World Cup Predictions: Experts Say Brazil & France Are The Best Bets to Make

World Cup Predictions: Experts Say Brazil & France Are The Best Bets to Make article feature image

Matthew Ashton, Simon Bruty/Getty. Pictured: Ousmane Dembele and Vinicius Junior.

Ahead of the quarterfinals stage of the World Cup, we asked Action Network's team of soccer experts to identify their best updated title bets.

Anthony Dabbundo, BJ Cunningham, Johnathan Wright and Michael Leboff believe the following plays are worth making before Friday's matches kick off.

Read on for their analysis and best bets.

World Cup Predictions

Brazil Outright (+175 via FanDuel)

Anthony Dabbundo: When you consider the current form and the path for Brazil, it’s hard to pick anyone else to win the World Cup at this point.

You can make a compelling case for France and England, but their matchup with one another is a tossup in my view. Portugal have new life and a real chance of getting to the final with Gonçalo Ramos as the main striker now, but even in the win against Switzerland, that defense conceded 1.3 expected goals (xG).

Portugal’s defense has conceded at least 1 xG in every match and hasn’t played a great attack yet. Argentina are too Messi-dependent for goals, while Brazil can get them from all over.

My biggest concern for this Brazil side coming in was their lack of a true striker, but given the current form of Richarlison and the elite defense they feature, it’s hard to see the weakness that gets Brazil knocked out of this tournament. Vinicius Junior and Raphinha are elite at beating their man out wide and Neymar is back fit and producing elite ball progression and chance creation numbers.

When France and Portugal rotated their teams, their performance dropped off considerably. When Brazil rotated, they dominated Cameroon with 2.5 xG created, despite the loss.

The depth of Brazil will show itself in the final three matches and they’ll raise the trophy for the sixth time in their nation’s history. There’s only two teams that I thought could truly go toe-to-toe with Brazil coming into this tournament. Argentina haven't looked close to their best in Qatar, and Spain’s possession-dominant side is now out of the field. Brazil are the chalk, but sometimes the chalk wins.

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France Outright (+460 via BetRivers)

Johnathan Wright: It's hard to win the World Cup just once — only eight countries have done so — and winning back-to-back titles is nearly unheard of. Italy did it in 1934 and 1938 and Brazil in 1958 and 1962, but those are the only teams that successfully defended their World title.

History is not on France's side. However, France are statistically playing the best soccer in Qatar. Amongst the eight teams remaining, they are second in xG and shots on target, first in big chances created and dribbles completed and fifth in xG conceded.

Moreover, despite all the injuries Les Bleus suffered ahead of the World Cup, they have the most complete roster left in the tournament, and in Kylian Mbappe they have the best player left. The 23-year old superstar leads the tournament in goals and is the favorite to win the Golden Boot award.

In one-match knockout tournaments, predictive statistics can only get you so far. Sometimes it simply comes down to who has the best player on the pitch, and at the moment that edge goes to France.

Netherlands Outright (+1700 via BetRivers)

Michael Leboff: There's two ways for bettors to look at the Netherlands right now.

On one hand, their path is brutal and it may not seem a worthwhile investment to back a team where the likeliest path to the finals is Argentina and then Brazil. And that's just to get to a probable showdown with either France, England or Portugal.

But the other way to look at this is that the path is keeping the number high on a dangerous team that was being offered at shorter odds before the tournament started.

Even though the Dutch were inconsistent in the group stage, they were terrific against the United States in the last round and should profile well as an underdog against the likes of Argentina and Brazil.

The Netherlands were savvy against the USMNT, baiting the 'Yanks into mistakes and then catching them in transition.

A similar tactic could pay off against Argentina, who are dangerous going forward but offer little resistance against counterattacks. Argentina have yet to look convincing in this World Cup, despite playing Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland and Australia.

Should the Dutch defeat Argentina, a tilt with Brazil awaits and they'll be a big underdog, but Clockwork Oranje have the make-up of a side that should be able to give Brazil issues.

The Netherlands have a strong pairing in the middle of their defense, they're quick down the flanks and they have the finishing talent to make the most of the opportunities they create. Manager Louis Van Gaal is an expert tactician and he should be able to find the weaknesses in the Brazilian armor.

Despite the path, the Dutch are dangerous.

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Brazil to Reach the Final (-125 via Caesars)

BJ Cunningham: Brazil have the best underlying numbers of anyone in the World Cup, which is to be expected because they are the favorite. Nonetheless, 9.5 xGF and 1.5 xGA is incredibly impressive.

Coming into the tournament, Brazil only allowed 0.74 xG per 90 minutes throughout World Cup Qualifying and Copa America. They have not allowed an opponent to create over 1 xG and the last team to do so against them was Colombia on October 10th, 2021.

They are massive favorites to get by Croatia and then if the they play Argentina they should be big favorites as well. Additionally, Brazil’s total squad transfer value is $1.16 billion, while Argentina are at $619 million, per

I would have Brazil projected as a -200 favorite to advance against Argentina and -259 against the Netherlands. As long as they don’t pull a Spain, you’ll be getting a fantastic price on them to advance in the semis.

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