How World Cup betting market sizes up Great 8

By Jeff Fogle  (VSiN City newsletter) 

July 3, 2018 10:40 PM

England survives penalty kicks, will face Sweden next. It’s already “ovah for Kvitova” at Wimbledon. Plus, MLB and about the biggest possible upset in the WNBA…all up next in VSiN City.

World Cup Soccer: England through, but more work to do

England celebrated Tuesday like it had won the World Cup, rather than just a Round of 16 matchup as a favorite against an opponent that was missing its best player. This level of performance won’t be enough to run the table…and might not be enough to win the weaker lower half of the bracket.

A quick recap of Tuesday’s action in kickoff order. 

Sweden 1, Switzerland 0

Total Shots: Sweden 12, Switzerland 18

Shots on Goal: Sweden 3, Switzerland 4

Corner Kicks: Sweden 3, Switzerland 11

Possession Pct: Sweden 36%, Switzerland 64%

Estimated Goals: Sweden 0.9, Switzerland 0.6

The two Cinderella’s played more like they were afraid of losing their slipper rather than wanting to earn a trip to the ball. Switzerland became more aggressive after falling behind early in the second half. But, all of those shots only accounted for 0.6 expected goals according to Michael Caley’s calculations (game-by-game posts on his twitter account @Caley_graphics). Another example of the stats showing you who was playing from behind rather than describing meaningful advantages. The Swiss edge of 15-6 in shots on goal and corner kicks had some holes in it. Right team advanced in terms of high percentage opportunities. 

England 1, Colombia 1 (England wins penalty kicks 4-3)

Total Shots: Colombia 14, England 16

Shots on Goal: Colombia 4, England 2

Corner Kicks: Colombia 2, England 7

Possession Pct: Colombia 48%, England 52%

Estimated Goals: Colombia 0.4, England 0.8

Through the first two thirds of regulation, the field was titled in favor of England. They were getting the best of the attack (though, obviously not creating “great” chances according to Caley’s math), and Colombia was fouling so much that either a penalty kick or a score off a free kick seemed likely. Penalty kick in minute #57 put England up 1-nil. Colombia then picked up its attack, finally netting the equalizer three minutes into extra time on a header off a corner kick. 

Nobody could connect in 30 minutes of extra time. Penalty kicks featured some rockets (much better efforts than ween in previous deciders). England prevailed.

That sets up these quarterfinals, to be played Friday and Saturday. Let’s start by updating our “market” Power Ratings based on early goal lines. 

World Cup Quarterfinals

France (2.5) vs. Uruguay (2.1)…Friday 10 a.m. ET

Brazil (2.8) vs. Belgium (2.5)…Friday 2 p.m. ET

England (2.3) vs. Sweden (1.7)…Saturday 10 a.m. ET

Croatia (2.2) vs. Russia (1.9)…Saturday 2 p.m. ET

Brazil may hop between 0.3 and 0.4 between now and kickoff. We dropped England a tick because it didn’t impress here as a favorite near half-a-goal, and is barely over half-a-goal over Sweden. 

Now, onto the three-ways from Westgate by way of the soccer odds page on our website. If you’re just getting involved with the World Cup and three-way options, these refer to results BEFORE overtime. Results at 90-plus minutes…not 120-plus minutes.


France -105, Uruguay plus 350, draw plus 215

Brazil plus 110, Belgium plus 250, draw plus 245

England -120, Sweden plus 375, draw plus 240

Croatia plus 120, Russia plus 280, draw plus 200

Looks like the Westgate has France more like 2.5 to 2.0 on our scale rather than just 0.4 goals. Offshore sites have it tighter. Brazil/Belgium looks to be more wide-open than the others, with relatively low chance for a draw considering the relative tightness of the win odds. 

Now, let’s check out the odds to advance. These are money lines from the respected offshore book Pinnacle, and refer to the full game, no matter how long it lasts. 

Money Lines to Advance 

France -256, Uruguay plus 220

Brazil -192, Belgium plus 172

England -312, Sweden plus 249

Croatia -185, Russia plus 167

No surprises. Could Sweden offer value against the Brits in a letdown spot? This favorite was surely much more worried about Colombia than Sweden. 

Finally, Jeff Sherman of the Westgate tweeted odds to win the World Cup for the eight survivors Tuesday evening. Let’s take a look at those. 

Odds to win the World Cup

Brazil 9/4 (31% win equivalent)

France 4/1 (20%)

England 4/1 (20%)

Belgium 5/1 (17%)

Croatia 6/1 (14%)

Uruguay 14/1 (7%)

Russia 20/1 (5%)

Sweden 25/1 (4%)

Those add up to 118% because sports books create a universe larger than 100% to represent the house edge. As we’ve discussed often, you’ll likely get a better return on your team of choice if you bet them to advance in the quarterfinals, then reload everything you get back (initial stake plus profit) in the semifinals, and again in the finals. The biggest dog…Sweden…at a reasonable estimate of about plus 250 (England), plus 200 (Croatia), and plus 300 (Brazil) would return about 40/1 according to the parlay calculator at 

Favored Brazil is fairly close to true odds, depending on how perceptions may change on other contenders. If there are upsets softening the pathway, that 9/4 is going to seem like a steal. Offshore anyway, Brazil is -190 to advance past what might be the second-best team left in the brackets.

Don’t forget to watch “Russia 2018: The Tournament Show” on VSiN every afternoon. Even though the World Cup will take Wednesday and Thursday off, VSiN will continue to outline all the betting angles for games, futures, team props, and individual player props…with informed analysis from special guests. 

Wimbledon: Women's favorite Petra Kvitova upset in first round! Serena Williams now market choice

Yesterday we told you that European exchanges had Petra Kvitova as the market favorite to win 2018 Wimbledon. She couldn’t make it past the first round! That scooted still-rusty Serena Williams into the top spot. She may not reach her best form during the fortnight, suggesting a wide-open event. 

Latest exchange odds as of Tuesday night (click here to get live numbers as you read)…

Serena Williams: risk $1 to win $4.60, risk $4.70 to win $1 that she won’t win

Garbine Muguruza: risk $1 to win $6.60, risk $6.80 to win $1 that she won’t win

Angelique Kerber: risk $1 to win $7.80, risk $8 to win $1 that she won’t win

Simona Halep: risk $1 to win $8, risk $8.60 to win $1 that she won’t win

Caroline Wozniacki: risk $1 to win $11.50, risk $13.50 to win $1 that she won’t win

Madison Keys: risk $1 to win $13.50, risk $14 to win $1 that she won’t win

Want to give out an “atta boy” to reader Jon K. for alerting us to a mis-typed line on Wozniacki in yesterday’s report. She was 14.50/1 heading into Tuesday action, now 11.50/1 to win. 

A change of note on the men’s side. Some skepticism about Novak Djokovic has dropped him down to fourth choice from second choice. Still only four men seen as serious title threats (click here for live numbers on the men). 

Roger Federer: risk $1 to win $1.62, risk $1.64 to win $1 that he won’t win

Marin Cilic: risk $1 to win $6.40, risk $6.60 to win $1 that he won’t win

Rafael Nadal: risk $1 to win $6.80, risk $7.20 to win $1 that he won’t win

Novak Djokovic: risk $1 to win $7.20, risk $7.40 to win $1 that he won’t win

VSiN broadcasts will keep you on top of developments as matches end throughout the day from July 4 onward. We’ll provide odds updates in the newsletter as upsets wreak havoc. 

Tuesday MLB: Yanks bounce back, Nationals do not 

The bats may have started heating up for the New York Yankees, which is bad news for opponents and Under bettors (quick note that games involving the Yanks and Rays both went Over Tuesday, stemming the tide of those recent trends). Tuesday’s win over Atlanta makes the Yanks 20-8 in the game immediately following a loss this season. 

NY Yankees (-160) 8, Atlanta 5 

Total Bases Plus Walks: Atlanta 23, New York 27

Starting Pitchers: Newcomb 2.2 IP, 5 ER, German 4.1 IP, 3 ER

Bullpen: Atlanta 5.1 IP, 3 ER, New York 4.2 IP, 2 ER

Each team hit three home runs, and scored five runs on those three dingers. Yanks were able to manufacture some other runs to get back into the win column. Braves haven’t shied away from the spotlight in this high-profile series. Though, some on the pitching staff may not be ready for the big time. Yanks move to 54-28 to stay a game behind Boston in the AL East. Atlanta falls to 49-35

Boston (even) 11, Washington 4 

Total Bases Plus Walks: Boston 28, Washington 21

Starting Pitchers: Johnson 4.2 IP, 2 ER, Roark 7 IP, 9 ER

Bullpen: Boston 4.1 IP, 2 ER, Washington 2 IP, 2 ER

Brian Johnson doesn’t make many starts for Boston. He wasn’t able to pick up the win because he didn’t last five innings. But, his effort was more than enough with the Red Sox lighting up the scoreboard. Sox scored three in the second inning and six in the fifth to put it away. 

Washington has now fallen all the way back to the .5000 mark at 42-42. The Nats are 1-7 their last eight games, 5-16 their last 21 games. Nowhere near playoff caliber at the moment. Boston moves to 58-29, with wins in exactly two-thirds of its games. Pretty amazing that Boston was even money considering both full season and recent form. 

Some notes from other games…

*Houston won on the road again, shaking off a bad weekend at Tampa Bay. The Astros’ 5-3 win at Texas brings Houston to 31-14 on the road this season. Astros are 11-4 vs. the Rangers in 2018.

*Detroit lost 5-3 to the Chicago Cubs, making the Tigers 2-12 their last 14 games. 

*Philadelphia beat Baltimore 3-2. We showcased Zack Eflin today in our New York Post “tip of the day” feature Tuesday because he’s been throwing at a very high level vs. top competition. Didn’t lose his focus here vs. the horrible Orioles, allowing only two earned runs in seven innings. That dropped Eflin’s ERA below three to 2.97 for the season. Phils have won his last six starts, and are now within 2.5 games of Atlanta in the NL East (4.5 games ahead of Washington).

*The New York Mets will get a nod for road offense in our Wednesday post at the Post (a look at offensive fireworks on fireworks day!). Putrid home stats in a tough pitcher’s park has helped hide that this team can score on the road. Mets are top five in the National League in road OPS (on-base plus slugging). Six runs in a loss tonight. Mets have scored 63 in their last 12 road games, for a 5.25 per-game average. Those outings went 6-4-2 to the Over. Maybe some sneaky value moving forward. 

WNBA: Struggling Indiana (1-16!) shocks league power Minnesota as 14-point underdog!

Holy cow! The worst team in the WNBA just won by double digits on the road against the defending champion, beating the market by 26 points. Gotta see how that happened.

Indiana (plus 14) 71, Minnesota 59

2-point Pct: Indiana 43%, Minnesota 35%

3-pointers: Indiana 4/15, Minnesota 6/21

Free Throws: Indiana 13/18, Minnesota 9/15

Rebounds: Indiana 42, Minnesota 40

Turnovers: Indiana 6, Minnesota 12

Key was mostly poor Lynx shooting, and a defense that could only force six turnovers from a soft opponent. Clearly, Minnesota took this one too lightly. Maya Moore was just 3 of 15 from the field. Stunning, because Minnesota had righted its ship after an awful start. This debacle ends a seven-game winning streak. 

Indiana moves to 2-16 on the season. This was its first road win in 2018. Minnesota falls to 10-7, still in fourth place in the tough West division.

In other early Tuesday finishers: Seattle (-4.5) won at New York 77-62. The Liberty are now 3-10 their last 13 games. Dallas (-6.5) beat Chicago 108-85. 

Let’s take this opportunity to update our estimated “market” Power Ratings for the WNBA. Based on Tuesday night’s lines…

85: Minnesota, Los Angeles

83: Phoenix, Washington, Seattle

79: Connecticut, Atlanta, Dallas

75: New York, Chicago, Las Vegas

74: Indiana

Clear tiers have formed. Five teams at 83 or above, all very dangerous at full strength. Three tweeners, with Connecticut surprisingly falling down to that level after a great start. Then, four teams well off the pace. 

Note that the top two teams according to recent market pricing will play each other Thursday when Los Angeles visits Minnesota. 

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