England vs. Wales and Pick to Win
Date: Thursday, June 16, 2016
Where: EURO 2016 Group Stage Group B Game 2 - Lens Agglo, France
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
Match Odds: England 3/5, Draw 16/5, Wales 6/1
Moneyline: England -166, Draw +320, Wales +600
Over/Under Best Market: OVER 2.5 15/13 (+115)
England like many traditional European favorites in the EURO is an excellent target to lay because they are almost always offered at a price that does not reflect their true value or quality. England in their opening draw against Russia looked like the typical English squads of old many have sadly grown accustomed to: talented with an apparent lack of chemistry. In what should have been nothing more than a tune up match, England allowed Russia to hang around and never put them away. As a result, Russia found a way to come back in to the game with a late equalizer that dashed Englands hopes of getting what appeared to be an easy three points.
While the odds may suggest otherwise, Wales may be perhaps Englands greatest hurdle. The Welsh enter on a high note defeating Slovakia 2-1 in their opening fixture. Currently, Wales sits at the top of the table in Group B with three points, while England and Russia sit deadlocked at one point per side and Slovakia hanging back in last with zero points. With a Slovakian draw or win against Russia and a win against England, Wales can actually clinch Group B outright and secure their position in a favorable situation in the knockout stage of sixteen. To some this may seem like a fantastical notion given the heavy favorites the English were entering this group and tournament for all intent and purposes. However, there is no reason to suggest Wales cannot pull off the upset regardless of Englands recent form against them. Simply put a team that is prone to disappointment and let-downs is a very dangerous play at odds of 3/5. Considering Wales was written off against Slovakia there is tremendous upside in the price offered with the Welsh.
Wales performance against Slovakia was nothing short of sensational. The Welsh fired eleven shots in total and eight of them were on net. Praise and credit should be given to the Slovakian goalkeeper for deflecting an onslaught of attempts, otherwise the game may have gotten out of hand. Conversely, Wales allowed just two shots on net and one found its way in. Nevertheless, Wales given their lack of experience in this tournament overall compared to middling European squads like Slovakia showed they can prosper against formidable opposition in pivotal affairs. Wales recent successes may likely fuel them further against a traditional European heavyweight in England.
Even with England entering on a low note, the English stay have everything to lose while Wales has everything to gain. For Wales, a win puts them through to the second round for sure and we like this angle considering the Wales will likely play more care-free given their sky is the limit attitude. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, laying favorites and buying back value on an undervalued outfit is in the toolbox. No matter what odds are offered here, they never reflect the true odds because England is a team that inherently fosters a premium for any takers wishing to back them. With this being considered, we want no part of England given their propensity for disappointment. However, Wales at this point it would be safe to assume has better than a 12% of winning and thus we will target a potential overlay.
Expect fireworks to fly in this one and this game may live up to the billing of a donnybrook with a fair amount of scoring on both ends. For total goals, we like the over on 2.5 as both teams were involved in fixtures that had at least two goals scored in total. There is no reason to suspect both teams wont let it rip given the potency of this border rivalry and what is potentially at stake for both squads.
England Recent Form
D - Russia 1-1 (Group
W Portugal 1-0 (Friendly)
W Australia 2-1 (Friendly)
W Turkey 2-1 (Friendly)
L Netherlands 1-2 (Friendly)
Wales Recent Form
W Slovakia 2-1 (Group)
L Sweden 0-3 (Friendly)
L Ukraine 0-1 (Friendly)
D Northern Ireland 1-1 (Friendly)
L Netherlands 2-3 (Friendly)
Keith’s Prediction for the Game: Wales +600