The world cup of soccer final tournament is where the real battle begins – one shot, one opportunity to get your tactics right and make it count. The best-sixteen teams in the competition make it to the knockout stages, meaning that the level of football increases in quality and the margins become much more slim. This presents an excellent opportunity for punters, as even the best nations will appear at generous odds. There is also a decent chance of an underdog causing an upset, especially if the match goes to a penalty shootout.
FIFA World Cup Final Stage Betting Tips
With so many lines and markets to choose from, how does one decide on the best option? Which games present safe bets and which are dangerous? Below we discuss our top betting tips.
Bide Your Time
We can’t stress enough the importance of patience when it comes to online sports betting. The benefit of placing wagers online is that it allows you bet at the last possible moment, allowing you to consider all potential outcomes. There is nothing worse than putting your money on a team only to find out one hour before kickoff that a player has gone down injured, or the team selection isn’t quite what you expected.
Betting at the last minute allows you to read more articles and analyse the match in more detail. Don’t settle for one opinion on the potential outcome of a game – ensure you read as much as you can about the two teams that will do battle. Make an effort to look at historical context, form, head to head records and key team and player statistics before you place your wager. There are a number of sources to help you with this, including right here.
If you can’t decide on a bet before kickoff, you can always take the safe option and not bet, although that’s no fun. Your next option is to look at the live betting options offered through the leading sportsbooks. Let’s say the underdog is putting up a good fight and it remains 0-0 in the 70th minute. The odds on the favourite scoring a late goal to win the match will offer much more than they were initially, and if you feel as though a goal is coming, now is the perfect time to jump on.
Good punters are aware of all the potential betting options available, and as the World Cup is one of the biggest and most-watched sporting events in the world, you can guarantee there will be plenty. Head to head markets are pretty self-explanatory, although some of the others are not so straight forward. Read on for an explanation of all the best markets at the tournament and when they are best utilised.
Head to Head Betting
There is only one tip here – head to head betting will still offer three outcomes (win, loss and draw) even though the matches will be knockout fixtures and could potentially go to extra time and penalties. All lines (unless specifically indicated) are for 90 minute results. If you are looking to pick the team who will progress, some sites will allow you to bet on such a line, while you can also bet on exotic markets including whether the game will go to extra time or penalties etc.
Asian Handicap and ‘Draw No Bet’ Lines
Asian handicap lines are extremely useful at the World Cup. This style of wager eliminates the draw as a potential outcome, resulting in a much clearer betting experience. Not to be confused with the ‘draw no bet’ line, which is similar, asian handicaps are designed to even out the odds in football matches, especially those between two mismatched teams. As noted above, this will be a 90 minute outcome market, unless otherwise stated.
For example, in a hypothetical knockout round match between Argentina and Denmark, the clear favourite would be the 2014 runner-up, and you would probably see head to head odds similar to the following:
In a ‘draw no bet’ situation, a draw at the end of 90 minutes would result in a bet refund, meaning that there are effectively just two possible outcomes for the match. As a result, odds would reduce significantly as follows:
In asian handicap lines, bookmakers shift the goalposts so that the odds are close to even. For this match, the handicap for Argentina may be set at -1.5 (although you can also choose your own), meaning that the odds would look like this:
If you placed a bet on Argentina using this method, you would win if Argentina won by two goals or more. If you placed a bet on Denmark, you would win if the result was a Danish victory, a draw, or even a loss by less than two goals.
If you were bold enough to pick Argentina to win by more than two goals you could get odds of +200 for a -2.5 handicap. The standard handicap (in this case -1.5) represents the sportsbook’s opinion on the likeliest result of the match, in this case a two-goal victory to the Argentines. If you think otherwise, then this is the market for you to make some serious money.
Over Under Markets in the Knockout Round
The over/under markets are another option if simply betting on the game line does not interest you enough. Similar to the asian handicap line, the sportsbook of your choice will set a figure at the point they feel is closest to the most likely match outcome in terms of number of goals scored. Using the above match between Argentina and Denmark as an example, the over/under mark is set at 3.5 and the odds are dead even for both sides – set at -112. This indicates the sportsbook is confident of a game that will feature exactly 3 or 4 goals.
Again, you will be able to either use this line as a reference for your bet and make an informed decision on the amount of goals there will be in the match, or you can use one of the alternate lines on offer. You may feel that both Christian Eriksen and Lionel Messi are in form and will break open their opposing defence, thus choosing to go with the overs on a line of 4.5. If five goals or more are scored in the match, you’ve just won your wager at odds of +300, not bad at all!
History shows that the average goals scored in World Cup matches is around 2.4, so the generic handicap offered will most often be -2.5 for this market. It’s difficult to get a read on whether the knockout round is more or less likely to produce goals – in 2014 the average dropped from 2.9 in the group stage to just 2.2 in the knockout rounds, whereas it was close to the opposite in 2010. It really depends on the matchup, and even then you need luck – just look at Brazil’s 7-1 capitulation at the hands of Germany!
By taking note of the pre-match odds, lines and margins, you can really take advantage of the live betting options available through most top sports betting companies. This is a great way to increase your chances of a big dividend, however you will need to ensure you are disciplined and ensure you follow the fluctuation in lines very carefully.
The top sports betting companies will allow you to place a wager on all the aforementioned markets during live play, which gives you even more chance of a win as you can sum up the state of the game and make a decision based in what is unfolding in front of you.
Regardless of how you prefer to bet, you can count on us to provide you with the best odds and lines from a variety of the biggest online sports betting companies. With all of the information on this page, you should have the resources you need to win big on World Cup knockout stage matches, so put your money down today and get ready to reap the rewards!