France aims for its third final in the past six World Cups when Les Bleus play surging Belgium in Tuesday's first semifinal. The must-see 2018 World Cup match begins at 2 p.m. ET at Saint Petersburg Stadium. Sportsbooks list France as a slight favorite, even though the Red Devils just took down Neymar and World Cup favorite Brazil. In three-way betting, Les Bleus are +150 (risk $100 to win $150), the Red Devils are +200 and a draw in regulation is +215. The over-under is 2.5 goals. To simply bet on who advances, France is -130 (risk $130 to win $100) and Belgium is +110.
Before you bet this potential classic, you need to hear what Thomas Rongen says.
The Dutch-American TV commentator boasts an incomparable football background -- assistant coach and chief international scout for the U.S. men's national team, MLS Coach of the Year, and head coach of the U.S. men's under-20 team.
And he has been spot-on during the 2018 World Cup. Despite Croatia entering the tourney as a 30-1 long shot, Rongen was all over the Croats, confidently predicting they would make the semifinals. Croatia dominated Group D -- including destroying Argentina 3-0 while limiting Lionel Messi to one shot -- and then knocked off Denmark and Russia to reach the final four.
Now, Rongen has dialed in on France-Belgium and examined whether the moment will be too big for the Red Devils. We can tell you he's leaning over 2.5 goals, but his stronger play is on the money line.
Rongen knows France is ahead of schedule, as the second-youngest team at the 2018 World Cup continues to shine. Striker Kylian Mbappe (three goals) and attacking fullbacks Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard give Les Bleus a lethal trio all 22 years old or younger, and they've meshed beautifully with established stars like Antoine Griezmann, 27.
Rongen also knows Belgium manager Roberto Martinez might have to switch his 3-5-2 formation due to Thomas Meunier's suspension for yellow cards.
But the Red Devils are just as explosive as France. They lead the 2018 World Cup with 14 goals -- including four from Romelu Lukaku. Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Lukaku form the core of Belgium's so-called Golden Generation. This is their shot to redeem the national team's failures at the past two European championships and the 2014 World Cup.
So which powerhouse wins Tuesday? And where does the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see Thomas Rongen's exclusive analysis and pick for France-Belgium, all from the soccer expert who served as chief international scout for the U.S. men's national team.