2014 World Cup Odds: Can Costa Rica Upset Odds to Reach Semis?

Nila Amerova

Saturday, July 5, 2014 2:51 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 5, 2014 2:51 PM UTC

Friday’s round of quarterfinal betting saw odds makers go a perfect 2-0. Day 2 of the World Cup quarterfinals is almost upon us, so how will the proceedings unfold? Namely, can Costa Rica upset the odds to reach the semis or will Holland come through as odds makers expect? Find out as we preview the last match on the day’s card.

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

Holland Leads the Odds Board to Reach the Semis
All eight favourites in the R16 booked their spot in the quarterfinals. Day 1 in World Cup quarterfinal betting yielded both favourites through to the semis. It follows that Day 2 could fall in line, marking a second successful round of handicapping by the bookies.

Holland lead the charge into the semis on -500 favourites or thereabouts across sportsbooks, a decided improvement of their odds on June 20, at which time they were tipped at just +100 to reach the semis. This favourable outlook is partly down to the perceived quality of their opponents Costa Rica, a side that wasn’t expected to reach the knockouts in pre-World Cup betting markets. It’s also down to Holland’s solid form throughout the competition.

Holland began their campaign brightly, gaining revenge on Spain for their 1-0 defeat in the final of the 2010 World Cup finals. Revenge is putting a mild twist on the 5-1 annihilation of Spain. The Oranje went on to defeat a stoic Australia 3-2 before rounding out group action on a 2-0 victory over Chile. Overall, their group output was a perfect 3-0-0, which included 10 goals scored (the highest amount in group play) and three conceded.

The knockouts weren’t as straightforward however with a tough Mexico looming on their path into the quarterfinals. Indeed, El Tri were tough to breakdown for most of the match. They even took the lead in the second half and it wasn’t until the 88th minute when the Dutch finally levelled. A touch of luck saw them take the winning goal in the dying seconds of added time. All in all, Holland came through on their-150 favourites to reach the quarterfinals, but only just.

Costa Rica Disadvantaged
Costa Rica are the Cinderella of the 2014 World Cup finals, captivating the imagination of the entire world as they reach the quarterfinals beyond all expectations and against the odds. They won Group D, beating three former World Cup champions to the punch (Uruguay, Italy and England). They muscled their way into the quarterfinals at the expense of a tricky Greece, holding strong in the late stages of regulation time, while down a man, all the way through extra time before coolly winning on penalties. It was one of their toughest contests yet and the only match in which they were dubbed the favourites.

It’s back to the disadvantage for the darlings of the World Cup finals, however, against Holland, the 2010 World Cup runners up. Costa Rica are matched at +375 to reach the semis at the expense. On one hand, it’s a much better price tag than that their +650 odds to reach the quarterfinals (never mind semis) on June 18. But that is small consolation. Since winning the second group match over Italy 1-0, Costa Rica’s odds have sat in and around the +400 mark to reach the semis. And that is telling.

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World Cup Betting Verdict
Everybody loves a good story, but none resonates worldwide than that of a Cinderella going to the ball. Sentimentalists and romantics will be itching to pile onto Costa Rica’s tempting +375 odds to reach the semis. They’ve defied the odds three times already in the competition, so they could do so again. But when the odds makers have called ten out of 12 knockout matches correctly, with all ten favourites advancing. It’s more likely they’ve got this one right too. But let’s hope not.

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