The World Cup is down to the Round of 16 and Sports Handle is bringing you the latest lines and breakdown! With the close of group play, German hearts were broken as it finished last in its group with a stunning loss to South Korea. Fans were living on the edge of their seats as Iran nearly knocked out Portugal late in the second half, and Argentina fans exhaled with joy as it slipped into the knockout round.
A lot of action transpired since the last update, and that means we got a better look at the teams that are playing well in this tournament. Countries like England and Belgium moved up while France moved down, and others like Brazil stayed put as the favorite to win
Here’s the World Cup Knockout Stage Odds As Excitement Mounts With Germany Out and Argentina Surviving
Belgium: Current Odds: +600 (Before +1100)
At the beginning of this tournament we said Belgium had all the potential to make a deep run, as long as it gelled under new coach Robert Martinez. Well, it looks like Belgium is doing just that as it moved swiftly in its group, taking first place over the likes of surprise team England. Belgium faces off against Japan in the Round of 16 on July 2 at 2 p.m. EST.
England: Current Odds +750 (Before +1600)
Coming into the tournament, was coming off a tough 2016 European Championship, at which it lost to Iceland in the knockout round. But after that match, England made some roster changes and went younger with star Harry Kane, who is at the top of the Golden Boot category for this World Cup. England is on the opposite side of the bracket as Belgium and finished behind Belgium in group play. England’s first knockout match is July 3 at 2 p.m. EST against Colombia.
Croatia: Current Odds +1000 (Before +3300)
While we knew Croatia had some strong players such as Luka Modric, Mario Mandzukic, and Ivan Raktic, we did not expect it to lay down the thrashing that it did on Argentina. Croatia handled Argentina with ease, winning 3-0, and cemented itself as a team to be reckoned with. Be on the lookout for this strong team coming out as the leaders for Group D. Croatia’s first knockout match is July 1 at 2 p.m. EST against Denmark.
Biggest Group-Stage Loser
Germany: Germany entered the tournament tied with Brazil as the favorite at +450. But what resulted for Germany was quite the contrary, as it finished last in its group behind South Korea, Sweden, and Mexico. The reigning World Cup champions did not impress anyone and it was a sad sight to watch. The curse of the World Cup champions must be evident as Germany falls into the same bracket as 2002 France, 2010 Italy, and 2014 Spain, all countries that won the previous World Cup and failed to make it out of group play the following tournament.
Games to Watch
There are some marquee matchups at the start of the knockout round. Here’s a look at some must-see TV:
France (+850) vs. Argentina (+1200): June 30, 10 a.m. EST
Argentina was touted as a premier team before the World Cup began, but it’s been anything but. Stumbling out of group play, can Argentina muster up some more luck to advance past young and talented France, or will it falter and leave Messi with another World Cup loss?
Uruguay (+2200) vs Portugal (+2200): June 30, 2 p.m. EST
Our sleeper pick for is Portugal because any team led by Ronaldo is one to be reckoned with. Some doubts were created when Portugal nearly got eliminated in group play thanks to Iran. Uruguay handled its competition with ease, winning all three of its matches and the group. Look for this to be a shootout and go the distance as these two underdog teams have something to prove.