A Tough Wales Team Appears As A Tempting Soccer Pick For Friday

Thursday, June 30, 2016 5:33 PM GMT

Wales take on Belgium in the quarterfinals of the Euro 2016 Championships, a spot in the semis on the line. We preview the soccer odds and serve up soccer picks.

Wales vs. Belgium
Thursday has the quarterfinal of Euro 2016 get underway with the highly-anticipated clash between Poland and Portugal, a clash that will determine the first semi-finalist of the competition. Wales and Belgium will look to book their spot opposite to the winner of that clash on Friday, a matchup that is firmly cornered in Belgium’s camp across sports betting exchanges. After all, Belgium rank amongst the top favourites going into the quarterfinals to triumph in France, a bet currently priced at +400 soccer odds at Bet365. In fact, they are the second best bet after joint favourites France and Germany, both priced at +275 in futures betting markets.

It remains to be seen whether Belgium will live up to expectations. Consider they didn’t in the group stage as they finished second behind Italy when pre-market expectations had them favoured to clinch the group. What’s more, it won’t do to overlook Wales entirely, even if they are priced as the long shots in tournament winner betting markets at +2500 soccer odds with Bet365. The Dragons might not boast the attacking depth of the Red Devils, but they do have Gareth Bale, a solid defence and a team ethos that has been exemplary in the competition.

If anything, this market evaluation is largely a reaction to the R16 results in which Belgium lit up against Hungary in a 4-0 victory, the biggest victory of the competition thus far. At the same time, Wales did just enough to edge Northern Ireland. It’s rather daring to hang everything on one result, not to mention, in the case of Belgium, one that came over an opponent that although played well in the tournament doesn’t rank amongst the established football elite.


Outsiders Wales the value bet
Wales enter the quarterfinals of Euro 2016 at a dramatic disadvantage on the soccer odds board. They are priced as high as +500 soccer odds to win in 90 minutes at Bet365, while Belgium is priced as short as -141 soccer odds to win in 90 minutes at Bookmaker.

On the strength of the R16, the market makes sense initially. Belgium put in one of the most scintillating offensive accounts and their best team performance of the tournament. Thing is, it’s just one account and a win over a minnow Hungary, even though said minnow did stun group F to win top spot. Hardly a ringing endorsement, is it?

So Wales didn’t exactly impress in the R16 with a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland, which was an own goal to boot. But they did just enough to edge into the quarterfinals and, to be fair, they were the better team on the field. On the flipside, credit must be given to the Green and White Army for giving Wales a run for its money. They didn’t make it easy and Wales had to earn the victory.

What’s important to consider is that Wales are coming off a second clean sheet in the competition, after beating Russia 3-0 and Northern Ireland 1-0. It might. Moreover, when comparing Belgium and Wales’ individual accounts in the competition thus far, we’d maintain that Wales come off as a much better team than they are being given credit for with respect to the sum total of their individual parts. Belgium is stacked deep with flashy stars, the game’s glitterati. Wales – aside from Gareth Bale – are a no-nonsense lot, an unassuming collection of players that are willing to grind in order to fly their small nation’s flag high and proud.

The clincher: did you know they met in qualifying with Wales coming up trumps after drawing scoreless in Brussels and winning 1-0 in Cardiff?

 

Match Betting Verdict 
All and sundry are buying what Belgium are selling. All it took was a 4-0 thrashing of Hungary, so it would seem. When Belgium lost to Italy in their opener, they were criticised heavily by experts as a bunch of spoilt stars playing individually and not as a team. Since that lost, the Red Devils reeled off three straight wins -- a 3-0 win over Ireland, a 1-0 win over Sweden and a 4-0 win over Hungary – and put paid on their critics.

Admittedly, it’s easy to be swayed by Belgium for our soccer picks. As they are also one of the top nations according to FIFA rankings, it makes sense that they should win. Of course, you could do no worse than backing Belgium as the clear-cut favourite for your soccer picks.

Yet, there’s this niggling feeling that Wales might be the value soccer pick at their awfully tempting +500 soccer odds to win in 90 minutes. Reasons to consider this include the fact that they are tough to break down, plus they have the confidence of their qualifying campaign results over Belgium to draw inspiration from. They won’t fear Belgium seeing as they were able to shut down their attacking front twice (home and away).

Of course, it’s a ballsy bet to back Wales. An even ballsy-er bet to back Wales win to nil, which can be found trading at +650 with Paddy Power amongst several other sportsbooks. Neither is for the fainthearted bettor. However, we maintain there’s good reason to consider one or both on your soccer picks.

For the cautious soccer bettors, the safer options is to back Wales to qualify into the semis, which is a bet available at +250 at Bet365. This is the safer option as it covers not only the 90 minute match framework but extra time and penalties.

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Free Soccer Picks: Wales to qualify for semis at +250, Wales to win to nil at +650, Wales to win at +500
Best Line Offered: Wales to qualify for semis +250 at Bet365, Wales to win to nil +650 with at PaddyPower, Wales to win +500 with at Bet365