This article is part of our World Cup series.
There are four teams left, two of them unexpected. Argentina have ridden the coattails of Lionel Messi in what is likely his final World Cup. Does Messi have enough magic to win two more matches? Probably. But Croatia won't go down easy, as they've shown incredible resilience in the knockout rounds.
World Cup Best Bets for Argentina versus Croatia
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Croatia are sticking around in games and that's why they're here. They're doing just enough to not go down by multiple goals and are eventually finding goals themselves before getting to penalty kicks. It seems like a tough tactic to bank on, but there's no reason it can't continue.
It's likely this match will go similar to their game against Brazil in which Croatia were getting chances here and there, but Brazil had better opportunities and probably should've won. The same figures to happen in this match, though it can be argued that Argentina aren't as good across the pitch as Brazil.
Argentina haven't done anything particularly well in this tournament outside of riding Messi and following his lead. So far, that's worked. Croatia will have the best midfield that Argentina have faced and that could lead to some problems because it won't be as easy for Messi to drop back and receive the ball. The Netherlands were forced to make two half-time substitutions because they mistakenly opened with two true midfielders and were at an immediate disadvantage.
If you remove Messi from the equation, I'd argue that Croatia are better built and a better overall team. Is Messi enough to have them at -115 to win compared to Croatia at +370? Probably not. Of note, the odds are moving in Croatia's favor after being -125/+400 closer to release. Betting Croatia to win on penalties at +850 seems pretty smart given how things have played out. I think Croatia are an interesting bet to have more corners in this match at +260, but corners have had no rhyme or reason in the majority of these games.
I think Croatia have enough to possibly win this match in regular time at +370, but you could play it safer with +195 to advance. Obviously, if you don't want to bet against Messi, don't do it. If that's your route, I'd consider Argentina to win in penalties at +850 or simply to win at -115.
I took no goals in the first half at +200 for the Brazil and Croatia match, and I'm taking that route again. The downside is that you're only getting +120 odds, so it appears the oddsmakers have learned from their mistakes.
World Cup Quarter-Finals Betting Picks Argentina vs. Croatia
- Croatia to win in penalties +850
- Croatia to advance +195
- No goals in the first half between Argentina and Croatia +120
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