Both Russia and Croatia reached the quarterfinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup by the skin of their teeth.
Each country notched a Round of 16 win by virtue of penalty kicks. The home nation’s victory over Spain was a stunner, while Croatia got the last laugh against Denmark in a battle of fairly evenly matched clubs.
Now, Russia and Croatia will meet Saturday at 2 p.m. ET with a semifinals berth at stake. Will the Cinderella story continue, or will Croatia march one step closer to a championship in just their fifth World Cup appearance?
Let’s look at the Russia vs. Croatia betting lines:
Current betting line (via OddsShark):
Total goals: 2
NESN.com’s picks: Croatia, OVER
While Russia might have the momentum coming off its thrilling win over Spain, it feels as though there won’t be a storybook ending this time around. After coasting through the group stage, Croatia received a bit of a wake-up call against Denmark. Now that Vatreni has been battle tested, we expect them to take advantage of a team they rank 50 (!) spots ahead of in the FIFA world rankings. Take Croatia.
Croatia’s defense has been stifling thus far in the tournament. Through four total games, they’ve allowed only two goals, one of which coming via a penalty kick. That said, we still expect Russia to find the back of the net once, while Croatia’s attack should be able to lift the team to victory. Bet on the over.
Thumbnail photo via Tomasz Jastrzebowski/Foto Olimpik/Sipa USA via USA TODAY Sports
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