|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|07-29-21||Canada v. Mexico UNDER 2.5||1-2||Loss||-135||14 h 54 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'under' 2.5 goals between Canada and Mexico at 10 pm et on Thursday.
While Mexico should certainly prevail in this match to advance to the Gold Cup Final, victories have rarely come easy for El Tri at this stage of the tournament and Canada serves as the very definition of a 'tough out'. I'm anticipating a relatively low-scoring affair on Thursday.
I actually think this one could play out similarly to Canada's narrow loss to the USA earlier in this tournament. Without the likes of Cyle Larin and of course Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David, the Canadians don't have the firepower to welcome a high-scoring affair here. Mexico has shown a desire to go on the attack throughout this tournament, while also keeping a clean sheet from wire-to-wire so far.
After scoring three goals against Honduras I suspect Mexico will be hard-pressed to find the back of the net more than once in this one. On the flip side, Canada simply doesn't have its 'A' squad right now due to injuries and will find the Mexican back end extremely difficult to break down. Take the under (6*).
|07-25-21||Canada v. Costa Rica||Top||2-0||Loss||-100||11 h 16 m||Show|
Gold Cup Game of the Year. My selection is on Costa Rica pk'em (draw no bet) over Canada at 7 pm et on Sunday.
Credit Canada for battling through key injuries to Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies to get to this stage of the tournament but now with striker Cyle Larin and midfield Ayo Akinola missing due to injury as well, I believe getting past an improving Costa Rica squad will be a bridge too far.
Costa Rica has impressed in this tournament, certainly performing better than I expect this veteran squad to heading in. Keep in mind, Costa Rica does find itself ranked above Canada in the FIFA world rankings so the case can certainly be made that the wrong side is being favored here (ever so slightly).
Canada went all out in its final Group Stage match against the USA, but ultimately failed to find the back of the net despite applying waves of pressure throughout the match. The low posted total gives us a hint of what to expect here as well as I suspect the Canadians will once again have a tough time finding goals with what could only be considered their 'B' squad at this point.
Costa Rica will be without goalkeeper Leonel Moreira for this match after he was given a red card against Jamaica. However, this is still a well-organized Costa Rican defense that should prove difficult to break down and I don't expect it to afford the Canadians a great deal of scoring chances.
Costa Rica has been clinical in attack from the get-go in this tournament and while this will arguably be its toughest test to date, I look for Ariel Lassiter in particular to shine up front in this match. Take Costa Rica pk/draw no bet (10*).
|07-24-21||El Salvador +0.5 v. Qatar||2-3||Loss||-100||22 h 46 m||Show|
My selection is on El Salvador +1 goal over Qatar at 7:30 pm et on Saturday.
NOTE: I'm recommending grabbing the insurance goal with El Salvador in this one, allowing us to 'push' should it lose by exactly one goal. Most books are currently offering +0.75 goals as the standard line but +1 is widely available as an alternate line, albeit at a steeper price.
Qatar got off to a shaky start in this tournament, blowing three leads on its way to a 3-3 draw against Panama. It's been all positive since then, however, but now it finds itself in uncharted territory as it heads to the quarter-final round as a decided favorite against El Salvador.
Keep in mind, these two teams just squared off in a friendly tune-up match prior to this tournament with Qatar winning by a 1-0 score. El Salvador has actually played well in this tournament so far, with its lone blemish coming in a 1-0 loss to top-15 FIFA ranked Mexico in a relatively meaningless Group Stage finale.
This is an El Salvador side that has been on the rise over the last couple of years. Getting to this stage of the tournament is a big deal as it had failed to do so in two of the last three Gold Cup events. I like the make up of this squad and believe it can give Qatar all it can handle on Saturday.
Watch for Alex Roldan for El Salvador. He's been a real difference-maker for them in this tournament and started for the first time against Mexico last time out.
It's been a smooth ride for Qatar over its last couple of matches but I expect it to face some resistance here. These are two evenly matched sides and I'm not sure that's being properly reflected in the line. Take El Salvador +1 goal (6*).
|07-20-21||Guadeloupe v. Suriname OVER 2.5||Top||1-2||Win||120||33 h 59 m||Show|
Gold Cup Total of the Year. My selection is on the 'over' 2.5 goals between Suriname and Guadeloupe at 7 pm et on Tuesday.
Both of these teams have come away pointless through their first two matches in the tournament and will be heading home following this contest on Tuesday. With that being said, both have shown plenty of promise, particularly on the attack, and I expect to see a wide-open, free-flowing affair on Tuesday night in Houston.
Suriname has fired an incredible 26 shots through its first two matches, despite facing two of the strongest teams in the tournament in Jamaica and Costa Rica. Gleofilo Vlijter has been particularly impressive and needs just one more goal to pull even for the most in his country's history. Here, Suriname should find the going a lot easier against what has been a rather disorganized Guadeloupe defense at times in this tournament. That's not to mention the fact that Guadeloupe goalkeeper Johann Thuram has been one of the weakest in the field. He may not even start this match, but regardless, I expect Suriname to find offensive success.
Guadeloupe's strength is clearly up front where it boasts three dynamic attackers in Phaeton, Mirval and Ramothe. We've yet to see Matthias Phaeton find the back of the net but I believe a goal isn't far off for the Guadeloupe striker. We've seen numerous lapses from the Suriname defense in this tournament, most recently conceding two goals in two minutes after grabbing an early second half lead against Costa Rica last time out. We saw Suriname hold strong defensively for a half against the Costa Ricans but I actually feel that may have been a more favorable matchup defensively as Costa Rica doesn't boast the same level of speed as this young Guadeloupe squad.
There's little reason for either side to sit back as both play for pride and attempt to notch a rare Gold Cup victory on Tuesday. I believe this has the potential to be one of the more entertaining, if not fundamentally or tactically impressive, matches of the tournament. The fact that we're able to play the 'over' 2.5 goals at a plus money return (at the time of writing) is a bargain in my opinion. Take the over 2.5 goals (10*).
|07-18-21||Haiti -160 v. Martinique||2-1||Win||100||10 h 38 m||Show|
My selection is on Haiti over Martinique at 5 pm et on Sunday.
We missed the mark with Haiti against Canada last time out but I expect it to finally find an ounce of success in this tournament as it wraps up the group stage against Martinique.
While Haiti won't be advancing to to the next round it will be playing for pride and country here and I don't expect it to come out flat. We did see some fight from the Haitians against Canada, battling back with a goal after falling behind very early. Unfortunately two second half penalties ended up sinking them in a 4-1 loss.
Martinique has looked like the worst team in this tournament for all intents and purposes and I don't expect it to pick up the pieces in this meaningless finale. It's interesting to note that Martinique started this tournament on the right foot, taking advantage of a Canada miscue to grab an early 1-0 lead in its opener. It's been all downhill since then, however as it has been outscored 10-1 since.
We're being asked to lay a reasonable price with Haiti here largely due to its Covid issues as it continues to play on without seven key contributors. Nevertheless I believe there's still a considerable class difference here and will back Haiti on the three-way moneyline. Take Haiti (6*).
|07-17-21||Qatar -2.5 v. Grenada||4-0||Win||100||11 h 33 m||Show|
My selection is on Qatar -2.5 goals over Grenada at 7:30 pm et on Saturday.
Off a wild 3-3 draw that saw all six goals scored in the second half against Panama, Qatar should find the going much easier against an overmatched Grenada squad on Saturday.
Grenada fell by a 4-0 score against Honduras in its Gold Cup opener. It's unlikely the 160th-ranked international squad will find its footing against a cohesive Qatarian side here. Keep in mind, the bulk of the Qatar lineup plays together at the club level in its home country so it's no surprise that we saw it flow freely against Panama last time out.
Defensively Qatar was extremely sound leading up to this tournament but clearly sprung some leaks against the Panamanians. This is an ideal bounce-back spot, however, as it faces an inexperienced Grenada squad that has had a miserable time trying to find the back of the goal against inferior opposition to what it will face here.
While we're being asked to pay a steep tariff to back Qatar in this one I believe the lofty spread is warranted. Take Qatar -2.5 goals (9*).
|07-16-21||Costa Rica v. Suriname UNDER 3||2-1||Push||0||14 h 50 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'under' between Suriname and Costa Rica at 8:30 pm et on Thursday.
Suriname had its chances to score against Jamaica in its Gold Cup opener but ultimately came up empty in a 2-0 defeat. Here, I believe those chances will be few and far between against an experienced Costa Rica side that is coming off a 3-1 victory over Guadeloupe.
Costa Rica let its guard down during injury time before the end of the first half, giving up its lone goal of the match. In general it did do a nice job of neutralizing Guadeloupe's strength, which certainly lies up front with capable attackers in Mirval, Phaeton and Ramothe.
Here, Costa Rica will face a tougher defensive side than it saw in its tournament opener. It should also find it a little more difficult to dominate the possession as it did last time out. Suriname actually held a 53% to 47% possession edge against Jamaica. I don't expect it to find the same level of success in that regard here, but it will get its share of the ball against the Costa Ricans - I'm just not sure it will lead to anything fruitful on the attack. The situation lends itself to the 'under' in my opinion.
Credit Costa Rica for finding the back of the net three times on Monday. However, given the fact that Guadeloupe received a red card relatively early in the second half, the damage probably should have been worse had Costa Rica been in top form. Look for it to continue to search for that form on Thursday as it likely controls this match most of the way, but fails to do enough to eclipse this generous total. Take the under (9*).
|07-16-21||Jamaica -1.5 v. Guadeloupe||2-1||Loss||-109||12 h 56 m||Show|
My selection is on Jamaica -1.5 goals over Guadeloupe at 6:30 pm et on Friday.
We won plays supporting both of these squads in their respective tournament openers but here, I'll give the nod to Jamaica as it should outclass Guadeloupe by a considerable margin over the course of 90 minutes.
Jamaica jumped ahead early and while there were a few testy moments, ultimately prevailed by a 2-0 score against Suriname in its Gold Cup opener. The fact that it was challenged at all should serve as a bit of a wake-up call as it prepares to face another seemingly inferior squad talent-wise on Friday. Keep in mind, the Jamaicans can lock up advancement from the group stage with a victory here.
We won with Guadeloupe +2.5 goals in its opener against Costa Rica but were fortunate to do so after it fell behind by two goals on two separate occasions and also received a red card fairly early in the second half. That red card will result in key defender/midfielder Steve Solvet missing this match.
I have concerns when it comes to the Guadeloupe defense in this one after it looked rather disorganized against a slower Costa Rica squad than it will face on Friday. While goalkeeper Yohann Thuram was the hero in a penalty shootout win over Guatemala to reach this tournament, he has looked shaky at times and that was certainly the case in the match against Costa Rica.
There's a considerable class difference that I'm not sure is being properly reflected in this line, partly due to Guadeloupe's respectable 3-1 defeat at the hands of Costa Rica. Jamaica wasn't quite as sharp as it would have liked against Suriname but I expect to see a more cohesive performance here. While I like some of the pieces Guadeloupe has up front, most notably Mirval, Phaeton and Ramothe, I suspect it will have a different time breaking down a Jamaican defense that has the potential to perform better than it did on Monday. Take Jamaica -1.5 goals (9*).
|07-15-21||United States -2.5 v. Martinique||6-1||Win||100||15 h 60 m||Show|
My selection is on USA -2.5 goals over Martinique at 9:30 pm et on Thursday.
|07-15-21||Canada v. Haiti +1.5||4-1||Loss||-108||13 h 36 m||Show|
My selection is on Haiti +1.5 goals over Canada at 7:30 pm et on Thursday.
Haiti has been struck by Covid issues in this tournament, likely to miss seven players once again for Thursday's critical match against Canada. Nevertheless, the Haitians put forth a valiant effort against the USA in their Gold Cup opener and I expect them to be a 'tough out' against Canada as well.
Canada cruised to a 4-1 victory against an overmatched Martinique squad in its tournament opener. A win here would obviously put it in the driver's seat for advancement from the group stage. Haiti on the other hand will be desperate to at least gain a point here before closing the opening round with a winnable match against Martinique.
Despite getting shutout in its opener, Haiti did have its share of scoring opportunities against the Americans and will have something to build on here. Having also been shutout in two World Cup Qualifying matches against Canada prior to this tournament, I expect Haiti to make a concerted effort to put pressure on the Canadian defense here, which was never really tested by Martinique.
While Canada's first victory was lopsided in nature, it's worth noting that it didn't extend the lead to three goals until the closing minutes of the match and that was with Martinique appearing punchless at both ends of the pitch. It will be up against a far more cagey side here, and I believe the familiarity between these two squads lends itself to a tightly contested affair. Take Haiti +1.5 goals (9*).
|07-14-21||Mexico -2.75 v. Guatemala||3-0||Win||50||15 h 0 m||Show|
My selection is on Mexico -2.75 goals over Guatemala at 9:30 pm et on Wednesday.
This is a nightmarish spot for Guatemala as it faces a furious Mexican side coming off a stunning 0-0 draw against Trinidad and Tobago in its Gold Cup opener - a match that was marred by questionable officiating and an injury to Mexican star Hirving Lozano.
There's really no reason to knock Mexico for that 0-0 result. It dominated play for 90 minutes and probably deserved a better fate as their should have almost certainly been a penalty called on the play that injured Lozano, not to mention another goal that was called back due to a questionable offside call. Nevertheless, Mexico held 83% of the possession in that contest, firing 30 shots with seven hitting target. It racked up an incredible 31 crosses in the draw and held Trinidad and Tobago without a single shot on goal. In fact, Mexico hasn't allowed a single shot on target in its last two contests.
Guatemala is only in this tournament due to Curacao being forced to withdraw due to positive Covid results. I don't think there's any question, El Salvador overlooked Guatemala in the opener. Still, the floodgates eventually opened with El Salvador finding a couple of late goals in a 2-0 victory. In the loss, Guatemala managed only 31% of the possession while allowing 21 shots with six on target and 24 crosses. Guatemala itself managed just one shot on target in the loss.
Goal differential becomes a factor here after Mexico's scoreless draw to open the tournament. I don't expect to see the Mexicans take their foot off the gas should they build a lead in this contest, noting that they secured a 3-0 victory over the Guatemalans the last time they squared off in a friendly match last September. Take Mexico -2.75 goals (9*).
|07-14-21||El Salvador v. Trinidad & Tobago UNDER 2||2-0||Push||0||13 h 47 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'under' 2.25 goals between El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago at 7:30 pm et on Wednesday.
NOTE: I would recommend playing this total at 2.25 or 2.5 if that becomes available (totals have generally been rising throughout the day in this tournament), giving us the opportunity to still get a return should the final score land on two goals.
El Salvador only managed to break through with two goals in the final stages of its opening match against lowly Guatemala - a team that only got in this tournament thanks to Curacao's Covid issues, which forced it to withdraw. While El Salvador will likely hold the majority of the possession once again in this match, the question remains whether it can break through, noting that it was previously held scoreless in a 1-0 loss to Qatar (which gave up three goals against Panama last night) in a pre-tournament friendly match.
Trinidad and Tobago will certainly be looking to earn at least another point here after a stunning 0-0 draw against mighty Mexico in its tournament opener. There's little reason to expect it to switch up its gameplan and go on the attack in this one as it simply doesn't have the offensive firepower to keep pace in that type of affair. Trinidad and Tobago has scored just two goals in three matches going back to the start of June, and those two tallies came against Saint Kitts and Nevis - a team that holds a 135th FIFA ranking.
With three points already under its belt, El Salvador is in the driver's seat in the group and ahead of a tough match against Mexico will certainly be content to earn at least a point in this match. Unlike what we saw in last night's two matches, I expect this to be a cagey, low-scoring contest, as the relatively low total implies. Take the under 2.25 goals (9*).
|07-13-21||Grenada v. Honduras UNDER 3||0-4||Loss||-103||14 h 11 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'under' 3.0 goals between Honduras and Grenada at 9 pm et on Tuesday.
Grenada checks in as decided underdogs in its group here at the Gold Cup. I have a hard time envisioning it breaking down an experienced and talented Honduras back-end but on the flip side, Honduras isn't the side it once was and I'm not convinced that a blowout is imminent in this group stage opener.
Honduras is undergoing a 'rebuild' of sorts right now, having been on the decline since missing out on the 2018 World Cup. You would have to go back to 2019 to find the last time it won a match inside 90 minutes, which is obviously a concern as it finds itself in a tough group that also includes CONCACAF outsider Qatar and Panama. Gaining three points from this match is obviously paramount but I believe a 1-0 or 2-0 result is the most likely outcome.
Grenada won't be able to lean on a great deal of experience, with the majority of its attackers under the age of 25. That's what makes the prospect of finding a goal so difficult here as it goes up against a stout Honduras defense that just held Mexico without a shot on target last time out.
One of the strengths of this Grenada squad is in its last line of defense as goalkeeper Jason Belfon is expected to make his 44th appearance. I would expect Grenada to play a somewhat conservative style here as it looks to contain Honduras and perhaps steal a point to open this tournament.
The fact that Honduras is expected to give playing time to striker Jerry Bengston is telling when you consider that he hasn't featured in this tournament in a decade. Short on offensive firepower, I'm not convinced it will be looking to attack should it build a lead as expected. Take the under (9*).
|07-13-21||Panama v. Qatar OVER 2||3-3||Win||100||12 h 21 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'over' 2.0 goals between Qatar and Panama at 7 pm et on Tuesday.
I'm fairly high on this Qatar side entering the Gold Cup as it makes its first tournament appearance by way of an invite in advance of hosting next year's World Cup. The 'outsiders' in this tournament are favored to advance from their group and rightfully so, with a cohesive squad featuring many players that play and train together at the club level in their home country.
Qatar is brimming with talent up front, led by dynamic striker Akram Afif. Don't be fooled by the fact it was held to just a single goal against El Salvador in a friendly match earlier this month - Qatar was penalized with a red card in the first 20 minutes in that contest, forcing it to play back on its heels the rest of the way.
While Qatar is on a run of clean sheets right now, it has also been facing inferior squads in World Cup Qualifying - the likes of Oman, India and Bangladesh. The fact that it was able to post a shutout despite being a man down most of the way against El Salvador was impressive but here it will go up against a Panama side that has lost only one group stage fixture in this tournament going all the way back to 2011.
Panama may not be the same team it was when it reached the World Cup in 2018 but it still should pose a challenge here. Knowing that it is unlikely to keep Qatar off the scoresheet entirely, its focus should be on generating scoring opportunities after being shut out in each of its last two matches. Panama didn't start veteran striker Gabriel Torres in either of those two contests but he is expected to feature here.
Prior to its last two matches, Panama had scored at least a goal in five consecutive contests in World Cup Qualifying. That included a 13-0 drubbing of Anguilla back in early June. While we won't see an offensive explosion from the Panamanians against a well-organized Qatar side here, I do expect it to do enough to help this one 'over' the relatively low total. Take the over (9*).
|07-12-21||Guadeloupe +2.25 v. Costa Rica||1-3||Win||50||14 h 22 m||Show|
My selection is on Guadeloupe +2.5 goals over Costa Rica at 9 pm et on Monday.
Costa Rica made a splash at the 2014 World Cup but it's been mostly downhill since then as it has fallen from the 15th ranked team in the World (according to FIFA rankings) to 50th, where it currently resides.
Yes, Costa Rica 'should' win this match on pedigree alone, however I don't think Guadeloupe will go down easily.
Guadeloupe is playing with house money in this tournament after booking its ticket with a thrilling shootout victory over Guatemala last week. Putting the level of competition aside, Guadeloupe has now won each of its last six matches while Costa Rica checks in winless over that same stretch.
I love the setup of the 'Gwada Boys' up front as they feature clinical attackers in Phaeton, Mirval and Ramothe that should be able to take advantage of an older, slower Costa Rica squad.
I believe the door is open for Guadeloupe to find the back of the net at least once in this match, noting that Costa Rica did not include PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas on its squad for this tournament. Should that happen, Costa Rica will be hard-pressed to find the four goals needed to cover this lofty goal-line spread. Take Guadeloupe +2.5 goals (9*).
|07-12-21||Suriname v. Jamaica -205||0-2||Win||100||12 h 59 m||Show|
My selection is on Jamaica over Suriname at 6:30 pm et on Monday.
Jamaica hasn't exactly been setting the world on fire in recent matches but it is coming off an encouraging 1-1 draw against top 25 FIFA-ranked squad Serbia (in a game it led 1-0 until the latter stages) and should gets its Gold Cup campaign off to a promising start with a victory over upstart Suriname on Monday.
Suriname is coming off a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the Canada but has shown some promise lately, particularly on the attack. With that being said, its opposing slate has left a lot to be desired. This is a soccer nation that is still building up its reputation and I don't believe it's ready to stage an upset of a Jamaica squad that still has its eyes on World Cup 2022 qualification.
While the bulk of Jamaica's roster plays (and stars) in MLS, Suriname draws most of its talent from the lower divisions in the Netherlands.
Jamaica already has the tournament experience that Suriname is looking to gain here in its Gold Cup debut. While the Surinamese aren't going to roll over, I do expect Jamaica's depth and talent to ultimately prevail. Take Jamaica (9*).
|07-11-21||England v. Italy UNDER 2||1-1||Push||0||17 h 21 m||Show|
My selection is on the first half 'under' 1.0 goal between Italy and England at 3 pm et on Sunday.
NOTE: I'm recommending playing the alternate first half total of 1.0 goal if your book offers such an option on Sunday. Consider this a 9* play if 'under' 0.75 goals in the first half is your only option.
We won with the Spain-Italy full game 'under' and the England-Denmark first half 'over' in the semi-final round and I believe we're well-positioned to cash this first half total in Sunday's epic Final between Italy and England as well.
England had its hand forced early on against Denmark in the semis. It was put back on its heels after Denmark managed to break through with an early free kick goal just outside the penalty box and the match essentially changed from there. The Three Lions were able to answer inside the first 45 minutes but that was it for scoring until extra time.
Here, I'm anticipating another cagey affair between England and Italy - with the latter proving to be perhaps the most impressive outfit in this entire tournament. We've seen the Italians look dominant at both ends of the pitch. I do expect to see a bit of a 'feeling out process' early in this showdown on Sunday, however. The Italians perhaps haven't looked quite as decisive on the attack in recent matches, which has a lot to do with the level of competition it has faced.
England has suddenly looked extremely dangerous offensively following a bit of a slow start to the tournament. With that being said, this is clearly its toughest test of the tournament to date. It's not going to be easy to break down a stout Italian defense.
The argument can certainly be made that both teams are here thanks to their defensive prowess and form more than anything else. I just don't envision any early breakthroughs. A 0-0 halftime result seems most likely and while we're being asked to pay a considerable tariff to play the 'under' at a full goal, I believe the price is warranted. Take the first half under (10*).
|07-07-21||Denmark v. England OVER 2||1-1||Push||0||7 h 55 m||Show|
Euro First Half Total of the Year. My selection is on the first half 'over' 0.5 goals between England and Denmark at 3 pm et on Wednesday.
Yesterday's semi-final match between Italy and Spain saw a goalless first half as both teams' ball possession prowess was on full display. I'm anticipating a different type of contest on Wednesday - at least early on - as England and Denmark battle to decide which squad faces the Italians in the Euro 2020 Final.
Unlike Italy and Spain, these two teams are unlikely to be content simply possessing the ball. I think both know that they're going to need to find the back of the net once, but more likely twice to secure victory here.
England has recorded a clean sheet in each of its first five Euro matches. It's worth noting that no side has ever done so in six consecutive matches in World Cup/Euro history. The Three Lions will undoubtedly have their hands full trying to contain a Denmark side that has gotten stronger with each passing match and has managed to score at least a goal in 11 of its last 12 matches overall (the only shutout came against Finland under terrible circumstances with Christian Eriksen's on-field cardiac arrest in the Danes tournament opener).
I like the confidence the English have shown as they've gone on the attack against Germany and Ukraine with the onset of the knockout portion of the tournament. Gareth Southgate has a wealth of options at his disposal, and most involve players that look to push forward and apply pressure on opposing defenses.
Denmark has certainly found its form offensively with Kasper Dolberg supplanting Yussuf Poulson and tallying three goals in the last two matches. The Danes have managed to reach the target on 25 of 43 shot attempts over their last three matches after doing so on just 11 of 43 attempts in their first two contests. Jordan Pickford is an excellent keeper on the English side but he hasn't been all that busy in this tournament, recording just nine saves in five matches.
Denmark has conceded at least a goal in four of its five tournament matches to date but has yet to concede a first half goal. I'm not sure that's a sustainable trend, however, and again I think we see a different type of affair compared to what we watched between two ball-possession minded squads in Italy and Spain yesterday. Getting out on the front foot will be paramount for both England and Denmark in this match and I believe an early breakthrough will be in the cards.
If your book offers alternate first half totals I would suggest playing this one at a slightly steeper price at 0.5 rather than the standard 0.75 being offered, ensuring the win should the first 45 minutes see a single goal. Virtually all books offer the opportunity to play alternate first half totals by way of live betting as soon as the match kicks off. Take the first half over (10*).
|07-06-21||Spain v. Italy UNDER 2.25||1-1||Win||50||8 h 45 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'under' 2.5 goals between Italy and Spain at 3 pm et on Tuesday.
NOTE: I'm recommending a play on the 'under' at 2.5 goals rather than the standard 2.25 being offered at most books. This of course ensures we're paid out should the game land on two goals (excluding extra time).
We've had a pretty good read on Italy in this tournament, cashing three tickets along the way. After getting bogged down against Austria in the knockout round we saw the Azzurri come up big in a 2-1 victory over number one ranked Belgium. Here, I think we'll see Italy have a difficult time breaking down a very well-organized Spain squad, however.
That goes both ways though. Italy hadn't conceded a goal in this tournament (and well before that as well) before giving one up in extra time against Austria. On Saturday, the only goal it conceded against Belgium came by way of a penalty.
Spain is obviously loaded with talent all over the pitch and particularly up front but it still couldn't break the deadlock against Switzerland in the quarters despite the Swiss going down a man due to a red card in the 77th minute. Switzerland managed to keep a clean sheet from there, including 30 minutes of extra time before falling in a penalty shootout.
When you get to this late stage of the tournament, goals can come at a premium and that's precisely what I expect to see on Tuesday. These are two of the best ball possession teams in the field and a 0-0, 1-0 or 1-1 result after 90 minutes seems the most likely outcome. Take the under (10*).
|07-03-21||England -220 v. Ukraine||4-0||Win||100||8 h 35 m||Show|
My selection is on England over Ukraine at 3 pm et on Saturday.
This is a match that England should handle without much trouble as long as it can avoid an emotional letdown off its massive 2-0 victory over Germany last time out.
I don't anticipate that being a problem for the Three Lions here as they draw a favorable matchup against Ukraine.
Give credit to Ukraine for getting to this point, although it has certainly been fortunate in doing so, most recently prevailing in extra time after Sweden was given a red card and forced to play defensively down a man.
If you've followed my plays regularly you know that I'm high on the likes of Zinchenko, Yaremchuk and Yarmolenko for the Ukrainian side. However, I like the way England matches up against that trio, proving that it can play stout defense throughout this tournament, giving up little in the way of high-danger chances.
The question has been whether anyone can rise to the occasion to score those much-needed timely goals for England and against England the answer was a resounding yes. Look for it to carry on with the positive momentum as it cruises past Ukraine here. Take England (9*).
|07-03-21||Denmark v. Czech Republic +0.5||Top||2-1||Loss||-125||5 h 43 m||Show|
Euro Quarter-Final Game of the Year. My selection is on Czech Republic +0.5 goals over Denmark at 12 noon et on Saturday.
It's time for teams to starting taking this Czech Republic side seriously after it dispatched the Netherlands in a convincing 2-0 victory last Sunday. The Czechs have done nothing but impress in this tournament and I don't expect to see them wilt under the pressure against the favored Danes on Saturday.
Note that Denmark has rode a wave of positive momentum in this tournament ever since a stunning loss to Finland that was marred by Christian Eriksen's cardiac-arrest on the field in mid-match. I give the Danish side all the credit for their incredible run but now they've been sitting idle since breezing past Wales 4-0 last Saturday and I simply feel they're going to have their hands full with a cagey Czech squad.
Patrik Schick has arguably been the breakout star of this tournament and he'll be called on once again to lead the Czechs to victory here. Note that they're expected to have key defender Jan Boril back from suspension for this match as well and they'll need all hands on deck given Denmark's ability to find the back of the net, scoring eight times in its last two contests.
There's a certain confidence and swagger that the Czech's have displayed in this tournament and I believe it carries them to at least a level result after 90 minutes against Denmark on Saturday. Take Czech Republic +0.5 goals (10*).
|07-02-21||Spain v. Switzerland UNDER 2.5||1-1||Win||100||5 h 10 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'under' between Switzerland and Spain at 12 noon et on Friday.
Both of these teams were involved in extremely high-scoring affairs in the knockout stage with Switzerland upsetting France on penalties and Spain getting past Croatia in extra time. Here, I look for a much more cagey affair with goals coming at a premium.
High-scoring games aren't generally the norm as these international tournaments progress but that's certainly what we saw in the knockout stage. While Switzerland managed to survive against France thanks to a thrilling comeback, I don't think it wants to put itself in a similar position again here. While Spain hasn't always looked its best in this tournament, or in recent months for that matter, it certainly has exceptional talent as we saw against Croatia. I don't think we'll see the Swiss look to open things up too much at the risk of getting exposed at its own end of the pitch or in transition.
Prior to its 5-3 win over Croatia, Spain had conceded just one goal in its first three matches in this tournament. In fact, it had given up just one goal in its last five matches combined going back to a pair of friendlies leading up to the tournament. Take the under (10*).
|06-29-21||Ukraine v. Sweden||Top||1-1||Push||0||17 h 42 m||Show|
Euro Knockout Stage Game of the Year. My selection is on Sweden pk (draw no bet) over Ukraine at 3 pm et on Tuesday.
We won with Sweden in its most recent match, a 3-2 victory in a wild contest against Poland. Credit the Swedes hanging in there despite Robert Lewandowski's heroics and thanks to the victory they draw a favorable matchup against Ukraine here.
Ukraine is certainly fortunate to be here after closing out the group stage with a 1-0 defeat against Austria. While it showed plenty of fight in a narrow 3-2 loss to the Netherlands in its opener and ultimately faced little resistance in a win over North Macedonia, the tournament has generally been a mixed bag for Andriy Shevchenko's squad.
That's a stark contrast to the Swedes, who have been rock solid, showing excellent form defensively and just enough attacking prowess to make them a dangerous team moving forward in this tournament.
Sweden is now undefeated in its last eight matches and I don't believe Ukraine will be the side to end that run. While I have a lot of respect for Ukraine, particularly for the duo of Zinchenko and Yarmolenko, I look for Sweden to ultimately prevail in what will likely be a low-scoring affair. Take Sweden (10*).
|06-29-21||Germany v. England UNDER 2.5||Top||0-2||Win||100||14 h 56 m||Show|
Euro Knockout Stage Total of the Year. My selection is on the 'under' between England and Germany at 12 noon et on Tuesday.
After yesterday's two thrilling, high-scoring games, most will be quick to go 'over' this low total in Wednesday's first of two knockout stage matchups. I'll go the other way, however, as I envision England having a tough time breaking down Germany, and vice versa.
Germany is certainly not without its flaws defensively. It has allowed five goals in three matches in this tournament to date, conceding in all three contests. With that being said, England has shown precious few flashes of brilliance on the attack, generally looking hamstrung in all three tournament matches to date.
At its own end of the pitch, the Three Lions have looked well-organized, however, and while Germany offers a stiff challenge, I believe England will be up for it in front of the home faithful at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday. While we've become somewhat accustomed to high-octane, thrill-a-minute matches involving Joachim Low's German side in this tournament, I expect a different story to unfold here as things generally tend to tighten up in the knockout stage (you wouldn't know it by yesterday's results, of course). Take the under (10*).
|06-28-21||Spain v. Croatia UNDER 2.5||3-3||Loss||-130||14 h 22 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'under' between Croatia and Spain at 12 noon et on Monday.
Both of these teams are coming off high-scoring results in their group stage finales with Spain rolling to a 5-0 victory over Slovakia and Croatia pulling out a 3-1 win over Scotland to book its place in the knockout stage. As we've seen so far in the knockout stage, however, goals should become much tougher to come by here.
Croatia will be without arguably their top scoring threat in Ivan Perisic following a positive Covid diagnosis. We've seen Croatia revert back into its defensive shell at times during this tournament and that could very well be its best chance at staging an upset against Spain here on Monday.
Spain is brimming with talent but it hasn't always come together the way it did against an overmatched Slovakia side last time out. La Roja have actually been held to one goal or less in three of its last five matches overall, including a pair of 0-0 draws against Portugal and Sweden.
Spain knows it has the ability to stay well-organized and ultimately prevail in a 1-0 type of contest here. That's essentially the framework that it employed in the first two matches of this tournament before things opened up for it against the Slovaks'. Take the under (10*).
|06-27-21||Portugal v. Belgium UNDER 2.5||0-1||Win||100||30 h 19 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'under' between Belgium and Portugal at 3 pm et on Sunday.
With so much scoring ability on both sides it may seem like a curious decision to back the 'under' in this star-studded knockout stage showdown on Sunday. However, I believe we'll see both teams mirror one another in what is likely a 1-0 or 1-1 outcome after 90 minutes.
Belgium has conceded just a single goal in this tournament, that coming in the opening minutes against an emotional Denmark squad that was playing in front of the home faithful in Copenhagen following the stunning events involving Christian Eriksen in its opening match. Apart from that, Belgium has looked rock solid at its back-end and I would expect that to continue against the defending European champions on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Portugal's 4-2 loss to Germany is still fresh in the minds of most entering this clash. Of course, Ronaldo and company did redeem themselves somewhat with a 2-2 draw against France to close out the group stage and wrap up an advancing third-place position in their group. I believe Portugal is a better-organized, more stout defensive squad than it has shown in its last two matches and here in the knockout stage against the top-ranked nation in the world, should settle into a slightly more conservative shape.
We should see plenty of flashes of brilliance in this match but I believe the oddsmakers have it right setting a relatively low total on Sunday. Take the under (10*).
|06-26-21||Austria v. Italy -185||0-0||Loss||-185||9 h 50 m||Show|
My selection is on Italy over Austria at 3 pm et on Saturday.
We've won with Italy and also won fading Austria already in this tournament so it's only natural that we go with the Azzurri in Saturday's knockout stage match.
While Austria did impress in its 1-0 victory over Ukraine last time out as it went on the attack with far more flair than we had seen in the tournament so far, I'm concerned we'll see it revert back into its shell a bit here as it faces a much more difficult opponent. Keep in mind, two matches back we faded the Austrians as they fell by a 2-0 score against the Netherlands, generating just one shot on target in the entire match.
I am certainly high on the duo of David Alaba and Christoph Baumgartner but I question whether they can break down an extremely well-organized Italian side here. Italy's long streak of clean sheets is of course well-documented but it has been its attack that has impressed me most in this tournament. The Azzurri look capable of striking at any moment with the likes of Immobile, Insigne and Chiesa all taking turns in starring roles, with the latter likely a late option off the bench on Saturday.
Note that Austria has been held off the scoresheet entirely in four of its last six matches overall, only managing to find the back of the net against North Macedonia and aforementioned Ukraine. Italy has yet to face any resistance in this tournament and I don't believe that will change on Saturday. Take Italy (10*).
|06-26-21||Austria v. Italy OVER 2.5||0-0||Loss||-100||9 h 37 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'over' between Italy and Austria at 3 pm et on Saturday.
I'll take a shot with the 'over' but would recommend playing it at 2.0, even with the steeper price, if your book offers alternate totals on Saturday afternoon.
Italy hasn't conceded a goal since late last year, covering a string of more than 1,000 minutes of action. With that being said, we have seen Austria at least show the ability to go on the attack when it wants to with the super duo of Christoph Baumgartner and David Alaba capable of creating some magic. That being said, Italy will be extremely difficult to break down but just a single goal from the Austrians would likely seal a win for us with this play.
On the flip side, the indecisiveness the Austrians have shown in figuring out whether to sit back and defend or look to push forward could certainly leave them vulnerable against a clinical Italian attack here. Even if Austria is able to hold the Azzurri back for an extended stretch, the floodgates could certainly open late, similar to what we saw between Portugal and Hungary earlier in the tournament (we won with the 'over' 2.5 in that match despite a 0-0 score with less than 10 minutes remaining).
Italy has a wealth of options to lean on up front and while it is extremely stout at the back, it will likely be without its experienced workhorse in Giorgio Chiellini for this one. Meanwhile, Austria welcomed back one of its top attacking threats in Marko Arnautovic from a one-game ban in its last match and he'll be a welcome sight against such a tough Italy defense. Take the over (10*).
|06-23-21||Poland v. Sweden||2-3||Win||105||5 h 29 m||Show|
My selection is on Sweden +0.5 goals (-185) over Poland at 12 noon et on Wednesday.
NOTE: I'm recommending a play on Sweden using the alternate goal-line of +0.5 on Wednesday. Alternatively, if that line isn't offered at your book of choice, playing the Swedes pk (draw no bet) is an option as well.
Poland needs a victory to ensure advancement to the knockout stage of this tournament but I suspect Sweden will be a difficult side to break down on Wednesday. The Swedes have impressed in their stubbornness through their first two matches, having yet to allow a goal in earning a 0-0 draw against Spain and a 1-0 victory over Slovakia. While it's quite likely they'll be moving on regardless of the outcome here today, there's a possibility that they could miss out should they lose and Spain and Slovakia play to a draw. I certainly wouldn't expect Sweden to lay down in this one as it has a clear opportunity to seal top spot in the group.
Poland has looked rather uneven at both ends of the pitch in its first two matches. The 1-1 draw against Spain last time out was certainly a favorable result and perhaps a somewhat fortunate one with Spain missing a penalty late. Robert Lewandowski is a living legend to be sure and he's been responsible for both Polish markers in this tournament. If any opponent is going to contain the Bayern Munich striker, it's Sweden, which has shown a real penchant for staunch defense here at Euro 2020.
Sweden hasn't lost a match since falling 4-2 to mighty France back in November. Even that defeat came with somewhat of an asterisk as the Swedes didn't have a fully-formed lineup at that point, with one of their stars in this tournament so far, Alexander Isak only making an appearance in the latter stages of the match.
Speaking of lineups, the Swedes have a wealth of options at their disposal, with players capable of coming off the bench and making an immediate impact should things not go their way in the first half of this contest. Regardless, I like the Swedes to at the very least keep this one on level terms as they cruise to the knockout stage of the tournament. Take Sweden +0.5 goals (10*).
|06-23-21||Poland v. Sweden UNDER 2.5||2-3||Loss||-150||5 h 18 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'under' 2.5 goals between Sweden and Poland at 12 noon et on Wednesday.
|06-22-21||England v. Czech Republic UNDER 2.25||1-0||Win||100||9 h 34 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'under' 2.5 goals between Czech Republic and England at 3 pm et on Tuesday.
England hasn't looked all that creative on attack in its first two matches in this tournament, managing just a single goal - that coming in the second half of its opener against Croatia. Here, I expect the Three Lions to find life rather difficult once again as they face a Czech Republic squad that has been tough to break down in this tournament so far.
The lone blemish on the Czech record came by way of a 1-1 draw against Croatia last time out. That result could be looked at as a success of course as it assured the Czech's of advancement to the knockout stage of the tournament thanks to a previous 2-0 win over Scotland.
The only goal we've seen the Czech Republic allow in this tournament came on an incredible solo effort from Croatia's Ivan Perisic. England, however, has shown few glimpses of such ability here in this tournament with striker Harry Kane struggling to find much open field. We're likely to see some changes to the England lineup on Tuesday but I'm not expecting those changes to suddenly open the floodgates.
Keep in mind, while first place in the group is up for grabs in this match, I'm not convinced that either side will be overly interested as that placing likely results in a matchup with one of the three top-flight squads in the 'Group of Death' (France, Germany and Portugal are likely the three to advance in that group). That's not to say we'll see both sides sit back on their heels in this one, but I'm not anticipating a free-flowing affair either. Take the under 2.5 goals (10*).
|06-21-21||Netherlands v. North Macedonia OVER 3||3-0||Push||0||15 h 49 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'over' 2.5 goals between Netherlands and North Macedonia at 12 noon et on Monday.
|06-20-21||Wales v. Italy UNDER 2.5||Top||0-1||Win||100||15 h 0 m||Show|
Euro Group Stage Total of the Year. My selection is on the 'under' 2.5 goals between Italy and Wales at 12 noon et on Sunday.
After we won with the 'over' in Italy's tournament debut against Turkey we cashed with the Azzurri but missed with our free play on the 'under' in their 3-0 victory over Switzerland last time out. Here, I'm confident we'll finally see a match involving Italy total less than three goals as they take on Wales with both sides looking for little more than a tune-up leading up to the knockout stage.
At least seven changes are expected to Italy's starting lineup. The Azzurri are obviously a deep squad but there's no question we're going to see a drop-off in execution, particularly at their opponent's end of the pitch with the likes of Immobile, Barella and Insigne likely on the bench. Even Chiesa, who made a late entrance into the match against Switzerland may start this contest on the sideline.
For Wales, it is coming off a somewhat improbable 2-0 victory over Turkey that all but assured it advancement to the next round. After looking rather punchless in its tournament opener against Switzerland, a game they somehow managed to draw 1-1, the Welsh did show much more promise against Turkey. Now that they have four points under their belt, however, we're unlikely to see the same type of fire from the Welsh here. Lineup changes are almost a certainty and the fact that they're such a sizable underdog against what is essentially Italy's 'B' squad is telling in my opinion.
A 2-0 result is the most likely outcome in this contest. With that being said, a 0-0 or 1-1 result is well within the realm of possibility as well should Italy show no interest in playing for keeps. Take the under (10*).
|06-19-21||Germany v. Portugal +0.5||4-2||Loss||-155||6 h 42 m||Show|
My selection is on Portugal +0.5 goals over Germany at 12 noon et on Saturday.
We won with the 'over' in Portugal's Euro 2020 debut against Hungary on Tuesday - a rather miraculous win thanks to three late goals from A Selecao. Here, I expect to see another tightly-contested affair, but will grab the half-goal of insurance with Portugal knowing it would be pleased to gain another point here with a difficult match against France still ahead.
Germany isn't the same dominant team we've seen at recent European Championships. While the talent is still there, the pieces just haven't fit together quite as well in recent years and here we find it with just three victories in its last seven matches, with those wins coming against the likes of Iceland, Romania and Latvia. While a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of mighty France might look good on paper, the Germans rarely looked all that threatening in that match.
Portugal last lost just one match going all the way back to November 2019 - a string of 16 contests. That lone defeat came by a 1-0 scoreline against aforementioned France.
Die Mannschaft has gotten the better of Portugal over the years but there haven't been any recent meetings between the two sides. As the odds for this match indicate, there's little to choose between these two sides but I see Portugal having the killer instinct that Germany lacks at the moment and at the very least keeping this one level on Saturday. Take Portugal +0.5 goals (10*).
|06-18-21||Czech Republic v. Croatia OVER 2.25||1-1||Loss||-50||6 h 51 m||Show|
My selection is on Croatia vs. Czech Republic 'over' 2 goals at 12 noon et on Friday.
NOTE: I recommend playing this total at a slightly steeper price at 2 rather than the standard 2.25 being offered. Most books will allow you to play the alternate total of 2 priced around -145 at the time of writing.
We saw a very uninspiring performance from Croatia - the 2016 World Cup runner-up - in its tournament-opening 1-0 loss to England (we won with England in that match). Here, I look for it to come out with an attacking mindset as it could certainly use the three points, already sitting three back of both aforementioned England and today's opponent, the Czech Republic following its impressive 2-0 victory over Scotland.
While the Czechs managed to keep a clean sheet against Scotland it wasn't without some difficulty as the Scots generated a number of quality chances, ultimately firing 19 shots with four of them reaching target. I do think that Croatia boasts the finishing ability that Scotland lacks. Leading up to this tournament, Czech Republic had conceded at least a goal in five consecutive matches.
In my analysis of my play in support of the Czechs and the 'over' in their last match I pointed to their dynamic scoring ability led by striker Patrik Schick. Right on cue, he delivered two goals in their opener, including what will likely go down as the goal of the tournament. I would certainly expect him to remain dangerous here as the Czechs should be eager to proceed forward knowing that three points would secure their place in the knockout stage.
It's worth noting that we've seen one side score at least two goals in five of the six 'matchday two' contests at this tournament so far. It's not really until 'matchday three' that we look to take strong 'under' positions. With earning at least a point imperative for both sides, and neither all that likely to deliver a clean sheet, we'll look for some goals on Friday. Take the over (10*).
|06-17-21||Austria v. Netherlands -160||0-2||Win||100||8 h 25 m||Show|
My selection is on Netherlands over Austria at 3 pm et on Thursday.
Austria cruised to an expected win over North Macedonia in its tournament opener with its only blemish in that match coming by way of a defensive miscue in the penalty area. Here, it will face a much tougher challenge, however, as it faces a Dutch side playing with home field advantage and one that will have its guard up following a scare against Ukraine in its opener.
This was already going to be a tough match for Austria but with top scoring threat Marko Arnautovic sidelined due to a UEFA-imposed one-game ban, the uphill climb has become even steeper.
While I do have questions about the Dutch defense, and certainly its situation at goalkeeper with Jasper Cillessen left off the squad due to a positive Covid test, I'm not convinced Austria can take advantage here.
Note that prior to its three-goal breakout against North Macedonia, the lowest-ranked side in the entire tournament, Austria had been held off the scoresheet entirely in three consecutive matches leading up to this tournament. It's notable that its 0-0 draw against Slovakia in a pre-tournament friendly match came with the aforementioned Arnautovic on the bench for the first three quarters of the contest.
Much like Italy did yesterday, I expect the Netherlands to come out determined to take three points from this match to assure itself of advancement to the knockout stage and afford the opportunity to perhaps give some players rest in its final group stage match against North Macedonia. Take Netherlands (10*).
|06-17-21||North Macedonia v. Ukraine OVER 2.5||1-2||Win||109||3 h 54 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'over' 2.5 goals between Ukraine and North Macedonia at 9 am et on Thursday.
Both of these teams are coming off high-scoring tournament openers and I expect a similar story to unfold on Thursday.
With both sides coming up empty point-wise on matchday one of this tournament, we can expect both to come out with an attacking mindset as they look to take all three points from this contest.
For Ukraine, this is its most winnable match of the three and it should bring plenty of confidence after rallying from a 2-0 deficit only to fall 3-2 against the mighty Netherlands last time out. If you've followed my plays regularly, you know that I'm high on the Ukraine attack led by Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk and Zinchenko. As we saw against the Dutch, the Blue and Yellow are capable of scoring against the best of them and should feast in this favorable matchup against North Macedonia - the lowest-ranked team in the tournament.
With all of that being said, I do think there's a goal out there for North Macedonia in this contest. They managed to find the back of the net once against Austria, albeit on a defensive miscue in the penalty area. As good as Ukraine is up front, it is vulnerable in the back and North Macedonia hasn't been held off the scoresheet entirely since last November, when it suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Armenia. Take the over 2.5 goals (9*).
|06-16-21||Switzerland v. Italy UNDER 2.5||0-3||Loss||-145||8 h 10 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'under' 2.5 goals between Italy and Switzerland at 3 pm et on Wednesday.
|06-16-21||Switzerland v. Italy -154||Top||0-3||Win||100||8 h 46 m||Show|
Euro Group Stage Game of the Year. My selection is on Italy over Switzerland at 3 pm et on Wednesday.
Italy faced little resistance in its tournament opening victory over Turkey and while it figures to face a tougher challenge here, I look for it to rise to the occasion once again.
For Switzerland, it could certainly use a point from this match but even if it fails to get it, a victory in its final group stage contest against Turkey would likely be enough for advancement, depending on how today's earlier match between Wales and Turkey goes. While the Swiss sit 13th in the international FIFA rankings I'm just not convinced they have the offensive firepower to break through against an extremely tough Italian defense. In fact, Italy hasn't conceded a single goal in its last nine matches. While it hasn't exactly faced the toughest of competition over that stretch, going back a little further finds additional clean sheets posted against the likes of the Netherlands and Poland in late 2020.
A victory here would certainly lock up advancement from the group stage for Italy and I'm confident that will be the focus. Keep in mind, while the final score read 3-0 in its opener, it controlled proceedings from the start, firing 24 shots, with eight of those reaching the target. This is another match where the opposition will likely allow the Italians to dictate the tempo and control much of the possession. That suits the Italians just fine. Few teams boast the level of form and structure the Azurri do at both ends of the pitch.
We're being asked to lay a very reasonable price to back the superior squad here. I have this one going 1-0 or 2-0 to Italy. Take Italy (10*).
|06-15-21||Portugal v. Hungary OVER 2.5||3-0||Win||100||4 h 7 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'over' 2.5 goals between Portugal and Hungary at 12 noon et on Tuesday.
This is a critical match for both sides - in fact, all three matches will be critical for all four squads in this very difficult group that also includes mighty France and Germany. With that in mind, I fully expect Portugal to come out with an attacking mindset as it looks to take all three points against Hungary on Tuesday.
Not to be outdone, Hungary also believes it has a good shot at advancing in this tournament and why not as it enters this contest riding an 11-match unbeaten streak. I think it's important not to get too carried away by Hungary's two recent international friendly results - a sleepy 1-0 victory over Cyprus before settle for a 0-0 draw in a rather uneventful affair against the Republic of Ireland last week. This isn't a team without creativity at the opposing end of the pitch, having scored a whopping 10 goals in three World Cup 2022 Qualifying matches back in March, including an impressive 3-3 draw against Poland. The duo of Sallai and Szalai up front are certainly capable of breaking through for at least one marker against a Portugal defense that isn't quite what it once was, especially with Joao Cancelo sidelined due to a positive Covid test.
Of course, Portugal is more than able to overcome any sort of adversity here with a brilliant attack led by Cristiano Ronaldo and perhaps soon to become household name Diogo Jota.
Portugal fielded its 'A' squad in a friendly match against Israel last week (we won with Portugal -1.5 in that contest) and while it got off to a bit of a slow start it eventually 10 shots on target, scoring four goals including a brace from Bruno Fernandes.
With Spain and Sweden's 0-0 draw in yesterday's final match, not to mention Portugal's recent 0-0 draw with Spain (we won with Portugal +0.5 goals in that match) fresh in the minds of many bettors, I think some are hesitant to play the 'over' in this one. That's fine with us as it offers us a generous return with a very reasonable total. Take the over (10*).
|06-14-21||Czech Republic v. Scotland OVER 2||2-0||Push||0||3 h 52 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'over' 2 goals between Scotland and the Czech Republic at 9 am et on Monday.
|06-14-21||Czech Republic v. Scotland||2-0||Win||106||3 h 33 m||Show|
My selection is on Czech Republic +0.5 goals (-190) over Scotland at 9 am et on Monday.
NOTE: I'll play the alternate goal line at a steeper price here giving us insurance should this match end in a draw. Alternatively, your book may offer the Czechs to win/draw at the same price.
I'm higher on the Czech's than most entering this tournament and while this obviously a difficult match against Scotland in Glasgow, I expect to see them keep proceedings level at the very least and earn a much-needed point as they battle it out in a tricky group.
With England and Croatia rounding out the group, advancement could be difficult for these two squads so avoiding a goose-egg in the opening match is obviously critical. The Czechs bring rather inconsistent form to the table after suffering a 4-0 defeat at the hands of mighty Italy before rallying their spirits for a 3-1 win over Albania in two warm-up friendly matches. Keep in mind, they didn't start their 'A' squad against the Italians and fell behind quickly 2-0 as a result. Once the likes of Patrik Schick and Tomas Soucek entered the match after halftime the game was already well in hand for Italy.
Scotland earned a recent 2-2 draw with the Netherlands, which was certainly impressive on paper. However, the Dutch were missing some key parts at the back-end, most notably goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, whose absence was certainly felt in yesterday's narrow 3-2 victory over Ukraine. In World Cup Qualifying back in March, the Scots' needed a late goal to pull even with Austria in a 2-2 draw before settle for another disappointing draw, 1-1 against Israel, and then proceeding to lay waste to Faroe Islands 4-0.
Scotland actually reached this tournament - a rare Euro appearance at that - on the shoulders of qualifying wins over the likes of Kazakhstan, Cyprus and San Marino before clinching their ticket with victories on penalties against Israel and Serbia. To say that it is fortunate to be here would be an understatement.
I think the fact that Scotland got past Czech Republic in both Nations League matches last fall looms large when it comes to the prices being set for this match. While Scotland does have home field advantage, I believe the case could be made for the Czechs to be favored. Instead we're able to grab them plus a half-goal at a reasonable price. Take Czech Republic +0.5 goals (9*).
|06-13-21||Ukraine v. Netherlands OVER 2.5||2-3||Win||100||8 h 38 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'over' between the Netherlands and Ukraine at 3 pm et on Sunday.
We followed both of these sides closely in international friendly action leading up to this tournament, cashing some plays along the way. Here, in the opener of a Euro tournament where both are expected to advance past the group stage, I'm expecting to see some scoring in what I envision as a potential 2-1 match.
Note that the Netherlands will be without keeper Jasper Cillessen due to a recent positive Covid test. It will also be without defender Virgil van Dijk after he suffered an ACL injury. I mentioned that the Dutch could be vulnerable in the back against Scotland in a recent international friendly (where we won with the 'over') and they indeed struggled, allowing a pair of goals in that draw.
I'm higher on the Ukraine than some in this tournament as I feel they have enough talent, particularly up front, to give the opposition plenty of headaches. However, there are question marks in the back-end, noting that Ukraine enters this tournament having managed just two clean sheets in its last nine matches. Of course, those did come in its last two matches, but those were against the likes of Northern Ireland and Cyprus - two fairly punchless attacks. Here, the Ukraine will face a much different challenge against a Dutch side brimming with talent and explosiveness.
The common line of thinking here is that both teams will play this opener cautiously with hopes of at least earning a point and solidifying their chances of advancement past the group stage. I think it goes the other way, however, with the two teams looking to get off and running on a positive note and make somewhat of a statement here on Sunday. Take the over (10*).
|06-13-21||Croatia v. England -165||0-1||Win||100||12 h 35 m||Show|
My selection is on England over Croatia at 9 am et on Sunday.
I know that Croatia will concede at least a goal in this match. I don't know that England will. Here, I'll back the English as the hopes of a nation rest on the shoulders on a relatively young squad that's potential is massive, but expectations might just be even higher. This is obviously a difficult opening match against a tough Croatia squad. Of course, this is a rematch of the 2018 World Cup semi-final match between these two squads - one that was one in thrilling fashion by Croatia. The Chequered Ones have fallen on some hard times since, however. Croatia suffered a 1-0 loss to Belgium in a recent international friendly match before it settled for a 1-1 draw against Armenia. Meanwhile, England has conceded just one goal in its last six matches, that coming in a 2-1 victory over Poland on March 31st. Croatia has conceded at least a goal in 13 of its last 15 matches. Its only two clean sheets over that stretch came against the likes of Cyprus and Malta. While the jury is still out on England's prospects for winning this tournament, or even going on a deep run, I do expect it to get off to a positive start in front of the home faithful at historic Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Take England (10*).
|06-12-21||Switzerland v. Wales OVER 1.75||1-1||Win||50||2 h 26 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'over' 1.5 goals between Switzerland and Wales at 9 am et on Saturday.
I'll keep my analysis for this one short with kickoff quickly approaching. I simply feel there's a very good chance we see each side find the back of the net in this match and will play the alternate total over 1.5 goals for a positive start to our Saturday. Switzerland is coming off a 7-0 drubbing of Liechenstein and while it will certainly find the going much tougher against a fundamentally-sound Wales squad, I do expect it to break through, noting its actually been a number of years since the Swiss were last held off the scoresheet entirely. For Wales, it needs to hit the ground running if it is to have any chance of advancing from a very difficult Group A. The Welsh are coming off a 0-0 draw against Albania in a match where they looked quite disinterested, perhaps with an eye on the start of this tournament. Switzerland is by no means a defensive juggernaut, having conceded against the likes of the USA, Finland and Bulgaria in fixtures since the beginning of March. Take the over 1.5 goals (10*).
|06-11-21||Italy v. Turkey OVER 2.25||3-0||Win||105||30 h 22 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'over' 2 goals between Italy and Turkey at 3 pm et on Friday.
NOTE: I'm recommending a play on the alternate total of 2 goals at a slightly steeper price (around -125 at the time of writing) as opposed to the standard 2.25 being offered at most books.
Most have this pegged as a conservative, low-scoring defensive battle between two sides that bring excellent form into Friday's Euro 2020 opener. I'll go the other way, however, as I believe a 2-1 final is the most likely outcome in this one.
Turkey has a history of rising to the occasion, particularly when it comes to goal-scoring, against some of the world's football elite. Most recent, we saw Turkey put up four goals in an impressive World Cup 2022 qualifying match against the Netherlands in March. The Turks also managed three goals against a solid Croatian side last November. Last October, they scored three goals in a draw against Germany. Going back even further, Turkey scored three goals and took four of a possible six points in two matches against mightly France in qualification for these Euros back in 2019.
Meanwhile, Italy brings outstanding form into this tournament, having scored 11 goals in its last two matches, albeit against lesser foes in San Marion and the Czech Republic. The Italians actually haven't conceded a goal since last October against the Netherlands but apart from a match against Poland last November (that match still reached two total goals in a 2-0 Italian victory) their schedule hasn't exactly been littered with international football powers.
With Switzerland and Wales rounding out Group A, I believe both sides will be confident 'going for it' in this tournament opener on Friday. Both countries should feel there are six points two be had in their other two matches, not easily mind you. Take the over (10*).
|06-09-21||Israel v. Portugal -1.5||0-4||Win||100||8 h 57 m||Show|
My selection is on Portugal -1.5 goals over Israel at 2:45 pm et on Wednesday.
We won with Portugal +0.5 in its last match against Spain and will go back to the well with A Selecao here as it draws a more favorable match against Israel ahead of its Euro opener against Hungary next Tuesday. We certainly didn't see Portugal's 'A' squad against La Roja last week. I suspect we'll see something closer to it here on Wednesday, however, even if Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to only make a cameo appearance (if he plays at all). Note that while Israel is coming off consecutive victories, scoring a whopping seven goals in the process, those came against the likes of Moldova and Montenegro. The fact that it conceded a goal in each of those contests was somewhat discouraging. Note that the last two times Israel stepped up in class it failed to find the back of the net against Denmark and the Czech Republic. I suspect it will have a difficult time breaking down a tremendous Portugal defense here as well. A Selecao certainly wants to head into the Euros on a positive note and consecutive clean sheets would do exactly that. On the flip side, regardless whether Ronaldo is on the pitch, I expect Portugal to go on the attack in this match - unlike what we saw against Spain when it didn't record a shot on target until the closing minutes. Prior to that 0-0 draw, Portugal had tallied nine goals in its last four matches. It should only be a matter of time before it puts its stamp on this one as well. Take Portugal -1.5 goals (10*).
|06-08-21||Albania v. Czech Republic OVER 1.5||1-3||Win||100||17 h 19 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'over' between Albania and Czech Republic at 2:15 pm et on Tuesday.
|06-07-21||Cyprus v. Ukraine -1||0-4||Win||100||6 h 37 m||Show|
My selection is on Ukraine -1 goal over Cyprus at 12 noon et on Monday.
We won with Ukraine in last week's 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland and I won't hesitate to go back to the well here, this time laying a goal to get a more reasonable price. While the final scoreline was 1-0, the damage could have been much worse as Ukraine missed a number of prime opportunities to extend its lead, particularly in the first half of that most recent match. All told, Ukraine made 18 shot attempts with four hitting the target. While it did get put back on its heels for a stretch in the second half, I'm not convinced Cyprus has the same ability to do so here. Note that Cyprus has managed to score just a single goal in its last five matches and will have to be careful here after losing defender Andreas Karo to injury in its match against Hungary last week. While Cyprus has proven to be a tough defensive squad, I expect Ukraine's duo of Yaremchuk and Zinchenko (he didn't see the field in its last match after playing in the Champions League Final days earlier) to find some success here, with Yaremchuk building off a strong showing against Northern Ireland last week. While the result here is of little consequence given that it is simply an international friendly, a positive showing should be important to Ukraine ahead of a very difficult Euro opener against the Netherlands coming up in a week. With Austria also lurking in its group, it will need to hit the ground running heading into the tournament and I'm confident we'll see Andriy Shevchenko field his 'A' squad for this tune-up. Take Ukraine -1 goal (10*).
|06-06-21||Greece +0.5 v. Norway||2-1||Win||100||5 h 37 m||Show|
My selection is on Greece +0.5 goals over Norway at 12 noon et on Sunday.
The presence of Erling Haaland will have many rushing to back the Norwegians in this friendly match on Sunday. However, after Norway was only able to break down the likes of Luxembourg for one goal last time out I believe it will be hard-pressed to come away victorious against a Greece side that actually brings solid form to the table. Greece has in fact gone undefeated in its last nine matches including a 1-1 draw against top-ranked Belgium earlier this week. While the Belgians were missing a number of key players in that match, it was still another encouraging result for this gritty Greece side. We're not asking for it to work any miracles here, but I do expect Greece to find a little more success disseminating a vulnerable Norwegian defense and ultimately keep this match level at the very least. Take Greece +0.5 goals (10*).
|06-05-21||Albania v. Wales OVER 2||0-0||Loss||-100||6 h 31 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'over' between Albania and Wales at 12 noon et on Saturday.
I'll take a shot with the 'over' in this pre-Euro international friendly between Wales and Albania. Wales is coming off a poor showing against France earlier this week. Keep in mind, France sent its 'A' squad to the pitch in that match and Wales was forced down a man after defender Neco Williams was sent off due to a handball early on. Here, Wales will certainly be looking to rebound leading into a very tough group at the Euros beginning next week. I do think the Welsh can break through offensively against an Albania squad that has little experience at keeper. On the flip side, Williams' absence will be felt and I'm confident the Albanians can solve the Welsh form for at least a goal in this one. A 2-1 result is well within the realm of possibility in this one. Take the over (10*).
|06-04-21||Czech Republic v. Italy UNDER 2.5||0-4||Loss||-105||8 h 48 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'under' between Czech Republic and Italy at 2:45 pm et on Friday.
Let's go with the 'under' in this intriguing international friendly match on Friday. Italy already has one pre-Euro tune-up under its belt after cruising to a 7-0 rout of San Marino last week. The Azzurri have now confirmed their squad for the Euros and may not have that same killer instinct here in this tricky match against Czech Republic. In a difficult group that includes Switzerland and Turkey, Italy will be looking to solidify its form and tighten things up defensively in this warm-up match. Keep in mind, the Italians also have some injury issues leading into this one. Health is obviously of utmost concern with kickoff to the Euros just one week away. For the Czechs this will be their first pre-tournament friendly match after their contest against Euro-bound Scotland was delayed due to Covid protocols. They've managed just one goal in their last two matches, that coming off the foot of midfielder Lukas Provod in an impressive 1-1 draw against Belgium, who won't be available for Friday's match due to a knee injury. Both sides would likely be satisfied with a level result in this one. However, I do feel the Czechs face an uphill battle breaking through against a more seasoned and organized Italian squad so rather than grab the goal with the underdogs, I'll go with the 'under' instead. Take the under (9*).
|06-04-21||Portugal +0.25 v. Spain||0-0||Win||50||7 h 49 m||Show|
My selection is on Portugal +0.5 goals over Spain at 1:30 pm et on Friday.
|06-03-21||Northern Ireland v. Ukraine -140||0-1||Win||100||7 h 0 m||Show|
My selection is on Ukraine over Northern Ireland at 2:45 pm et on Thursday.
While Ukraine is getting ready for the Euros, which they will open with a match against the Netherlands on June 13th, Northern Ireland is wrapping up for the summer with this being the back half of a two-game friendly set. Northern Ireland of course stunned Ukraine in the 2016 Euros, securing a 2-0 victory - its only points of the tournament. Revenge will have little to do with this match, but I expect Ukraine to prevail nonetheless. Northern Ireland checks in off a convincing 3-0 win over Malta on Sunday. Don't get too excited about that result as Malta checks in ranked 176th in world football. It will face a much stiffer test against a Ukraine squad that is expected to field its best lineup as it tries to shake off an uneven stretch and get rolling prior to its showdown with the Dutch in a little over week. Northern Ireland has a keen interest in giving some of its young players coming up playing time on the national stage in these two friendly matches and that could certainly open the door for the Ukraine's to build (or stretch out) their margin in this one. Don't sleep on the fact that Northern Ireland will be without two of its more experienced and reliable players in Johnny Evans and Steven Davies. Meanwhile, Ukraine is expected to have the standout duo of Yarmolenko and Zinchenko at its disposal for this tune-up. We're being offered a reasonable price to back the superior side here. Take Ukraine (10*).
|06-02-21||Scotland v. Netherlands OVER 2.5||2-2||Win||100||8 h 39 m||Show|
My selection is on the 'over' 2.5 goals between Scotland and the Netherlands at 2:45 pm et on Wednesday.
We know the Dutch can score. Here we find the Oranje coming off a three-match stretch of World Cup Qualifiers in which they went 2-1, notching 11 goals along the way. However, I do think they're somewhat vulnerable in the back with defending Virgil van Dijk (ligament injury) and goalkeeper Jasper Cillesen (Covid-19 protocols) sidelined. For Scotland, it will be looking to make a splash as it preps for its first major tournament in 20 years. While little is expected of them at the Euros, the Scots are not without starpower and come off a World Cup Qualifying stint that saw them find the back of the net seven times in three March matches. Here, we shouldn't need much from the Scottish side to get 'over' the very reasonable total. Take the over 2.5 goals (10*).