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This Week At The World Cup


This past week produced another stunning selection of games in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The round of 16 saw eight highly competitive matches, with comebacks, late game theatrics, and no fewer than five extra time sessions. Then there was the matter of those two penalty shootouts.

The United States put on a gallant effort against Belgium, fighting until the final whistle of extra time to try and secure a spot in the quarterfinals. While Jurgen Klinsmann’s side may have ultimately come up short, the team undeniably returns home a successful side.

Tournament favorites Brazil, Germany and Argentina all squeaked through into the quarterfinals, all requiring extra time – and penalties in the case of the host nation – to do so. Meanwhile, unfavored sides Algeria, Nigeria and Switzerland came painstakingly close.

Updated World Cup Odds

In what continues to be the best World Cup in history, the round of 16 lived up to the hype. Now it’s the turn of the quarterfinals to do the same.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap.


France vs. Germany

Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro – Friday, Noon ET

It might not have the glamor of the all-South American clash later in the day, but the matchup between France and Germany may just prove to be the best game of this round.

Both teams left it late to advance, with the Germans needing extra time to see off a spirited performance from Algeria. On paper, the Germans have the advantage, thanks to an edge in experience, but the French have the ability to score goals, and plenty of them. In reality, this looks like it’ll be a close game, with extra time and penalties a very realistic prospect.

Head-to-Head Record: France 11 wins, Germany 9 wins, 2 draws

Odds: France +145 | Germany +200 | Draw +225


Brazil vs. Chile

Estádio Plácido Aderaldo Castelo, Fortaleza – Friday, 4:00 p.m. ET

After squeaking past Chile in a penalty shootout, Brazil continues to be the favorite to win the World Cup outright, but this is without doubt the home side’s biggest threat to date.

Of the quarterfinalists, Colombia was the only side to advance in convincing fashion. In fact, the Colombians have done most things in convincing fashion this tournament, and are looking every bit the part that the much-lauded 1994 Colombian side should have been.

History doesn’t favor the team from the Pacific coast though. Brazil has been outright dominant against the Colombians, and hasn’t lost a head-to-head matchup since the Copa America in July 1991. That being said, the last four matches between the two sides have finished in a draw. A draw on Friday means a penalty shootout, and then it’s anybody’s guess.

Head-to-Head Record: Brazil 15 wins, Colombia 2 wins, 8 draws

Odds: Brazil -125 | Colombia +330 | Draw +275


Argentina vs. Belgium

Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, Brasília – Saturday, Noon ET

After that game against the United States, Belgium moved one step closer to matching its best ever World Cup performance, a semifinals appearance in 1986. If the European side is to repeat the fete it’ll need to do something it didn’t do 28 years ago; beat Argentina.

Argentina managed to steal an extra time goal to put paid to a Switzerland side that played not to lose last Tuesday. The South American side, as has been the case for much of the tournament, failed to impress, with Lionel Messi left up front with little support. That won’t be enough to advance to the semifinals.

Argentina won the 1986 World Cup semifinal 1-0 en route to a second World Cup trophy. Belgium defeated Argentina 1-0 in the group stage of the 1982 World Cup tournament.

Head-to-Head Record: Argentina 2 wins, Belgium 1win, 0 draws

Odds: Argentina +110 | Belgium +260 | Draw +240


Netherlands vs. Costa Rica

Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador – Saturday, 4:00 pm. ET

With a penalty shootout victory over Greece, this became Costa Rica’s best ever World Cup tournament. They’ll look to keep the party rolling as they face the Netherlands on Saturday afternoon.

The Netherlands squeezed past Mexico by the skin of its teeth, riding a questionable penalty call to a 2-1 victory over El Tri. Having dazzled for much of the group stages, the Dutch side looked very ordinary in the round of 16. But a first ever matchup with Costa Rica could change that.

No team is favored as heavily as the Netherlands to advance at this stage, but the Costa Ricans will be looking to play spoiler. While it might seem out of the question, the World Cup is littered with stories of ‘minnows’ gatecrashing the semifinals: South Korea and Turkey did it in 2002, Croatia in 1998, Bulgaria in 1994, to name but a few.

Head-to-Head Record: N/A

Odds: Netherlands -210 | Costa Rica +600 | Draw +325


Following the conclusion of Saturday’s quarterfinal games, the final four as it were will return to action on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, competing in the semifinals. Betting Sports will have more on that this coming week.

You can find the latest World Cup team props here.

You can find the latest World Cup player props here.

You can find the latest World Cup specials here.

You can find the latest World Cup game lines here.

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