Japan (1-1-0) vs. England (2-0-0)
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 – 03:00 PM EDT
Free Soccer Pick: Over 2.5 +135
Recommended Sportsbook: Bet365
By all accounts, this is going to be the crucial match in group D action. It is a rematch of the 2015 semi-final between England and Japan, in which the Nadeshiko claimed a stoppage time winner courtesy of Laura Basset’s ill-timed own goal and progressed to the final (l. to USA). Despite the heart-breaking defeat England did regroup and beat Germany 1-0 to clinch third-place.
That was then and a lot has changed since then. England has improved and are now ranked third in the world while Japan are seventh. Nevertheless, given the scintillating back story, it’s shaping up to be THE match of the third round – if not the entire group stage.
Japan are no slouches having won the coveted title in 2011 (beating USA in a thrilling final showdown) and finishing runner-up in Canada 2015. Overall, they are amongst some of the realistic contenders for the title priced at a tempting +2800 to win it all. That said, England are third overall at +650 with BetOnline to win it all.
England lead group D with a 2-0-0 mark after the first two rounds in France. The Lionesses opened their campaign with a narrow 2-1 victory over Scotland, and then backed it up with a 1-0 win over Argentina in the second round of group action. With six points and a two-goal differential England is through to the knockout rounds, but Japan could make things very interesting in this final showdown as top spot is technically still up for grabs.
Japan are 1-1-0 in the competition and second in group D, just two points adrift of England. A win for Japan would propel the Nadeshiko to the top of group D while a win for England would clinch top spot for the Lionesses.
Evidently, there’s everything to play for and not surprisingly we have one of the tightest soccer betting lines on offer. The pair have met in the last three instalments of the World Cup with Japan winning the most recent 2-1. England beat Japan 2-0 in 2011, but Japan sailed through the knockout stages to win the title. In 2007, Japan and England settled on a 2-2 draw.
Japan are tipped at the disadvantage despite their positive record with England. Bet365 lists a Japan victory at +275 while BetOnline offers Japan to win straight up at +220. Needless to say, if Japan is your choice soccer pick the price is better at Bet365 ($100 stake wins $275).
England to win straight up is offered at +100 with Bet365 and BetOnline while the draw is available at +230 with Bet365 and +215 with BetOnline.
One of the main reasons for Japan’s disadvantage on the soccer odds board can be pinpointed to a slow start. They crawled out of the gates to the tune of a scoreless draw to Argentina in round 1, a result that did put their bid in jeopardy somewhat. In round 2, Japan got back on track with a 2-1 win over Scotland.
Another reason for this rather grim outlook might be Japan’s loss to England in recent tournament play. England beat Japan 3-0 to win the SheBelieves Cup in March, a four-team tournament in the United States which also featured the host nation and Brazil. That said, Japan wasn’t at full strength in that competition, making the result a bit misleading.
In summary, Japan should prove a much tougher opponent than the soccer odds would suggest while England is a much-improved side. As such, this match is tough to call. Betting on the winner is no mean feat as either side has a legitimate stake in a victory. Based on the first couple of rounds, England do look like the better soccer pick, but Japan is an exceptional side and can’t be underestimated. They can certainly put a damper on England’s bid with a victory or even force the draw.
Therefore, hedge your bets with a few choice soccer picks such as Japan to win or draw, which is a tempting bet at -120 with Bet365. Both teams to score with the YES at +100 with Bet365 and the OVER 2.5 at +135.