Brazil seems to have an ideal scenario for growing into the World Cup tournament after being held to a draw in its opener.
Brazil is the -475 betting favorite with Costa Rica coming back at +1500 on the World Cup odds, while the draw is priced at +500 on the three-way moneyline for their World Cup matchup in St. Petersburg, Russia on Friday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The big question might be how much Brazil, who tied its first game against Switzerland, will win by against Costa Rica. Neymar is penciled in to start as a winger after limping out of training earlier in the week, as both he and forward Gabriel Jesus look to score for the first time in the tournament.
Costa Rica had its hands full with Serbia forwards during its opener, so it’s reasonable to think Brazil should find a way to score at least two goals and deliver at -130 to win by more than 1.5 goals. Costa Rica failed to score in its first game and Brazil is priced at -200 to keep a clean sheet.
Serbia (+170) is a narrow favorite against Switzerland (+195, draw +195) in a matchup in Kaliningrad that might decide who will join Brazil as a Group E qualifier in the Round of 16. Since both teams had a result in their openers, a draw is a good possibility and the 0-0/1-1/2-2 choice in correct score group props offers value at +350.
Mexico (-145) faces South Korea (+475, +270 draw) in a Saturday matchup at Rostov-on-Don. Mexico has not won back-to-back World Cup games for the first time since 2002. However, their Hirving Lorzano-led attack deserved to score more than one goal in their win against Germany and has a favorable matchup as South Korea has conceded goals in its last seven World Cup games.
Germany (-225) faces a practical must-win matchup against Sweden (+600, draw +360) in Sochi. With the way Germany was unimpressive in its loss against Mexico and with the way Sweden is an offensively limited but persistent team, the under on the 2.5 total seems like a wise choice.
England (-500) and Panama (+1600, draw +525) is a mismatch on the World Cup moneyline and most will be on the pitch at Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday. England and Harry Kane generated a high volume of chances in its opener, while Panama broke clear a few times against powerhouse Belgium. The over on the 2.5 total pays even money.
Colombia (+120) and Poland (+240 draw +240) are each facing the risk of an early exit going into their matchup at Kazan. Neither side’s defense is airtight enough to expect a clean sheet, but neither 0-1 team can afford to lose the game. The under on the 2.5 total holds decent value at -130.
And Senegal (+125) faces Japan (+250, draw +215) at Yekaterinburg, with the winner set to gain control of Group H. That should make for a relatively wide-open game with an above-average chance of goals on both sides, yet the match has a modest 2.0 total.
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. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsSharkFC.libsyn.com.