus-1.5 goals line.

Denmark (+135) is favored, but Peru (+220, +220 draw) takes a 15-match unbeaten streak into the matchup in Saransk, compared to the Danes’ four-game streak. Denmark’s last four matches have all finished below this match’s 2.5 total and a well-played 1-1 draw seems eminently possible.

Croatia (-135), paced by Barcelona midfielder Luka Modric, will be looking for a statement win against Nigeria (+400, +265 draw) at Kaliningrad. Nigeria is winless in its last four outings. Eight of Croatia’s last 10 matches and six of Nigeria’s last 10 have finished with fewer than 2.5 goals.

Defending champion Germany (-205) begins its quest for a repeat against Mexico (+575, +345 draw) at Moscow on Sunday. Since reunification, Germany is 6-0 in opening games with a 23-2 goal differential, so the form would suggest manager Joachim Low’s side can win convincingly.

There isn’t much value on playing Brazil (-245) for a likely win against Switzerland (+750, +370 draw) at Rostov-on-Don, but the favorites come in having recorded a clean sheet in seven of their last eight matches. Switzerland has also had clean sheets in five of six outings, suggesting it’s unlikely both teams will score.

The matchup between Serbia (-110) and Costa Rica (+360, +225 draw) in Samara stacks up as projection vs. past performance. Serbia and Aleksandar Mitrovic of Newcastle United fame are overdue to convert age-group success to the senior level, while 2014 quarterfinalist Costa Rica has lost key defender Ronald Matarrita (hamstring) to injury.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top World Cup betting news check out the OddsShark FC podcast with Andrew Avery, Rob Trites, and Craig Cormier. Listen to it at OddsSharkFC.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.