2018 World Cup Quarterfinals Betting Preview And Free Picks

Few could have predicted this group of teams would be the last eight standing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. There's no Spain, there's no Germany, and there's no Argentina. Nevertheless, one of these eight teams is going to end up hoisting the trophy on July 15. Let's take a closer look at the four quarterfinals matchups.

France vs Uruguay

France is definitely trending upward after their 4-3 win over Argentina. But they face a much different kind of South American opponent in Uruguay, who is strong defensively and has two huge attacking threats in Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez. Of course, Cavani's status for the match is up in the air after suffering an injury against Portugal. If he can't play, this game looks a lot different. Regardless, the French will have to be sharp in the final third if they expect to create chances against Uruguay. They also need to make sure Uruguay doesn't catch them off-guard on the counter. In the end, the French midfield duo of N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba should make the difference, assuming they play up to their potential.

Prediction: France 2-1 in extra time.

Brazil vs Belgium

This figures to be an epic showdown between two teams with elite attacking players. When they fell behind against Japan, Belgium was able to kick things up a notch and score three late goals to advance. They will want to keep their foot on the pedal against Brazil, who has been surprisingly strong defensively in this tournament, allowing just one goal in four games. The Brazilians also boast plenty of attacking talent, most notably Neymar. On paper, Belgium has a strong back line and a top-flight goalie. But they've been vulnerable at times, especially against teams with speed like Brazil.

Prediction: Brazil 2-0.

England vs Sweden

England is riding high after knocking off Colombia in penalty kicks. They are no doubt confident that they can go on to reach the final, especially with their side of the bracket being perceived as much easier than the other. But there will be nothing easy about facing Sweden. The Swedes have been exceptional at defending all tournament, and they're a capable team on the counterattack. It will be up to England's team leaders to keep them focused because they will have to be sharp in the attacking third after relying heavily on set pieces to this point in the tournament.

Prediction: England 1-0.

Russia vs Croatia

Russia was fortunate to advance on penalties after barely touching the ball against Spain. In their defense, they defended well and tried to push forward when they got a chance. The hosts should see a little bit more of the ball against Croatia. However, the Croatians will be a lot more willing to attack than Spain, who was content to just play keep away. The Russians will have a chance to pull off the upset, but they'll have to find their way through a team that's superior in both talent and tactics. The betting odds on this game are closer than you'd think, but this game will be Croatia's to lose.

Prediction: Croatia 2-1.