2014 World Cup Betting: Netherlands vs. Costa Rica Picks & Odds

Nila Amerova

Monday, June 30, 2014 6:04 PM GMT

Netherlands and Costa Rica laboured in the R16 but both emerged with victories to set up an intriguing matchup in the quarterfinals. Will Netherlands live up to their top billing or will Costa Rica upset the odds yet again? Let’s weigh in on the odds and serve up our free soccer picks for your consideration.

 

Netherlands Eke Out a Last-Gasp Win
The Oranje were two minutes away from catching a flight back to Holland, their World Cup hopes appeared to be on the verge of a premature, agonising death in the R16. Just as we expected, Mexico brought the heat on in this match. They proved to be more adventurous, spirited and energetic than the Dutch were for large parts of the match. The side that decimated defending World Cup champions Spain in the opening round of Group B action was MIA. This Oranje was a shade murky and dim. What’s more, they were down 1-0 at the start of the second half. Yet, somehow, Netherlands found a way to equalise in the 88th minute, through a corner kick that Wesley Sneijder pounced on. Then Klaas-Jun Huntelaar scored the winner just before extra time, through a penalty kick awarded after Robben, up to his usual tricks, wrangled the rather dubious call from the referee.


 Everybody loves Los Ticos
Costa Rica are proving to be a tough nut to crack, mainly because of their impressive defending in each and every game. So united, organised and purposeful on the pitch, Los Ticos are defying the odds in a big way. Granted they were the favourites to reach the quarterfinals at the expense of Greece, but odds of +150 to win outright are hardly a ringing endorsement. Keep in mind, Greece weren’t priced far off at +230 to win outright.

As it were, it was yet another example of the odds makers getting it right. Costa Rica opened the scoring in the second half when Ruiz scored in the 52nd minute. Then disaster struck. Costa Rica’s Oscar Duarte was sent off on a red card, reducing Los Ticos to ten men for the remainder of the match. They held strong but in the dying seconds of stoppage time Greece scored the last gasp equaliser to send the match into extra time. What should have taken the wind out of Los Ticos' sails instead spurred them on to one of their grittiest performances of the finals yet. Greece looked to be the better side, but Los Ticos wouldn’t budge. So onto the nerve-wracking penalties the match went. One by one, Los Ticos stepped up to the spot; one by one, they scored. Greece matched Los Ticos score for score in the first three attempts and then Keylor Navas made the pivotal save on Greece’s fourth attempt, which all but ensured Los Ticos through to the quarterfinals.

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Holland and Costa Rica Match Betting Tips and Picks
Both Holland and Costa Rica survived dramatic R16 matches, expending a lot of energy and emotion. By all rights, they should probably have been on a flight back home – more so the former rather than the latter. But they deserve a lot of credit, showing their mettle and redlining their odds to reach the quarterfinals. All this presents a rather intriguing matchup in the quarters.

At face value, the Oranje are the deeper, more talented and experienced team, advantages that underscore their favourable odds to win outright at -200. When it comes to the so-called X’s and O’s, the Dutch have the kind of firepower that could spell the end of Costa Rica’s golden dream in Brazil. 

That said, Costa Rica, are a tough nut to crack. They have more than made up for their lack of star power and perceived talent and depth with one of the most tight-fisted defences in the competition. It wasn’t luck that saw them get past three former World Cup champions in the group stage, nor was it luck that saw them get past former European champions Greece. This is a team that is organised, determined and wholly defensive-minded. They will challenge the Dutch offense mightily. More so than their disingenuous +650 odds to win outright would appear to suggest.


World Cup Picks
All stories end eventually. With one of the tournament favourites Holland looming in the quarterfinals, it’s not surprising that odds makers are spelling the end of Costa Rica’s World Cup journey. However, this Cinderella might fancy a happy ending and not the gloomy one on offer on the World Cup betting board. Common wisdom suggests Holland at -200 is the correct soccer pick but sentimental bettors might not be ready to give up on Brazil’s Cinderella just yet at +650. We won’t dissuade you on that score either.


Additional World Cup Picks
Given what we’ve seen from both, this match could go the distance into extra time and penalties as well, in which case a bet on Costa Rica or the draw at +163 in fulltime might be an option. Other options include betting on the method of victory: an extra time win by Holland is listed at +900 while by Costa Rica it’s listed at +3300. Curiously, a win on Penalties is going for +1600 by both Holland and Costa Rica.