Nigeria Decided Bet the World Cup Dog vs. Croatia


Few teams were as surprising as Nigeria in 2014.  At Brazil in that World Cup the Super Eagles provided great board value.  Nigeria ended up in the Round of 16.  While their quest ended there, it was truly a triumph.  For the sixth time out of seven World Cups they are in the field.  But as a massive bet the World Cup underdog.  Croatia failed to escape the group stage in 2014.  And has qualified for the fifth time in six years.  Yet they are favored over Nigeria despite finishing worse in 2014.

2018 FIFA World Cup Nigeria vs. Croatia    

Date and Time:  Saturday, June 16, 2018 3 p.m. ET

Location:  Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad

World Cup Betting Online Odds at SBG: 

Nigeria+½(+121)2 (-132)
Croatia-½ (-136)2 (+117)
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2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage:  FS1

Quick look at the odds

Nigeria is a +20000 dog to win the World Cup.  Croatia commands a +3300 price to win the tournament.  In Group D Croatia is a +230 choice to win the foursome.  Meanwhile Nigeria is at +1000 to win the group.


Croatia is an interesting bet the World Cup contender.  Nearly everyone concedes that they do bring talent to the pitch.  But internal team politics and strife have often undermined their efforts.  World Class players are definitely on the roster.  Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, and Mario Mandzukic are a commanding trio.  They make Vatreni a threat any time they take the pitch.  Offsetting that is a record of getting in their own way.  It can be said that the toughest opponent on Croatia’s schedule is Croatia.  Time is running out on this talented group.  2018 is likely their last shot together.

Croatia’s Road to Russia

The 2016 Euro Group Stage is a classic example of Croatia’s ability.  They posted two sportsbook online wins and a draw.  Beyond that they played a most entertaining style.  Few teams were more enjoyable to watch.  At times it was awe inspiring.  Their midfielders proved to be World Class.  But a 1-0 loss to Portugal in the Round of 16 did much to offset the good feelings.  Many players on the Croatia roster are using that defeat as motivational fuel.  Appealing to punters is the attacking style.  Vatreni will not sit back and passively lose.

Ivan Perisic

Ivan Perisic teams with Luka Modric as the top weapon on Croatia. Perisic scored two goals at the 2016 Euro.  And added two more during qualification.  Few wingers can match Perisic’s ability.


Many remember the Nigeria 2-0 loss to France in the 2014 Round of 16.  What resonated was that Nigeria often carried the play despite the loss.  They have made the Round of 16 in three of their last five tournament appearances.  Defense is the ticket to the Success of the Super Eagles.  And was among the reasons they dominated qualification with ease.  A youthful roster is what worries handicappers.  Not to mention head coach Gernot Rohr.  Thus, the emphasis on defense to cover for mistakes.

Matchup to Watch

Nigeria commands Bet the World Cup respect for their past success.  But Croatia brings a superior level of ability.  The difference here is experience.  The Super Eagles are lacking in this matchup.

Bet the World Cup: World Cup Betting Odds Picks

Croatia should get through this match with a victory based on experience and ability.

World Cup Betting Online Pick: Croatia

World Cup Betting Online Score Prediction:  Croatia 2, Nigeria 0

Check out a profile on the Croatia lineup!

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