World Cup Quarter-Final Best Bets: Brazil vs. Croatia

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December 7, 2022

Croatia vs. Brazil represents the most significant odds discrepancy in the quarter-finals. Don’t let that fool you. Croatia has the tools to keep the Brazillian samba dancing to a minimum. Yes, Brazil is a favorite to win the FIFA 2022 World Cup, but that doesn’t mean they obtain a free pass. Croatia represents a significant challenge. They finished runners-up to France in 2018 and will be confident they can mount a major push to go one better in 2022. 

Even if we begin by looking at this tournament, it’s clear that Croatia will not be a push-over. They have conceded just two goals in four matches and have yet to lose. Looking back a little further, they’ve beaten France twice this calendar year. Combined with their tournament experience and their sturdy midfield of Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, and Mateo Kovacic, this will be a match that Brazil cannot afford to take lightly. 

Now it’s time to wax lyrical about the Brazil side. Neymar leads the way for a frighteningly talented Brazillian team. At one time, all three of Raphinha, Vinicius Jr., and Richarlison will likely share the pitch. This level of attacking talent would cause problems for any defense in the world, club, international, or otherwise. While excellent so far, Croatia’s defense will likely not be able to prevent Brazil from scoring. It won’t be about getting a clean sheet. It’ll be about ensuring Brazil doesn’t run away with the match early on. Unfortunately for the Croats, Brazil has also only conceded two goals in this World Cup, largely thanks to the continually brilliant Alisson Becker in goal. 

Croatia vs. Brazil Game Information

Location: Education City Stadium | Al Rayyan, Qatar

Date: Dec. 9 | Time: 10:00 a.m. ET | TV: FOX

Croatia vs. Brazil Game Odds on FanDuel

Odds To Qualify: Croatia (+490) | Brazil (-750)

Does the line tell us anything about this match? It suggests that Brazil is going to wipe the floor with Croatia. However, I don’t think that’s how the match will play out. This will not be as easy for Brazil as the line suggests. That doesn’t mean they can’t run away with the game, but it will be closer than any match Brazil has played thus far, which is worth noting. 

If there’s a significant worry for Croatia, it will be their speed. Brazil is high flying and dynamic, while Croatia is not. It has yet to be a substantial problem, but Brazil may possess the Croats’ proverbial kryptonite. 

How have these sides done against each other historically? There isn’t a considerable sample size to draw from. Still, it all means little when these two teams step on the pitch. Brazil has three wins in four matches, most recently a clean sheet in 2018.

Croatia vs. Brazil Props & Parlays on FanDuel

  • Over 2.5 Goals (-128)
  • Richarlison Anytime Goalscorer (+155)

Brazil is capable of taking this game to Croatia and scoring at will. Over 2.5 goals could be hit from Brazillian goals alone. Alternatively, Croatia could keep it tight, sneak a goal, and require Brazil to go out and win the game before penalties. After he saved three of four penalties against Japan, Brazil will not be interested in taking on the Croatian wall of Dominik Livakovic in penalties. 

When he pulls up to the Brazil squad, Richarlison turns into prime Pele. He fits comfortably into Tite’s system and is guaranteed to factor heavily into the Brazillian attack. So far, he has three goals in four matches, and I’m anticipating his goal-scoring form to continue. 

Thumbnail photo via USA TODAY Sports Images

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