2018 World Cup Stage of Elimination Props Odds with Expert Betting Predictions
World Cup Stage of Elimination prop bets are interesting to look at every four years when this tournament rolls around. A lot of people look at these as a way to gamble on who they think will win and which teams they think will go far. I don't see the value in that. There is too much that can go wrong, and for all but the best teams it's hard to differentiate between a semifinal loss and a quarterfinal loss - both would be unsurprising and acceptable for a lot of teams, so you are just reduced to making guesses. I hate making guesses as a sports bettor.
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What makes these bets interesting, though, is the situations in which a team is very likely to hit a wall that they can't get over, or situations where multiple options are possible and you could bet more than one of them and still come out on top. Here are seven spots that stand out this year ( odds are from Bovada )
Egypt: This is just the kind of spot I like to look for. I like the Egyptians to advance a lot out of Group A - I don't like Russia at all despite the home-field advantage, and Saudi Arabia is outmatched. But once they do advance they are likely to play either Spain or Portugal, and neither matchup is going to go well for them. They pay +225 to go out in the Round of 16, and that is what really feels likely to me. I like the play a lot.
Russia: As I said, I don't like this Russia team at all, so I am happy to bet them to go out in the Group Round at odds of +225. If you are a bit more optimistic than I am, though, you still would really struggle to see them beating Spain or Portugal. If you wanted to you could bet both that Group Round price as well as the Round of 16 at +165, and you would come out with a small profit either way with very little risk.
Argentina: The Argentinians are very talented and usually dangerous at the World Cup. They really struggled on their path to this tournament, though, and don't seem to be back on track yet. It would be a shock if they didn't advance because of who they are. But Croatia is a talented team, Nigeria is tough and dangerous in big tournaments, and Iceland has a seemingly endless supply of magic to call upon. It is not impossible to imagine Argentina being sent home early. They are at +450 to go out in the Group Round, and I would suggest that it would be less surprising than that price would suggest if they got upset.
Germany: I really believe in this German squad. They always rise to their best in these spots, and they are dangerous, talented and experienced. They are very well positioned to be one of the final four teams remaining. They are at +450 to lose the semifinal, +500 to lose in the finals, and +475 to win it all. The easiest way to deal with those prices would be to bet them all - you could do worse than that. But to get a better price and lower the investment a bit I'd throw out the semifinal loss. If I had to bet on Germany being one of the final two teams standing, I wouldn't feel horrible about that. The team I fear most for them is Brazil, but assuming that both teams win their groups they won't meet until the finals.
Brazil: You can take everything I just said about Germany and pretty much cut and paste it here. They are at +400 to lose the semifinal, +600 to lose the final, and +450 to win it all. I would play those the same way I played Germany.
Mexico and Sweden: I prefer Mexico over Sweden by quite a bit, but one of these two teams is very likely to finish second in Group F. Germany is dominant, and South Korea is a banged up mess. And second place in Group F is set to play the winner of Group E in the Round of 16 - which is very likely to be Brazil. So, one of these two teams is very likely to lose in their first elimination game. Mexico is at +200 to do so, and Sweden is at +225. By betting both you can ensure at least a 50 percent ROI. It's not a massive return, but the risk is reasonably low if you like both Germany and Brazil, and it is at least worth considering. If I was going to bet just one I would take Mexico.
Colombia and Poland: These two teams are grouped together because I really like both of their chances of advancing in their group with Japan and Senegal. And they would likely play either Belgium or England in the Round of 16. I don't like their chances in either of those spots. Colombia is +135 to go out in the Round of 16, and Poland is at +165. Both those numbers are quite playable from where I'm sitting.
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