France vs Iceland and Pick to Win
Date:Sunday, June 3, 2016
Where: EURO 2016 – Quarterfinals – Stade de France – Saint Denis, France
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
Match Odds: France 5/11, Iceland 9/1, Draw 15/4
Moneyline: France -220, Iceland +900, Draw +375
Over/Under Best Market: OVER 2.5 5/4 (+125)
The ceiling for France is not much higher from where the French stand at this point. France has won five of their last six fixtures and in general form the hosts seem to be unstoppable. Upon assessment of this market from an initial perspective, analysts and takers may simply write off Iceland at the odds we are seeing here. For many, the Iceland victory over England serves to be Iceland’s “High Water Mark” in this tournament and seemingly the writing is on the wall for the EURO’s next sacrificial lamb.
Nonetheless, this argument was fostered against Iceland in the Round of 16 were they pitched to play England. The men of Iceland were a heavy pooch that almost no one wanted any part of. Nevertheless, favorites like England that require heavy juice do what they often do best….crush the bankrolls of weary bettors banking on a perceived blue-chip option. Casually, Iceland’s draw against Portugal and their win over Austria were just drops in the bucket. On the contrary, England seemed to have all the moxie despite finishing runner-up in a group that had their name all over it and a slew of underachieving results against Russia and Slovakia. The sharps were on Iceland and they made themselves a pretty penny for their efforts.
France despite popular belief is not as big and bad as everyone makes them out to be. Yes, the French are 5-0-1 in their last six fixtures, but look at who they are proliferating these results against. The list of names, include Ireland, Albania and Romania. None of these three outfits are known as household names in the world of international football. Yet, the mighty heavyweight that is France had to sweat out all three of these fixtures. Against Romania and Albania, France needed extra time to avert two draws against teams they were heavily favored to win against. All the takers that downed the tall glass of juice, assuredly had to sweat those contests out. Such initiatives are not in our playbook and once again France had to resort to theatrics to come from behind against Ireland in the Round of Sixteen to make it to where they stand now. The most consequential result was fostered against Switzerland, but even then France could not put the Swiss away and were held scoreless in a stalemate.
We are going to be bold here and go ahead and strike while the iron is hot and take Iceland with these inflated odds. While the chance of victory may be low, it is not as low as the market suggests. The price simply dictates the play here. France as hosts, boasting a talent saturated squad has a great propensity to be overvalued and conversely as we have seen here Iceland is in great position to be undervalued. We are targeting the overlay, as it is preposterous for Iceland to be offered at such a price given the fact their performance portfolio in this tournament is more impressive than France. France will assuredly get some home cooking in this contest, calls will go their way and they will have thousands of denizens screaming on their behalf in their capital city. However, we don’t see any of these narratives as striking fear in the hearts of Iceland. This team has been the underdog game in and out throughout this entire tournament and given the lack of respect Iceland has received in this match-up, it is safe to assume they will enter this game with a chip on their shoulder.
Iceland has been gearing up the scoring as of recent against premium competitors. Iceland has scored at least once against Portugal, Austria and England which states they have an offense that can sustain attacks against European big dogs. As for France, this is a squad that is at risk of conceding goals. It is likely that this game will feature multiple goals where both teams get on the score sheet. Given the fact for just three goals we can take back above even odds on that play, we will dive right in.
France Recent Form
W – Ireland 2-1 (Round of Sixteen)
D – Switzerland 0-0 (Group)
W – Albania 2-0 (Group)
W – Romania 2-1 (Group)
W – Scotland 3-0 (Friendly)
Iceland Recent Form
W – England 2-1 (Round of Sixteen)
W – Austria 1-0 (Group)
D – Hungary 1-1 (Group)
D – Portugal 1-1 (Group)
W – Lichtenstein 4-0 (Friendly)
Keith's Prediction for the Game: Iceland 9/1 (+900)
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