Crucial Peru clash for Lionel Messi and Argentina's World Cup hopes
A look ahead to all the latest World Cup qualification betting action -- and be sure to check back next week for our profit and loss total for the season so far.
The Home Banker
Argentina face a make-or-break home clash with Peru this week, with their hopes of automatic qualification for Russia 2018 dangling by a thread. La Albiceleste are fifth in the table, outside the top four automatic qualifying places, with only two games remaining. Their cause is not helped by the fact Peru have won their last three qualifiers and are chasing their first World Cup finals appearance since 1982. The match will take place at La Bombonera, and won't be for the faint hearted. However, look for Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala and Angel Di Maria to finally click and help Argentina to a hard fought victory.
The Tasty Treble
Belgium, who have already qualified for next year's World Cup, may give some fringe players a chance as they head to Bosnia on Saturday where it could pay to back both teams to score. Elsewhere, Bulgaria have been fantastic at home in this campaign (four wins from four) and won't fear the arrival of France in Sofia this weekend. Win the game and Les Bleus will have one foot in Russia. However the smart play looks to be siding with both teams to score, available at 11/10 with bet365. Throw in Switzerland v Hungary at 5/4 and you have a both teams to score treble paying almost 7/1.
The Euro Wager
Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe has propelled himself into the big time and the gifted teenager could be the man to side with in the first goal-scorer market when France face Bulgaria. Antoine Griezmann is going through a lean spell while there are also question marks surrounding the fitness and form of Thomas Lemar and Olivier Giroud, so hopes could rest on the lithe shoulders of Mbappe, who has been in form for PSG and who scored against Bordeaux at the weekend.
The Wildcard Tip
Crossing continents and there might be some value in backing Zambia at a whopping 8/1 to beat Nigeria on Saturday. The Super Eagles know a win will seal qualification for a sixth World Cup appearance but all the pressure will be on them on home soil and there is enough young talent in this Zambian squad for them to spring a shock. The Chipolopolo are still in with an outside chance of qualifying for Russia and will travel in hope ahead of this make-or-break clash.
The Bookie Basher
The U.S. could yet miss out on their first World Cup since 1986 after a stuttering campaign and the bookmakers could be underestimating Panama, who sit third in the CONCACAF table, one point ahead of the United States and on the verge of qualifying for their first ever World Cup. Panama, who drew with the U.S. back in March, will likely qualify for Russia if they win in Florida on Friday and you can get 20/1 odds about a 2-1 away win.