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Jerry Bo's bookie busters 2018 World Cup quarterfinals analysis: Break on through to the other side

Eight countries are still chasing this. @FIFAWorldCup verified Twitter account

Eight countries left, all chasing the 18 for 18; I refer to pounds in karats of gold. Well, not all of it is solid, but 75% happens to be.

The current trophy has been around since 1974, replacing the Jules Rimet Trophy, which was kept by Brazil in 1970, after winning the tournament for their 3rd time (1958, 1962, 1970).

Valued at approximately  $161,000, will one of the underdogs manage to steal a few games and take home the coveted prize? We use the term "steal," as thats what ultimately happened to the original Jules Rimet Trophy, when it was stolen on December 19th, 1983, in Rio De Janiero. The trophy has yet to be recovered until this day, but it is said to have been melted down and sold.

Enough about the prize, first these teams must handle business, and four teams will break through into the semifinals; the question,  which flags will they carry?

Break on through.....

If trends are your type of thing, 17 of the past 20 semi-finalists in this tournament have been group winners. The last team to be runner-up and be crowned Champion was Italy in 1986. Again, these are just numbers.

Women lie, Men lie, but the numbers don't. We have six group winners and two runner-ups; keep these things in mind.

Updated odds

Brazil    +300
France    +400
England    +400
Belgium    +500
Croatia    +600
Uruguay    +1600
Russia    +2000
Sweden    +2500

When picking some of these futures, make sure you get a better price playing it now rather than doing a moneyline roll over. The possible semifinal match-ups have been released, and at many spots, you can find the projected lines, so use them to your advantage. Dig into the numbers to make sure you're getting the most value per wager.

Quarterfinals

Friday 7/6    
France vs. Uruguay     
     
France   +106
Uruguay +367
Draw +214
Over       
Under   2 -119

Advance
France -215
Uruguay +185

Belgium vs Brazil
Belgium   +275 +.5   -127
Brazil   +116
Draw +246
Over     2.5 +102
Under

Advance
Belgium  +150
Brazil   -165

Saturday  7/7

England vs Sweden
England   -103
Sweden +375       +.5 -108
Draw +233
Over
Under   2 -115

Advance
England -230
Sweden   +200

Croatia vs Russia
Croatia +124     
Russia +302     +.5 -136
Draw +209
Over
Under    2 -117

Advance
Croatia  -165
Russia   +150

Friday plays

Uruguay/ France Under 2   1U
First-half draw   1U
France Advance 1U

MAX PLAYS

Brazil/Belgium Both teams to score  -130 MAX
Over 2  -178   MAX
Over 2.5  +102 MAX

Total corners over 9½     3U
Philippe Coutinho scores a goal   +330 1U
Penalty kick awarded   YES +170 1U

Peoples Parlay   1U (4 spots leave 2 open)

France Advance

Brazil/Belgium BTTS

For any questions or comments reach me @JerryBoKnowz on Twitter.

 

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Houston drops the game to Arizona

D-backs outslug Greinke and Astros to take series opener

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

With the series win over the Rangers by taking two of three games in the middle of the week, the Astros welcomed the Diamondbacks to Minute Maid Park for a three-game weekend series, Houston's final three regular-season home games. Here is how the opener unfolded:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 6, Astros 3.

Record: 25-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zac Gallen (2-2, 3.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luis Garcia (0-1, 2.53 ERA).

Houston scores first, but Arizona grabs a lead against Greinke

Houston would get on the board first on Friday night, with George Springer reaching base in the bottom of the first on an error, moving to second on a walk, then to third on a single, as the Astros loaded the bases with no out to threaten a big inning. Instead, they would come away with just one run, with Springer taking home on a wild pitch, grabbing the 1-0 lead, but leaving runs on the table.

They doubled their lead in the bottom of the third, getting a two-out RBI-double by Kyle Tucker to make it a 2-0 Houston lead. The D-backs responded in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before a three-run homer by Kole Calhoun off of Zack Greinke would put Arizona in front, 3-2. Greinke would finish one more inning before Houston would move to their bullpen, striking out the side to bring his total to nine on the night, making the bad fourth inning the one blemish on his night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 89 P.

Astros tie it, but D-backs take the opener

George Springer would get Greinke off the hook in the bottom of the fifth, leading off the half-inning with a solo bomb to tie the game at 3-3. Luis Garcia was first out of Houston's bullpen and retired Arizona in order for a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh but would allow a leadoff single, RBI-triple, and wild pitch to bring in two runs. He would face two more batters, allowing a double and getting a strikeout, before Dusty Baker would come out to get him, now down 5-3.

Blake Taylor would make his return from the IL after Garcia, getting back-to-back outs to finish the inning. He continued on in the 5-3 game in the top of the eighth, but allowed a one-out solo homer to Calhoun, his second of the night and fourth RBI. That made it a 6-3 D-backs lead, which would go final as Houston would go scoreless after Springer's home run back in the fifth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will start Saturday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Luke Weaver (1-7, 6.70 ERA) for Arizona and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.22 ERA) for Houston.

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