World Cup Wagers: Day 17

On Monday, Brazil made quick work of South Korea to deliver a comfortable profit, despite the Japan loss. 

The two wagers for Tuesday will require us to sweat it out for 90 minutes. It will be worth it if our picks hit as one of the bets includes a long-odds shocker. 

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Feel free to hop on the bandwagon with me or get in my mentions about how dumb my picks are. Either way, know your limits, enjoy yourself, and strap in for another day of exciting World Cup action.

Morocco pulls off a stunner

Before getting into the on-pitch matchup, let’s discuss the off-field relationship between these two countries. These two countries share a long, complicated history dating back to the 700s AD. If you enjoy diving down a Wikipedia rabbit hole, take a gander at Morocco-Spain Relations. It will provide context and enrichen your viewing experience. 

Despite over a millennium of shared history, these two countries have met on the pitch just three times. Twice in qualifiers for the 1962 World Cup and four years ago in Russia. In the 2018 match, Spain and Morocco tied 2-2 in the last match of the group stage. Morocco was already eliminated but gave Spain all they could handle. Morocco led 2-1 heading into stoppage time. Spain equalized and won the group thanks to an Iranian stoppage time penalty against fellow group mates Portgual. 

In this World Cup, Morocco advanced to the knockout stage by topping Group F by drawing Croatia and defeating Belgium and Canada. The Atlas Lions largely ceded possession but made the most of their chances converting 2.4 xG into four goals and seven points. Defensively, Morocco limited chances and held on in high-leverage moments. 

Spain began the tournament with a 7-0 drubbing of Costa Rica. It was followed by a 1-1 draw to Germany and a one-goal defeat to Japan. After the shocking seven-goal opener, Spain settled back into the team many thought they were heading into the World Cup. La Roja will dominate possession but struggle to create genuine, scoring chances. 

Morocco will acquiesce to Spanish possession. As Spain’s fullbacks creep up, it gives acres of green grass for Hakim Ziyech and others hoping that one or two moments of precision on the other end will see them through. I worry about Morocco’s legs and how much they have left in the tank, but this feels like the right spot to play for an upset. 

All chalk quarterfinals happen, although a surprise team crashing into the final eight occurs just as often.

Wager

  • Correct Score 2-1 Morocco (+2100) 0.5 unit
  • Morocco Double Chance (+135) 0.5 unit

Portugal wins the rubber match

As much as I do not want to see them move on, Portugal is a strong favorite against Switzerland – perhaps more so than the current odds would indicate. 

It is a unique Round of 16 pairing as we have seen these sides play against each other in a pair of competitive fixtures exactly six months ago. Portugal and Switzerland met twice in UEFA Nation’s League in the summer. Portugal won 4-0 in Lisbon and Switzerland topped Portugal 1-0 in Geneva. While the Portuguese lost on the road, they controlled the match after conceding in the first minute. It took a stellar goalkeeping effort and a bit of luck to see the Swiss through. 

In this match, on the world’s biggest stage, I expect the result to land somewhere in the middle. A 2-0 or 2-1 result seems most likely. 

Wager

  • Portugal Win + Portugal Goals Over 1.5 (+135)
Author: Chris IveyChris is a senior writer covering Nashville SC. His writings focus on the team at large and often navigate the complexity of roster building around the myriad of MLS rules. Outside of Broadway Sports Media, Chris resides in Knoxville and is a licensed attorney. Beyond NSC, he is always willing to discuss Tennessee football and basketball, Coventry City, and USMNT. Follow Chris on Twitter

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