The clash between Brazil and Costa Rica will be played at Saint-Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 22nd. Brazil wasn’t impressive in the first game as they won just a point against Switzerland, while Costa Rica lost in the opener and they can pack their bags in case of a defeat here.
Brazil vs. Costa Rica
Three-Way: 1: Brazil -455; X: +550 Draw; 2: Costa Rica +1800 (Odds provided by Delaware Park Sportsbook)
Spread -2: Brazil +106; Costa Rica -139
Total 2.5 goals: Over +196; Under -250
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The Brazilians were the strong favorites at -227, but they didn’t deliver as the resilient Swiss fought to salvage a point and force a 1-1 draw at +340. Philippe Coutinho scored a screamer in the 20th minute to put the Selecao 1-0 up, but they couldn’t keep the lead in the second half as Switzerland responded through Steven Zuber’s header in the 50th minute.
Neymar didn’t have the game of his career and will want to forget it quickly as he was under a lot of pressure through the entire game as he was fouled even ten times in the process, but the Swiss did stop him in the end. Brazil had 20 attempts on goal, but only four of those went on target and other three that didn’t end behind Yann Sommer’s back were held by the goalkeeper. Zuber’s equalizer was a big gift for all the punters who backed both teams to score at +120, while under 2.5 goals could be found at +100.
On the other hand, Costa Rica was an underdog in the clash with Serbia, but they did fine and could earn a point if there wasn’t a fantastic free-kick goal from Aleksandar Kolarov in the 56th minute that gave the Eagles a precious win at -120. Geancarlo Gonzalez and a couple of attempts in the first half but his headers failed to find the back of the net, while the Ticos were pretty much harmless after the interval when Serbia started playing way better. This game wasn’ labeled as the one that would produce more than 2.5 goals, so all of those who bet under at -200 earned half of their original stake.
Players to watch
Neymar was under constant pressure for the entire 90 minutes against Switzerland and he will undoubtedly be pressurized this time around as well, but the nation and the fans around the world are hoping to see much more from Brazil’s top-scorer.
Bryan Ruiz is the one to watch for the Costa Ricans as he possesses quality and technique to make something out of nothing, so the veteran could have a chance to make his mark against the heavy-weight opponent.
Brazil: Alisson; Danilo, Miranda, Thiago Silva, Marcelo; Casemiro, Paulinho (Renato Augusto); Coutinho, Willian, Neymar; Gabriel Jesus (Firmino).
Costa Rica:Navas; Gamboa, Acosta, Gonzalez, Duarte, Calvo; Guzman (Bolanos), Borges, Venegas, Ruiz; Urena.
Brazil’s chances to lift the trophy in Russia are +450, while the Selecao is -175 to make it to the quarter-finals. Costa Rica’s chances to win the World Cup are up to +100000, while the Ticos are +5000 to reach the quarter-finals.
Brazil to win at -455 is definitely not worth of risk, so if you’re going to bet on them, you might consider the -2 spread at +106. After a disappointment in the opening round, the Selecao must justify the role of the biggest favorite at this World Cup, and I think they will deliver it this time around, so feel free to back them at -2 spread.
The Pick: Brazil AH -2 (+106)