2014 World Cup Betting: Italy vs. Uruguay Picks & Odds

Nila Amerova

Monday, June 23, 2014 2:27 PM GMT

Pre-World Cup betting co-favourites in Group D Italy and Uruguay are set to collide in a deciding match, the last match of group play that will determine which side advances into the last 16. Indeed, it’s WIN or BUST. So which side will win this highly anticipated affair? Check out our soccer picks.


Italy can win
Italy have the advantage of a superior goal differential over Uruguay, which means they technically need only a draw to advance. Currently sat second in the table, on three points following a win over England in their opening match, Gli Azzurri have scored two goals and conceded two, giving them a Zero goal differential. You can back the draw at +230 or in a combined bet with Italy to win or draw at -222.

A win over Uruguay, however, would be the more certain path into the R16. It wouldn’t do to give the South Americans hope or a chance to steal the victory from their grasps, otherwise they’ll be joining the growing queue of European heavyweights packing up and absconding from Brazil, amongst others. Italy are listed as the marginal underdogs at +180 to win outright, their match betting odds conspicuously swelling up from their opening odds of +160 when we recapped round 2.

Prandelli is expected to juggle his starting XI, after Costa Rica exposed some inefficiency in his selection, namely midfield inadequateness down the stretch. Mario Balotelli’s imposing presence barely registered on the pitch, while sublime passers Pirlo, Chiellini and Barzagli were neutralised effectively. It remains to be seen what changes (if any) he makes, as they’ll determine what sort of approach he’s going to adopt. One would hope his selections reflect an aggressive approach against a dangerous Uruguay. Any selections that suggest more of a sit-back-wait-and-see-approach would swing the balance towards Uruguay, surely.


Uruguay should win
Uruguay got off to a slow start in Brazil, losing 3-1 in their opener to Costa Rica. The defeat cost them their status amongst the top favourites in outright betting markets, as they swelled from +2500 (or thereabouts) to a whopping +10000. They also fell out of favour to win Group D. When once they were tipped co-favourites with Italy to win outright at +163, they are now the +1200 bet to win Group D.

The return of Luis Suarez into the starting XI against England, however, re-established some order in Uruguay markets. Well, almost as Uruguay’s odds were slashed down to anywhere from +4000 to +5000 in the competition proper, depending on your sportsbook of choice. They remain long shots to win Group D as well as to simply advance into the knockouts at +175.

Luis Suarez was a game-changing player, scoring both goals in Uruguay’s 2-1 victory over England. Both sensational, exquisitely crafted goals that propelled Uruguay back into Group D contention. Now, the South Americans sit third in the table, level on points with Italy but back due to a -1 goal differential. They have no choice but to win this match if they hope to keep their World Cup campaign alive. You can back Uruguay at +175 to win outright in match betting markets.


World Cup Verdict
Clearly, odds makers favour Italy to advance out of Group D, and quite firmly as they are priced on rather high -225 odds. Yet, despite that nod, they send Italy at the marginal disadvantage to Uruguay in match betting markets: Italy are matched at +180 while Uruguay are matched at +175 to win outright. Hmmm?

Granted the gap is so nominal to be a moot point. Still, it’s quite an opposing stance whichever way you slice it. Undoubtedly, Uruguay were convincing in the last round, more so than the Italians were. The win over England was an impressive comeback against all the odds; the team was visibly emotional and elated. No player more so than Luis Suarez, who gave a tearful, heartfelt interview on the sidelines, talking about how ecstatic he was that his side still had a shot at the World Cup dream and that he could play for his country in a meaningful match, at least one more time in this finals. Based on both Italy and Uruguay’s accounts in the last lap, we feel Uruguay have more to show. Watch if they don’t reach their full potential against an Italy that was found wanting by Costa Rica, and that’s why we are recommending Uruguay on your Soccer Picks at +175. Over 2.5 at +110.
World Cup Picks: Uruguay at +175 and Over 2.5 at +110.

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