The first two matches of the FIFA World Cup saw the best two players in the world ousted on the same day. First, Messi and the rest of the Argentinian team were beaten by France, which was one of the most thrilling matches in the history of the tournament. Second, Cristiano Ronaldo and the Portugal team was defeated by Uruguay. This is the World Cup and with the reigning champions, Germany, eliminated in the Group Stage, anything can happen.
Spain vs. Russia - 15:00 GMT, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
As mentioned, there will be two matches today. The first one seems a little more natural to predict, at least on paper. Spain is the outright favorite with all odds in their favor to win. But, many of the giants have already fallen in this tournament, and it could be a closer match than many thinks, especially with Russia, the home team, looking to impress its fans and honor the country. Spain has not yet shown its potential at this World Cup, but, led by Diego Costa and Isco, this could be the match we see an absolute goal fiesta for the Spaniards.
A smart bet will be with Spain, as bet365 Sports has posted odds in their favor at 1.55. For the home team, bet365 Sports has odds posted at 7.00. In the event of a draw after 90-minutes of play then bet365 Sports offers 4.20. Throughout the match, there will be live in play betting markets that will be unveiled on the site. All in all, there are 159 individual markets to wager on before the match.
Croatia vs. Denmark - 19:00 GMT, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
The second match of the day is much harder to predict as both Croatia and Denmark are two European teams that have a lot in common. We will see some of the best midfielders in the world going head-to-head tonight, and, believe it or not, this is the first time these teams will have met at a World Cup. The teams have met five times on different stages with both winning two-games apiece. Lest we forget that Croatia pummeled Messi and Co., 3-0 in the Group Stage and had won all three of their Group games.
Denmark, on the other hand, finished second in Group C with one win and two draws, but they are rolling on a 16-game unbeaten streak. Most experts are giving this one to Croatia, and many say it will be a 3-1 or 2-0 scenario. The popular bet is with Croatia, and even bet365 Sports has posted at 1.80 in their favor. Denmark is at 5.60 for the win and a draw at 3.40. This match could be an upset though, as this World Cup has proven to be as unpredictable as any in recent years.
This week we will be treated to all the remaining Round of 16 matchups. Be sure to check back tomorrow for our news about Brazil vs. Mexico, and, Belgium vs. Japan. All of the action this week should be fierce, and the odds are getting more competitive by the day. There are still hundreds of wagering lines to try and a ton of money to be won, so be sure and check the predictions in order to make a smart bet prior to, or during the matches planned for this week. This is proving to be one of the most exciting World Cup tournaments and we cannot wait to see which team will come out on top. Many think it is Brazil's chance for glory, while others believe that teams like Belgium, with its powerful roster will surprise all.