2016 Summer Olympics - Saturday's Best Soccer Value Plays


Kevin Stott

Friday, August 19, 2016 10:47 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 19, 2016 10:47 PM UTC

Once in a great while, the actual Oddsmakers’ prices come in like a hurricane and help make the handicapping decision easier. And that’s what we have here in the Finals of the Men’s Football Tournament in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.

Brazil vs. Germany
Historic Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro will be the site of this Men’s Olympics Soccer (Football) Finals (Gold Medal) match between host nation Brazil and European giants and World Cup holders Germany. Oddsmakers have opened Brazil up as healthy +118 favorites (at 5Dimes) with Germany priced at big +257 underdogs and the Draw priced at +258. The Total (Goals) in this contest has opened up at 2½ with the Overpriced at -113 at 5Dimes with the Both Teams To Score Prop bet seeing the ‘Yes’ priced at -150 with the ‘No’ here currently priced at +110 (at WilliamHill). Betting Odds for the To Lift Trophy (To Win Gold Medal)—which would avoid a potential Draw losing a Side bet in the Three-Way marketplace—bet sees Brazil priced at -200 with Germany at a high +275 (at PaddyPower).


Saturday Value-Seeking Approach—Gold Medal Match
It will be the host and No. 9-ranked (FIFA) Brazil with Neymar (FC Barcelona) leading the charge here against Nils Petersen (SC Freiburg) and the defending World Cup champions and No. 4-ranked Germany playing for the Gold Medal, and despite the fact a good majority of these nation’s major players are absent with Olympic Rosters limited to players Under the age of 23 with the exception of three “overage” players—including the aforementioned Neymar (24) for Brazil and Petersen (27) for Germany—and others already starting play with their respective European league clubs. 

And with A Seleção now priced as high as a chalky +279 (at Pinnacle) and this match basically a toss-up and very capable of being tied after 90 minutes of play, backing DFB-Elf for a small to moderate amount is the obvious value pick, with the line here being close to 100 cents off due to the Site, Hype, perceived Referee bias and the reality that most worldwide will probably want to follow their emotions and lean to betting Brazil in the romantic setting and seeking their first Olympic Gold Medal in the sport in which the South American nation is known for ... and Neymar may be the only player they know on either Roster.


How They Both Got Here
Brazil trickled through Group A play, drawing with South Africa (0-0), also tying with Iraq (0-0) and then shutting out Denmark, 4-0. In Knockout Stage play, Brazil defeated Colombia, 2-0 in the Quarterfinals as Neymar scored in the 13th minute and Luan (Grêmio) in the 83rd minute to help GK Weverton (Atlético Paranaense) to send Brazil to the Semifinals where it thrashed No. 84-ranked Honduras, 6-0, on Wednesday at the Maracanã with Neymar scoring the fastest goal in Olympic history (14 seconds in). The speedy Neymar finished with 2 goals, as did Gabriel Jesus and Marquinhos and Luan added goals in the rout as the Brazilians remained unbeaten and unscored upon (12 GF-0 GA) in a tournament in which they have qualified in 12 times but still never won despite reaching the Finals three times (1984, 1988, 2012).

DFB-Elf (DFB Eleven) survived Group C Stage play, drawing with Mexico (2-2) and South Korea (3-3) before pounding poor Fiji, 10-0 to finish with a robust 15 goals in group play. Germany then defeated Portugal, 4-0 in the Semifinals at Serge Gnabry (Arsenal, 46’), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund, 57’), Davie Selke (RB Leipzig, 75’) and Philipp Max (FC Augsburg, 87’) as Germany exploded for four 2nd Half goals to move on to their Semifinal match against Nigeria, won by the Germans at Arena Corinthians in São Paulo on Wednesday as Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig, 9’) and Petersen (89’) tallied for the winners.


The Value-Seeking, This Match is Really a Toss-Up Approach
The Value-seeking approach here is to simply ride the European side and hope sound Defense overcomes the situation and moment. Germany is coached by Horst Hrubesch and has GK Timo Horn (FC Köln) and will likely have the slightly more sound Defensive side despite the fact Brazil and GK Weverton (Atlético Paranaense) have yet to allow a goal in these Olympics. Then again, Brazil hasn’t faced Germany, whose senior team thrashed Brazil, 7-1, here at Maracanã Stadium in the 2014 World Cup Semifinals. “Is there anything more beautiful than playing an Olympic final at Maracanã against Brazil? It is amazing, fabulous,” gushed Germany coach Hrubesch. Germany would go on to become the first European country to win the World Cup on South American soil, as Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund) scored in Extra Time to give DFB-Elf a 1-0 win in the Final and all that coveted world football glory.

Here, Neymar (Anytime Goalscorer -110, at WilliamHill) and Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras; Anytime Goalscorer +175, at WilliamHill) and Gabriel Barbosa (Santos, Anytime Goalscorer +190, William Hill) will give Brazil (Total Brazil Goals 1½ Under -137, at WilliamHill) plenty of quick-attack scoring options and A Seleção will likely put pressure on early trying to score first to maximize the Crowd support. Worrying about Germany (Total Germany Goals 1½ Under -260, Over +187, at WilliamHill) being able to score against Brazil seems silly with the Germans having scored 21 goals—albeit 10 in one fell swoop vs. lowly Fiji—heading in here and thinking this Gold Medal deserves to be theirs. And with a solid attacking core of Petersen (Anytime Goalscorer +190, at WilliamHill), Gnabry (Arsenal, +240 Anytime Goalscorer, at WilliamHill), Selke (+240 Anytime Goalscorer, at WilliamHill), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen, +260 Anytime Goalscorer, at WilliamHill) and Max Meyer (Schalke 04, Anytime Goalscorer +280, at WilliamHill) this Germany side will be well-equipped to play a similar style of speed-finesse game as Brazil and just provides too much perceived value to ignore. Underdog Germany is worth the risk here for your betting pick.


2016 SUMMER OLYMPICS SOCCER GOLD MEDAL MATCH VALUE PICKS: Germany +279 at Pinnacle; Over 2½ +100 at PaddyPower
2016 SUMMER OLYMPICS SOCCER GOLD MEDAL MATCH VALUE PROPS PICKS: Both Teams To Score (Yes) -150 (William Hill); Germany Draw No Bet +162 (Paddy Power), Germany To Lift Trophy +150 at PaddyPower


Honduras vs. Nigeria 
The Mineirão in Belo Horizonte is the site of the Men’s Olympics Soccer Bronze Medal match on Saturday between John Obi Mikel and Nigeria and Honduras. Oddsmakers have made No. 67-ranked (FIFA) Nigeria solid -156 favorites (Bookmaker) here with No. 84-ranked Honduras priced at +435 as the big underdog with a Draw priced at a robust +310. The Total (Goals) in this match has been set at 3 with the Under juiced at -114 (Bookmaker). The Both Teams To Score prop sees the ‘Yes’ priced at -140 with the ‘No’ at +111 (188Bet). A prop in the Asian Handicap marketplace sees Honduras +1 goal priced at -125 (Winner) over the Super Eagles.


Saturday Value-Seeking, We Don’t Give a Rip Because it’s Just the Bronze Approach—Bronze Medal Match
Whereas both nations will come in tight in the Gold Medal match, expect these two sides to be very loose and apathetic in a way, despite actually playing for a prestigious Olympic medal. And like the Brazil-Germany match, the odds in this one seem off a little, but maybe only about 20-40 cents Nigeria’s way, meaning that there may be some perceived value in taking Los Catrachos who have a very solid starting GK in Luis López (Real España). But will Honduras be able to create enough quality scoring chances in front? We will see.

With oddsmakers expecting the Super Eagles (4-2-3-1 tactical formation) to get on the scoreboard at least twice here (Total Nigeria Goals Over 1½ -143 (Under +110, WilliamHill), finding a 2½ in the Totals market and paying the significant juice is the recommended pick, but maybe do it quickly as some sportsbooks may/will hang a 3 on this particular match which will receive much less attention and handle at the Betting Windows. Getting that little ½ goal edge here provides the huge perceived value in what some may see as a meaningless shootout. And with talented and experienced players like Captain Mikel (Chelsea), Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, 58 Caps), Victor Moses (West Ham United) and Striker Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor), Under-23 Dream Team Head Coach Samson Siasia has more than enough firepower, speed, size and European experience to get the Bronze Medal here. And expect Nigeria to be foaming at the mouth to score after being held scoreless by Germany in the semifinals after having many balls in the box blocked by German Defenders. Honduras (Total Honduras Goals Over 1½ +229, Under -333, WilliamHill) will hope for a slower, more deliberate Pace here but the nature of this game could lead to many wide-open attacks and breaks on the counter, possibly leading to at least 1 and maybe 2 easy breakaway goals in the long run on Saturday.


PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Honduras 1 Nigeria 3
2016 SUMMER OLYMPICS SOCCER BRONZE MEDAL MATCH VALUE PICKS: Nigeria -147 at YouWager, Over 2½ -150 at WilliamHill
2016 SUMMER OLYMPICS SOCCER BRONZE MEDAL MATCH VALUE PROPS PICKS: Both Teams To Score (Yes) -140 at 188Bet, Total Nigeria Goals Over 1½ -143 at WilliamHill


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