The moneyline is the only thing tighter than Uruguay’s defending was in the group stage of the World Cup.
Uruguay is priced at +180 on the three-way moneyline on the World Cup odds, while Portugal comes back at +190 and the draw also offers +190 in a Round of 16 matchup on Saturday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The matchup in Sochi, Russia is the nations’ first meeting at the World Cup.
Group winners have advanced in 21 of the last 24 games in the Round of 16, including 8-of-8 at the 2014 World Cup. The law of averages tells us a few second-place qualifiers will break that trend.
Uruguay, whose center back duo of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez anchored a back line that posted a clean sheet during all three of their group wins, will try to win through defending and counter-attacking. Portugal has the scoring punch to beat almost anyone, but it is relying on Cristiano Ronaldo to score his first-ever goal in the World Cup knockout stage.
France (+135) is favored against Argentina (+245, draw +200) in a matchup in Kazan. Neither side has been greater than the sum of its parts, but France’s “pretty good” form, with the likes of Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe, might be enough.
The case for Argentina to pull off the upset comes down to having the best player on the pitch – Lionel Messi – and having the emotional high of just scraping into the Round of 16. What’s more certain is that Argentina’s dearth of defensive depth makes it wise to make an even-money play on the 2.0 total.
Spain (-170) is a massive favorite against host Russia (+550, draw +290) in a Sunday matchup in Moscow. There is a strong likelihood that Spain and Diego Costa will have too much of the ball – possession time – for Russia to have a puncher’s chance at pulling off the upset. Spain is offering even money for a clean sheet, something it did only once in the group stage.
And Croatia (-120) will have to avoid getting frustrated at the defensive tactics of Denmark (+400, +225 draw) in their Sunday Round of 16 matchup in Nizhny Novgorod. Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has excelled at keeping his team in attack mode, which makes the +160 on the Croatia win/over 1.5 goals prop very enticing.
The remainder of the Round of 16 takes place on Monday and Tuesday.
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.