Betting Special: Bookmakers expecting tight tussles in the World Cup quarter-finals

After a closely contested last-16 round, the bookmakers are struggling to split several possible winners ahead of the quarter-final stage getting underway on Friday
Punters definitely got the better of the group stages. On the whole, the high-scoring matches which saw plenty of favourites collect maximum points during the early games were good news for the betting public but the low-scoring encounters in the first knockout round went in favour of the bookmakers.

Although all eight group winners progressed through to the quarter-finals in what would have been a 12/1 (13.0) multiple, the line-up for the next round has been decided and there are some matches that are tough to call.

Brazil remain the outright favourites at 13/5 (3.60) to win the tournament on home soil ahead of their meeting with Colombia (12/1) who have been one of the more impressive teams over the last couple of weeks.

Brazil have drifted out to 5/6 (1.83) to get the better of their South American opposition after their performance against Chile while Colombia are available at 15/4 (4.75) with bet365. The draw is an 11/4 (3.75) shot.

France's clash with Germany looks the toughest quarter-final to call according to the odds. Joachim Low's side are favourites at 6/4 (2.50) while France are 11/5 (3.20) to win the match. In the 'To Qualify' market Germany are available at 7/10 (1.70) with Les Bleus priced at 5/4 (2.25).

Argentina's unconvincing performance against Switzerland means the South American side are drifting to 23/20 (2.15) to get the better of a Belgium side (11/4) who squeezed past the USA in extra time on Tuesday. The draw is trading at 12/5 (3.40).

The pre-tournament second favourites have been pretty friendless in the outright market after several performances which left plenty of questions over their ability to break sides down and they are actually the same price at 4/1 (5.0) as they were before their campaign got underway.

The last quarter-final sees the strongest favourites in Louis van Gaal's Dutch side who bet365 make 1/2 (1.50) to end Costa Rica's dream run in the tournament in 90 minutes.

The rank outsiders - who were available at 4000/1 in places before the tournament began - are now 66/1 (67.0) to emerge victorious in the outright betting and 7/1 (8.0) to beat the Dutch in the match odds market.

bet365 will continue to refund losing bets on all World Cup games that end 0-0. Any match that ends in a bore draw will see losing punters refunded on the first/last and anytime goalscorer, correct score, scorecast and half time/full time markets.

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