World Cup Bracket 2018: Odds and Predictions for All Quarter-Final Matches

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2018

England's Harry Kane, right, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, centre, and Kieran Trippier celebrate at the end of the round of 16 match between Colombia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. England won after a penalty shoot out. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

The quarter-finals for the 2018 FIFA World Cup have been set, featuring several surprise teams and just a few of the sides backed as major contenders before the tournament started.

Brazil and Belgium will play out what many see as the top fixture on Friday, hours after Uruguay and France face each other. A day later, Croatia and hosts Russia will go head-to-head after the day's opener between Sweden and England.

Here's a look at the latest odds for each fixture, as well as picks (odds courtesy of OddsShark.com):

Uruguay (333-100) vs. France (19-20), draw after 90 minutes (21-10). Pick: Draw

Brazil (27-25) vs. Belgium (43-20), draw (43-20). Pick: Brazil

Sweden (15-4) vs. England (87-100), draw (47-20). Pick: Draw

Russia (289-100) vs. Croatia (32-25), draw (21-10). Pick: Croatia


Here's a look at the full bracket:

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

The #WorldCup quarterfinals are set! https://t.co/lzTwYLGyaB


Uruguay's odds could still shift in the coming days, with plenty likely depending on the health of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker scored a brace in La Celeste's round-of-16 win over Portugal but was also taken off with a knock.

While many believe he'll miss out, that does not have to be a disaster for Uruguay, who still have another world-class option in Suarez. Unfortunately, though, there's bad news on that front as well:

Goal @goal

More bad news for Uruguay? https://t.co/LZIXo7Tzso

France's defence is vulnerable, but if they don't have to deal with Cavani or Suarez, it's hard to see them losing focus as they did against Argentina in the last 16.

Belgium's defence struggled to deal with Japan's movement on Monday, and it nearly cost the Red Devils their ticket for the next round. They will face an even bigger challenge against Brazil, and manager Roberto Martinez may opt to counter with even more attacking firepower―to the delight of neutral fans:

Ian Wright @IanWright0

Officially terrified of Belgium 😨 Unbelievable character and sets up a great quarter final with Brazil. 🇧🇪 🇧🇷 #WorldCup

On paper, the most one-sided fixture should be Russia versus Croatia. The hosts secured an incredible result against Spain, but it's worth noting La Roja had seemed off throughout the tournament, and the switch in manager just days before their first match had dreadful consequences.

In many ways, their poor showing was a perfect storm:

Andy West @andywest01

So you can't just point the finger at one thing and say 'That's why they failed'. Several factors. But Lopetegui leaving was obviously one of them and Perez was responsible for creating that situation.

With their first win in the knockout stages of a major tournament since 1998 out of the way, Croatia should improve moving forward.

England will open as favourites against Sweden, and by quite a margin.

However, punters should be aware of the team's record against the Scandinavians―just one win in their last eight meetings―and the fact Sweden beat France in qualifying, qualified ahead of Italy and the Netherlands and nearly got a result against Germany in the group stage.

Sweden are not to be overlooked.