Carlos Cuin-Jam Media-Getty Images. Pictured: Mexico celebrating vs. Germany
The World Cup keeps on delivering and Monday’s action kicks off with Brazil taking on Mexico, followed by Belgium facing Japan.
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Here’s a breakdown of the market for both matches and which sides the sharps/public are betting:
Brazil vs. Mexico (10 a.m. ET)
Moneyline Odds: Brazil -204, Mexico +753, Draw +359
Odds to Advance: Brazil -455, Mexico +385
Brazil (-204) are big favorites to win in regulation, but public bettors are all over Mexico (+753) to pull off the upset.
Just over half of moneyline bets have come in on Mexico despite a 3-0 loss as favorites against Sweden in their last group match. Brazil played to a draw their opening game of the tournament but won by consecutive 2-0 scorelines to finish the group stage.
There are a few possible explanations for the Mexico love. They’ve looked good on the counter-attack, which is necessary against a top team that will want possession. Brazil also have some injury concerns, including defender Marcelo (back), who will not start and may not be available at all. The high odds of +750 are another factor and the big payout is very enticing for the public.
Since opening at -192, the moneyline has shifted in Brazil’s favor. They reached a high of -219 early Sunday morning before coming back down to the current odds of -204. As fun as it is to root for the underdog, this match is shaping up to be a sharp contrarian spot to back Brazil to win.
Spread bets are just about even on Brazil -1 (+109) and Mexico +1 (-117). The large majority is on over 2.5 goals and juice has trended that way as well.
Belgium vs. Japan (2 p.m. ET)
Moneyline Odds: Belgium -255, Japan +660, Draw +350
Odds to Advance: Belgium -725, Japan +550
Public bettors aren’t quite as convinced with Japan’s (+660) chances of an upset, and more than 70% of bets have come in on Belgium (-255) to win in regulation. They’re also getting more than 75% of spread bets on three separate spreads of -1, -1.25 and -1.5.
Naturally with bettors on big favorite Belgium to win, they’re also on the over (2.5) goals, shifting the juice upward since opening.
Setting all biases and bets aside, it would be fascinating to see a Brazil-Belgium matchup in the quarterfinal. Brazil are currently +400 to win the World Cup, behind only France (+375), while Belgium have the third-best odds at +600. Only one of them will even make the final, though.