Croatia vs. Portugal and Pick to Win
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2016
Where: EURO 2016 Round of 16 Lens, France
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
Match Odds: Croatia 17/10, Draw 36/17, Portugal 44/19
Moneyline: Croatia 17/10, Draw +211, Wales +231
Over/Under Best Market: UNDER 1.5 27/17 (+158)
Croatia had an impressive group stage campaign, as they won Group D outright against expectation as that had Spains name written all over it. In uncanny fashion, Croatia defeated Spain by a score of 2-1 to top Group D and secure seven points in route this fixture with the Portuguese. Portugal enters on a far lowlier sentiment. Portugal was the heavy favorite to win Group F and the outcome was less than optimal as they came in third instead. Portugal does not own a win in group play and subsequently they acquired just three draws against squads they were supposed to pummel. The list of names include Hungary, Iceland and Austria.
From the get-go, Croatia seemed to be the sexy choice be that Croatia seem to be the team with the hotter hand at this point. The Croatians remain unbeaten in their previous six fixtures and they have generated a considerable amount of fanfare and notoriety from breathtaking scores and impressive results. As we have seen previously from numerous other examples, these scenarios often result in an overreaction. We have seen much of the consensus smother Croatia on the board and as a result of this, we may not get Croatia at their true odds. With this being considered, we will have no part of that.
Portugal has drawn in their previous three fixtures within their group campaign. As a result, we have all the more faith this can occur on a fourth consecutive occasion. However, in the knockout stage there are no draws. We are simply playing on the market that focuses on the first ninety minutes be that is the standardized option for most books. We could have played on a draw-no bet angle but there is no equity in those markets, so we also suggest staying clear of those options. This contest will likely require extra time or maybe even penalties to settle the dispute and determine a winner. Portugal had every opportunity to vanquish their advancement hopes against Hungary as they trailed on three separate occasions. Nevertheless, Portugal equalized three times to survive the upstart underdog. Portugal is a simply a team that will not go away and teams like this are often a solid play outright. On the contrary, we will not play on that angle in this situation because we have better prospects to consider.
In this scenario, we find ourselves in a situation where a draw is an option and given the play of Croatia, as stead and patient, extra time is not a precept that scares or daunts Croatia by any means. It is not inconceivable that the game may remain without a score in the first ninety minutes be that both teams may opt to test the waters and feel each other out first. Neither of these teams are typically aggressive when they are playing premiere competition. In addition, both Croatia and Portugal feature playmakers the helm, which allow their talent to prod for opportunity as opposed to create chances recklessly. The showdown between Luca Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo has the billing of a heavyweight fight, furthered by a narrative that this game will likely be strategic and tactical. Finally, we are going to dispatch the notion Because Croatia beat Spain, they will likely beat Portugal as that may be a popular insight for many punters in this given market. We will have none of that as well, by virtue of the fact impressive results like the win over Spain are typically followed by disappointment. Nevertheless, the team Croatia is facing down has not lived up to their hype either and thats why we will simply take the minority option here and go for a draw which offers the most value in this fixture in regulation markets
Following up our prognostication of scoring, this fixture may be resolved with just one goal that makes the difference. Thus we found tremendous upside in taking the UNDER 1.5 at solid odds of +158.
Croatia Recent Form
W Spain 2-1 (Group)
D Czech Republic 2-2 (Group)
D Turkey 1-0 (Group)
W San Marino 10-0 (Friendly)
W Moldova 1-0 (Friendly)
Portugal Recent Form
D Hungary 3-3 (Group)
D Austria 0-0 (Group)
D Iceland 1-1 (Group)
W Estonia 7-0 (Friendly)
L England 0-1 (Friendly)
Keith’s Prediction for the Game: Draw +211