Betting On The World Cup Has Been A Wild Ride, But The Best Is Yet To Come

After 17 straight days of action at the FIFA World Cup, there’s finally a break in play for a couple of days so bettors can catch their collective breath before the quarterfinals begin.

This tournament has been exhilarating to this point with plenty of twists and turns along the way. And although many of the pre-tournament favourites still remain in the field, there’s been no shortage of huge upsets so far.

On the third day of group play, Saudi Arabia (+1400) stunned Argentina (-600) with a 2-1 victory. One day later, Japan (+600) took down Germany (-225) by the same score. Then, on Nov. 30, Tunisia (+700) triumphed 1-0 over France (-225). The Japanese (+750) pulled off a second thrilling upset on Dec. 1 by outclassing Spain (-250) 1-0.

But all of these upsets were trumped by the Cinderella of the tournament to this point, Morocco, which was +600 on the three-way moneyline heading into its Round of 16 showdown with Spain. The Moroccans miraculously held off the potent Spanish attack to keep the match scoreless through regulation and extra time, and eventually prevailed 3-0 on penalties to move on to the quarterfinals. Morocco was +750 to win in extra time and +240 to win in penalties for those that were live betting the match.

Futures odds

With only eight nations now remaining, here’s a look at the World Cup outright odds courtesy of bet365 heading into the quarterfinals.

World Cup Outright Odds
Morocco (+2800)

Brazil entered the World Cup as the outright favorite (around +400) and it’s shown why it was initially pegged as the top team in the tournament. Brazil has been incredible – other than a meaningless 1-0 loss to Cameroon in its final group stage game in which it rested many of its starters – and it put on a clinic against South Korea by burying four stylish first-half goals last time out. The Brazilians are dangerous, well-rested, and have been literally dancing their way through the tournament.

Brazil is now -125 to reach to the final, so there’s still some slight value to grabbing its outright odds at +175. The country’s outright odds will only continue to get shorter should it reach the deeper stages of the tournament.

No team has more momentum or confidence than Morocco, which still has long odds of +2800 to win it all. It may be unrealistic to place such a wager, but perhaps Morocco still has some magic left and can pull off a few more upsets before leaving Qatar? Morocco is +240 to advance to the semifinals and +1000 to reach the final.

Quarterfinals field is set

Match Odds
Croatia vs. BrazilCroatia (+800), Draw (+350), Brazil (-275)
Netherlands vs. ArgentinaNetherlands (+260), Draw (+210), Argentina (+120)
England vs. FranceEngland (+210), Draw (+220), France (+137)
Morocco vs. PortugalMorocco (+450), Draw (+260), Portugal (-143)

Croatia and Morocco enter their respective quarterfinal matchups as significant underdogs, while two matches – Netherlands vs. Argentina and England vs. France – are being estimated by oddsmakers to be tightly contested contests.

All eyes will be on England vs. France as it has the potential to be one of the most fascinating matches of the tournament. This will be the first meeting between England and France during the knockout stages of the men’s World Cup.

These two teams last met in a competitive environment at Euro 2012, when they played to a 1-1 draw in the group stage, and England holds the historical advantage having won 17 of the previous 31 meetings between the nations, including both prior clashes at the World Cup.

France forward Kylian Mbappe leads the tournament with five goals to this point and now has -175 odds to be the top scorer. His teammate, Olivier Giroud (+1800 to be the top scorer), and six other players on teams still alive in the tournament have three goals apiece heading into the quarterfinals.

Schedule and how to watch

After a two-day break in action, the FIFA World Cup will resume Friday with two games – Croatia vs. Brazil and Netherlands vs. Argentina – and that will be followed up with another pair of quarterfinal matches on Saturday – Morocco vs. Portugal and England vs. France.

All of the remaining eight matches at the FIFA World Cup will be shown in Canada on TSN and CTV.

Friday, Dec. 9 – Croatia vs. Brazil10 a.m. ET/TSN
Friday, Dec. 9 – Netherlands vs. Argentina2 p.m. ET/TSN
Saturday, Dec. 10 – Morocco vs. Portugal10 a.m. ET/TSN
Saturday, Dec. 10 – England vs. France2 p.m. ET/TSN
Tuesday, Dec. 13 – Semifinal 1 (winner of Netherlands/Argentina and winner of Croatia/Brazil)2 p.m. ET/TSN
Wednesday, Dec. 14 – Semifinal 2 (winner of Morocco/Portugal and winner of England/France)2 p.m. ET/TSN
Saturday, Dec. 17 – Third place match10 a.m. ET/TSN
Sunday, Dec. 18 – World Cup final10 a.m. ET/TSN

Where to bet on the World Cup

It’s not too late to place wagers on the World Cup!

Canada Sports Betting has a comprehensive dedicated page for the event that has all of the information you could possibly need to place an educated wager on anything to do with soccer’s greatest event. You can find daily match day previews featuring odds from bet365, and a list of sportsbooks to wager with.

With hundreds of markets to choose from across a plethora of sportsbooks, there’s surely something to pique the interest of any bettor!