Over the weekend, we saw a few more countries book their passage to the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia, leaving just 4 of the 32 available spots open. The next few days will see those final spots filled, as we have four-second leg games on tap between now and Wednesday, which is why we have prepared a complete World Cup Playoffs Betting preview for you to cash in.
The stakes are about as high as they get on an international stage, and no lead is really safe after the events of the first leg. We are going to take a closer look at the latest Soccer odds for this final 4 games to see if we can predict which 4 nations will be moving on to complete the 32-team roster for the 2018 World Cup Finals.
2018 World Cup Playoffs Betting Preview (Second Leg)
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Italy vs. Sweden
- When: Monday, November 13, 2:45 p.m.
- Where: Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy
- Odds to Win: Italy -1 (Over/Under at 2)
There are certain teams that you expect to see present in every single World Cup Finals, simply because these nations have been a dominant force in world football from the very beginning. Italy, who have 4 titles and 2 runners-up attach to their name, are one of those teams, but there is a very real possibility that they may not be there in 2018. Italy head into the second leg down 1-0 to Sweden, but given that they are at home for this one, you still need to like their chances.
Sweden will likely field the same team as they did in the first leg, but the Italians will be without the services of Marco Verratti, who is suspended. Italy will need to overcome the physical style of play the Swedes adopted in the opening game, and I think they have the skill players to do so.
World Cup Playoffs Betting Pick: Italy 2-0 Sweden
Ireland vs. Denmark
- When: Tuesday, November 14, 2:45 p.m.
- Where: Aviva, Dublin, Ireland
- Odds to win: Denmark PK-120 (Over/Under at 2)
Given the choice, most teams would choose to play the second leg at home, although there is always the risk that the fight could be lost on the road, which is what happened to Greece in a 4-1 first leg loss to Croatia. Ireland got the job done on their opening leg versus Denmark, coming away with a 0-0 tie in a rather scrappy affair.
The Irish will now have the benefit of playing in front of what is sure to be a very vocal home crowd, and that may be enough to carry the day. I think a single goal will decide this one, and I believe it will be Ireland who prevails.
World Cup Playoffs Betting Pick: Ireland 1-0 Denmark
Australia vs. Honduras
- When: Wednesday, November 15, 4:00 a.m.
- Where: ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia
- Odds to Win: Australia -1EV (Over/Under at 2.5)
Honduras rode their luck a little to get to this stage of the World Cup qualifying process, but they failed to take advantage of it at home, with the first leg game against Australia ending in a goalless tie. That is probably exactly the result that Australia was looking for, as now Honduras will need to make that brutal trip Down Under, where jet lag and tiredness may suddenly become a factor. I think all of this plays in the favor of the Aussies, and I like them to win this game in a rather comfortable style.
World Cup Playoffs Betting Pick: Australia 2-0 Honduras
Peru vs. New Zealand
- When: Wednesday, November 15, 9:15 p.m.
- Where: National Stadium, Lima, Peru
- Odds to Win: Peru -1.5 (Over/Under at 2.5)
If you look at the 4 games that we are previewing here, you will see that a common theme is taking place. What we are seeing in all these games are first leg results that, for the most part, play in the favor of the teams hosting the second leg. This is another one like that, with Peru securing a 0-0 draw on the road to New Zealand in the opening leg.
Again, this is what most road teams look for in these types of games, and it’s a result that should make Peru the favorites here. I like them to come away with the win in the second leg, but things could get a little nervy.
World Cup Playoffs Betting Pick: Peru 2-1 New Zealand
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- Costa Rica