Nigeria is one of the biggest underdogs in the 2018 World Cup. They are a +18000 World Cup sportsbook betting longshot. Croatia is not exactly a favorite either at +3050. But they are regarded as a far more capable team. Both teams are considered the bottom pair of Group D. Without question Argentina is the class of the field. Iceland also garners respect. So to many the question is who will finish second to the Argentines. Croatia is relatively new to World Cup competition. Nigeria has a longer history. But they bring no real record of success either.
Nigeria vs. Croatia
Date and Time: Saturday, June 16, 2018, 3 p.m. ET
Location: Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad
World Cup Betting Online Odds: Nigeria + ½ (-103), Croatia – ½ (-112), Over 2 ½ (+132), Under 2 ½ (-152), Nigeria +360, Croatia -110, Draw +245
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: Check Listings
Recent play makes Croatia a slight favorite in their match with Nigeria. To Nigeria’s credit they have qualified in four of the last five World Cups. In 2014 they finished 16th in the round of 16. Croatia finished 19th in in the group stage in 2014. Many fans remember Croatia’s third place finish in 1998. Their current team is considered every bit as good. Nigeria has shown vast improvement under German coach Gernot Rohr. Croatia has also gone through plenty of turmoil. Nigeria had a much smoother World Cup sportsbook betting path.
Croatia is known for volatile qualifiers and this season was no different. Head coach Zlatko Dalic was hired two days before the decisive final. The team quickly responded to Dalic to salvage qualification. The roster is comprised of a core aged in their late 20’s and early 30’s. Labeled as an extraordinary generation it has not actually moved the needle. And realistically this is their last shot at World Cup glory. Problematic is a national program divided by debates and politics. Media and fans have been unreliable. Focus has been a constant challenge.
Midfielder Luka Modric is the kingpin for Croatia. With 104 caps he has 12 goals. Professionally he plays for Real Madrid. Captain Ivan Rakitic is another top midfielder. He has posted 14 goals with 90 caps. Dalic previously coached the under-21 team. He earned the permanent job in November 2017.
Young Nigeria has plenty of sportsbook online upside. The question is if they are ready for a big step. It may be too soon to expect much. A friendly win over Argentina may have set unrealistic dreams. Head coach Gernot Rohr has earned acclaim for skillfully handling the young team. Rohr has designed a ruthless counterattack that maximizes team ability. Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses have taken full advantage of the strategy. Defensively Nigeria has played with excellent structure. Moses plays for Chelsea in the Premier League. The forward has 11 goals and 32 caps for the Nigerians.
Matchup to Watch
Stability gives Nigeria a World Cup sportsbook betting advantage. They are a well-coached team that is prepared. Rohr has provided the discipline and structure for a potential surprise run. Croatia boasts experienced skill. Offsetting that is their team turmoil. Matchup wise Rohr is the advantage.
World Cup Betting Odds Picks
Nigeria is the pick to upset Croatia.
World Cup Betting Online Pick: Nigeria
World Cup Betting Online Score Prediction: Nigeria 1, Croatia 0
Check out highlights of Nigeria’s upset win over Argentina!