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A Numbers Game: Even without James, England still a massive favourite versus Colombia

England soccer Chloe Kelly, Alex Greenwood - The Canadian Press

For the first time in its history, Colombia has reached the quarter-finals at the Women’s World Cup.

Brazil is the only South American team to ever advance to the Women’s World Cup semi-finals.

The odds at FanDuel are stacked against Colombia following Brazil’s lead.

A 190-to-1 long shot to win the Women’s World Cup at FanDuel before the 2023 FIFA event started in Australia and New Zealand last month, Colombia is the only team that wasn’t among the top-10 choices to win it all at FanDuel pre-tournament to reach the elite eight.

Their odds to win it all continue to shorten, as they went from 32-to-1 to 29-to-1 to win it all at FanDuel over the past 24 hours.

Colombia’s toughest test of the tournament is right in front of them now as they get set to face England in Saturday’s quarter-finals (6:30 am ET/3:30 am PT on TSN, and the TSN App).

England is a monster -500 favourite to advance at FanDuel.

Colombia is +360 to advance to the semi-finals. According to FanDuel’s odds, it’s the most lopsided match of the quarter-finals on paper.

The fact that the odds remain as lopsided as they are right now is even more interesting when you consider that England will be without its best player in Chelsea forward Lauren James, who was suspended for two matches following a red card versus Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie on Monday.

James has registered the second-most goal involvements in the tournament so far, but won’t be eligible to return until the Women’s World Cup Final, if England makes it that far.

Still, the Lionesses entered the quarter-finals as the favourite to win it all at FanDuel, and the expectation is that they will find a way to advance to the final four even without James in their lineup.

Meanwhile, France is a much smaller favourite to advance in the other Women’s World Cup semi-final versus the co-hosts Australia early Saturday (3 am ET/12 am PT on TSN, and the TSN App).

Will we see at least one more upset in the quarter-finals? Sweden’s run to the semi-finals includes upsets over the United States in the Round of 16 and versus Japan in the quarter-finals early Friday.

While I don’t think the price in the England match should be as lopsided as it is, I do lean towards both favourites in the final two Women’s World Cup quarter-final matches. In terms of a FanDuel Best Bet for Saturday’s matches, I’ll lock in England and France to both advance as a traditional parlay at -110 odds.

Even without James, the Lionesses should be able to advance to the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Australia certainly deserves to have made it this far and will have the home fans behind them, but I think France was undervalued from the start of the tournament, and I like them to reach the final four.

A traditional parlay with England and France to advance gets me -110 odds at FanDuel.

I’ll lock that parlay in as my FanDuel Best Bet for the final wave of Women’s World Cup quarter-final matches.