World Cup 2022: Argentina and Brazil are each a win away from an epic semifinal
Welcome to the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup.
The four games over Friday and Saturday will determine Tuesday and Wednesday’s semifinals. We’re favored to have semifinal matchups between Brazil and Argentina and Portugal and France, though you shouldn’t discount the chances of the Netherlands and England or even Morocco and Croatia.
Here’s what you need to know to bet the quarterfinals. All odds are from BetMGM.
Croatia vs. Brazil (over/under 2.5 goals)
10 a.m. ET Friday, Fox
Croatia to win (+725)
Brazil to win (-275)
Regulation tie (+400)
This has to be where Croatia’s run ends, right? This is a team that deservedly made the quarterfinals but also looks thoroughly vulnerable against a top-flight side. Croatia has been well-equipped to successfully play the way it has against teams like Belgium, Morocco and Japan but we simply can’t see how they can muck it up for 90 minutes against the Brazilians. We’ll take the under at +100 and fully expect Brazil to advance.
Netherlands vs. Argentina (2.5)
2 p.m. ET Friday, Fox
Netherlands to win (+240)
Argentina to win (+125)
Regulation tie (+210)
The Dutch could easily give Argentina some problems, especially down the flanks. Cody Gakpo could give the Argentina defense problems and the three-man central defense for the Netherlands won’t give Lionel Messi much space to operate. Argentina at +125 feels like solid value, however and it’s worth pointing out how much oddsmakers aren’t confident in a bunch of goals. Under 2.5 is at -190.
Morocco vs. Portugal (2.5)
10 a.m. ET Saturday, Fox
Morocco to win (+450)
Portugal to win (-150)
Regulation tie (+270)
We’d be all in on a regulation tie in this one with Cristiano Ronaldo in the starting lineup. But Gonçalo Ramos unlocked the potential of this Portugal side when he was slotted in at striker in place of Ronaldo and scored a hat trick. Portugal was so good in that Switzerland game that Ramos has to start again, though we’re not expecting six more goals from it in this game. Morocco has been absolutely phenomenal defensively. Its only goal allowed is an own goal. We’ll take the under at -140.
England vs. France (2.5)
2 p.m. ET Saturday, Fox
England to win (+200)
France to win (+135)
Regulation tie (+230)
This has the potential to be a 0-0 snoozer, with both teams unable and unwilling to unlock each other or it could be the game of the tournament. Is there anything in between? We’re fascinated to see if England adds a fifth defender to deal with the holdup play of Olivier Giroud and the speed of Kylian Mbappe or sticks with the system it’s played so far this tournament. The angst within both nations if this game goes to penalties would be palpable even in the United States. We’re going with a risky over at +100.