Image licensed from USA Today Sports
The tilt between Serbia and Brazil will be played at the Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow on June 27th. The Selecao needs a point to progress to the knockout phase, but an eventual loss could send them home, so they have to be concentrated and not allow the Eagles to make a shock here.
Serbia vs. Brazil
Three-Way: 1: Serbia +650; X: +350 Draw; 2: Brazil -200
Spread +1: Serbia -103; Brazil -104
Total 2.5 goals: Over -110; Under -110
The Eagles had a chance to book their place in the Round of 16 with a win over Switzerland and everything went their way in the first half as they took a 1-0 lead through Aleksandar Mitrovic in the 5th minute. Early lead gives them the wings to continue with the attacks but Switzerland defended well and the opening 45 minutes ended 1-0.
It was a whole another story in the second half as Switzerland managed to equalize thanks to Granit Xhaka’s left-footer from outside the box in the 52nd minute, which was all the punters who bet on BTTS at +100 needed. Serbia was left without fuel in the tank, while the Swiss opted to focus on the defense and counter-attacks, and in the 90th minute, Xherdan Shaqiri was the quickest in the opposing box and coolly put the ball past Vladimir Stojkovic to give his team a vital 2-1 victory. It was a great moment for the little winger, but also for those who backed Switzerland to win at +200 and over 2.5 goals at +140. Serbia’s chances to win the World Cup are now +25000, while the Eagles are +1100 to reach the quarter-finals.
The Selecao struggled to penetrate through sturdy Costa Rica’s defense in the opening half which ended without goals, but they switched to a higher gear in the second 45 minutes and created serious scoring opportunities. However, Gabriel Jesus hit the crossbar with the header, while Philippe Coutinho and Neymar also didn’t have the luck to put Brazil ahead.
The referee Kuipers signalled for seven minutes of injury time, and already in the first, Coutinho reacted well to a rebound in the six-yard box and gave his team a much-needed lead, while Neymar doubled it in the final second of the tilt to set the final score, 2-0. It was a deserved win for the Selecao as they showed maturity and patience in the deciding moments, despite the frustration caused by Keylor Navas and excellent the Ticos’ defense. Brazil chances to win the World Cup are +500, while the Selecao is -188 to go to the quarter-finals.
Backing the Brazilians to win at -200 is not such a wise move, but if you are convinced they will get three points, then you can bet on the +1 spread at -104 and practically double your stake rather than risking a lot to bank only half of it.
The Pick: Brazil AH +1 (-104)