Tactics, fitness and mental strength are some of most important reasons a team progresses. But what are the options for bettors? Here are some thought starters.
Adjust your expectation based on home advantage & fans’ support
Don’t underestimate the power of a roaring stadium. But it’s not the only factor to consider. Several studies have attempted to define whether crowd size can influence a match. Though ultimately, it comes down to the players. For instance, travel distance was found to increase an away team's probability of conceding goals while scoring fewer goals themselves (Brown, Van Raalte, Brewer, Winter, & Cornelius, 2002). So well-supported teams might appear to have an edge but that’s not the full picture.
Take into account team news
It may sound obvious but this has many applications for betting in the knockout stages. A crucial one is who takes free kicks and penalties. For example, Christian Eriksen is the man to take all free kicks for Denmark. However, if he gets injured, the next man in line to take these will have a higher chance to score a goal – thus great opportunities could emerge for that, especially in-play.
Suspensions could mean that a less risky defender is played. If we keep our eye on Denmark, Yussuf Poulsen not playing could mean fewer set-pieces conceded. But also fewer goals scored.
Consider betting on penalty shoot-outs
This option becomes viable when it comes to betting in the knockout stages and can yield good potential profits. As any England fan will tell you, it’s never just 50/50. Some teams such as Germany have a history of keeping their composure in such situations. Moreover, if you delve deeper to see how goalkeepers have been performing, you can find some interesting trends to help you with your bets.
Look for in-play markets
When it comes to betting in the knockout stages, you will realise the stamina of players becomes a significant factor – a lot of these players have had very long seasons in Europe and played friendly matches just before the World Cup started. If you see that the players in a team cannot keep up the pace and start playing inaccurate passes, maybe they are on the limit of their endurance. It might be time to bet against them.
Explore bookings markets
You may not realise it fully but some referees are very conservative and are more tolerant towards players. For instance, Szymon Marciniak gave no yellow or red cards in the game between Iceland and Argentina. That might be a good foundation for betting in the knockout stages on low number of bookings in the games when he is the referee.