Croatia vs. England Betting Odds Preview, World Cup 2018 Prediction, Analysis

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2018

England's forward Harry Kane (R) looks on as defender Phil Jones (L) tries to catch a toy rooster  as they take part in a training session in Repino on July 10, 2018 ahead of their semi-final match against Croatia during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

England will be making its first appearance in a World Cup semi-final contest since 1990 when it takes on a surprising squad from Croatia on Wednesday in a 2018 FIFA World Cup matchup at Luzhniki Stadium.

The Three Lions clinched their berth in the final four with a decisive 2-0 victory over Sweden as +115 favorites in quarter-final action, which marked their first clean-sheet victory at the World Cup since 2010. But the English must contend with a Croatian offense that has averaged two goals per match while posting five straight victories at this year's tournament.

World Cup betting line: England opened as a +138 favorite (wager $100 to win $138); the total is at two goals, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

World Cup betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 2.0-0.9, England (2018 World Cup picks on every game)

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Croatia vs. England World Cup matchup analysis

The new generation of Three Lions have emerged as legitimate contenders to claim their first World Cup title since 1966 with solid play on both sides of the ball.

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has surrendered just four total goals, and his heroics during the penalty shootout proved to be the difference in the team's Round-of-16 win over Colombia as +115 chalk, while Harry Kane's six goals lead all players in the tournament and have helped England match the goal total of the 1966 World Cup-winning squad.

However, aside from their 6-1 rout of Panama in group stage action, England has regularly engaged in low-scoring affairs, with 11 of their past 14 outings settled by a single goal, and the goal total exceeding 2.0 in just three of those contests.

Croatia marches into their first semi-final appearance since 1998 riding a nine-match unbeaten streak in competitive contests. The Blazers were dominant while posting three wins in group stage action, including a decisive 3-0 victory over Argentina as +295 underdogs. However, the squad has needed extra time and penalties in each of their two knockout stage wins, and will be eager to conserve energy by claiming victory over England in 90 minutes.

All 2018 World Cup odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

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