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Sunday Props Article


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Completely Opposite Games Expected in Sunday’s World Cup

Sunday’s betting card promises a variety of prop betting opportunities. Russia-Spain should see many goalscorer props cashed-in while Croatia-Denmark will be a grinder.

Sunday World Cup Props

Russia - Spain (10 a.m. ET)

Both teams have consistently gone „over“ the betting total, Spain in two of its three matches and Russia in all three. Spain sacked its coach two days before the World Cup began, has yet to find its groove under new management and promises to keep switching-up its defensive tactics. It allowed three goals to Portugal aka Ronaldo, two to lowly Morocco, and shut out an Iranian squad that was very content to park the bus, but had its goal controversially discounted. The Spaniards have looked particularly vulnerable in aerial defense—Morocco’s 2-1 goal, for instance, came off a header. Russians Yuri Gazinski and Artem Dzyuba have already scored headers. Dzyuba, with his size at 6“4, is always a threat in the air. You can bet on him to score at +375 and the first goal to be a header at +450. Russia did get shut out by an air-tight Uruguayan defense, but will have a much easier time against Spain’s shaky defense and a goalkeeper in David de Gea, who has made errors and otherwise shown poor form. Russian Denis Cheryshev, one victim of that Uruguayan defense, has three goals so far and you can bet on him to score at +500.

The Russians, who favor an open style of attack, allowed one goal in its first two matches against subpar opponents. But once it faced a team with some quality in attack in Uruguay, it allowed three. They’ll try to stop Spain without defender Igor Smolnikov, who is suspended for this match because he received a red card in his last one. Spain hasn’t shown any problems scoring. It’s led by one of the most talented midfields in the world that excels at controlling possession and breaking down defenses, even the more determined ones that like to play compact. Isco scored an amazing goal in Spain’s last match against Morocco and he’ll continue his strong form from qualifiers, when he achieved five goals and two assists in eight qualifiers. Striker Diego Costa has been a machine, producing three goals in three matches. You can bet on Isco to score at +175 and Costa at +110.

Croatia - Denmark (2 p.m. ET)

Recency bias is encouraged by every media outlet on television and it is killing bettors, enticing them to bet on a team after just one good performance. The most recent examples of this phenomenon include Germany, which was unfairly hyped after stunning Sweden, only to lose to Korea, and Colombia, which dominated a Polish side that had stupidly tried to alter significant tactics and found itself unprepared, and then failed to cover the spread in an ugly win against Senegal. Croatia is another hype team after dismantling an Argentina squad hampered by goalkeeping errors and tactical alterations. Its other six points derive from upending with a penalty and own-goal a young Nigerian squad in the opener and surviving an injury-plagued Iceland coming off a huge draw against Argentina.

Denmark’s defense will offer serious resistance. The Danes have allowed only one goal in 2018, a controversial hand-ball penalty against Australia—I say it was controversial, because the same hand-ball situation happened between Argentina versus Nigeria and it was not called a penalty. Denmark shut out Sweden, Chile and Mexico in friendlies. They’re led in the back by Andreas Christensen of Chelsea and Simon Kjaer of Spanish club Sevilla. Kjaer is a tall and well-sized defender who, in La Liga, won most of his duels, nine percent more, for instance, than Uruguay’s Diego Godin, and didn’t make any defensive errors. In anticipation of a strong defensive effort from Denmark, consider Denmark +1 at -106. So you’ll profit if the game goes into extra time or simply push if Croatia wins by a goal.

Croatia’s defense is also tough, having allowed one goal in three group games. Denmark has shown trouble finishing, having managed only two goals in three matches. You can get under 2 goals at +150. Croatia will win the possession battle thanks to its talented midfielders, Luka Modric of Real Madrid and Ivan Rakitic of Barcelona. Denmark, meanwhile, showed in its match against Australia how easily its opponent can control possession. With still goalless striker Mario Mandzukic struggling for form, it’s hard to say that Croatia has better finishers. But with more goal-scoring opportunities, Croatia will squeak by, it’s only a question of when. You can bet on Croatia and under 2.5 goals at +225. This is a better bet than simply the under 2.5, which is extremely chalky. You can bet on Croatia to grind this one out in extra time at +800. You can bet on zero goals through 90 minutes at +550.

Both of these teams are on the easier side of the bracket, away from the likes of Uruguay with that scary defense, prolific Brazil, Argentina with the determined Messi and a solid Belgium. In expectation of Croatia to squeak by Denmark, you can bet on Croatia now to reach the final at +500.

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