Group leaders Canada and Netherlands look to take another significant step towards the knockouts. Here are our soccer picks for Thursday's soccer betting card featuring Group A's round 2 matchups.
Canada's Soccer Odds Improve
At the start of the tournament, Canada entered as the -250 favourites to win Group A. After a solid 1-0 win over China in their world finals opener, their soccer odds improve to -400 on the FIFA Women's World Cup Group Betting board.
It's not surprising that Canada's soccer odds in Group A have improved behind the opening win. Fact is, they are in a winnable group with only Netherlands posing a serious threat for top spot. And on Thursday, they go into another matchup that is perceived winnable over a New Zealand side that reaches the World Cup through a very weak Oceania group. In the last two World Cups and two Olympics, the Kiwis have deposited a 1-1-10 record. Add to that the opening 1-0 defeat to the Netherlands on Saturday and they slip to a 1-1-11 record in the last five international competitions. Hardly a ringing endorsement, is it.
That said the Canadians were somewhat disappointing in round 1. They dominated possession but failed to make any inroads against the Chinese. Had it not been for a controversial penalty, the Canadians might have gotten off on a rather lacklustre note at their home world finals and that would have thrust their campaign into a bit of turmoil. If the Canadians do intend to make a run for it, they'll need a much better performance in game 2.
The hosts will be looking to take another significant step forward at the expense of unfancied New Zealand, the group's long shots at +4000 to win Group A ahead of the second round. By the soccer odds, Canada quite rightly appears to have a straightforward clash. They are matched as the -225 favourites to take the pivotal win on match day 2 while the Kiwis are trading on large +650 soccer odds. Even the draw appears a long shot soccer pick at +320 soccer odds.
In four previous meetings between these two sides going back to 1993, the Kiwis have failed to score each and every time. However, the most recent friendly meeting in 2012 was a 2-0 win by Canada, which is the most relevant result. The pressure is going to be entirely on the Canadian women to win before their home fans. Barring an utter collapse or trying to overachieve in this game, the Canadians should pull through.
Recommended Soccer Picks:
Canada -1 (+120) on the handicap result
Canada to win both halves at +110
Over 2.5 at -105
Netherland vs. China PR
The Netherlands are off to a flying start in their world finals debut, after beating New Zealand in round 1 to come through as the -125 favourites to win outright for soccer bettors. As it is, Netherlands are tied with Canada at the top of Group A on wins and goals. Round 2 presents an opportunity for the Dutch women to take another step forward in the competition, if only to keep pace with Canada at the top of the pile.The reality of their talent level together with the expectations placed on them to advance in their inaugural world cup finals could however weigh them down instead of lifting them up.
China presents a tough obstacle, even though they are matched at +250 to win outright. They gave the Canadians a right test and thwarted them at every turn by defending stoically. Had it not been for a controversial penalty they might have forced the draw on the heavily fancied Canadians.
The Chinese women can take heart from how well they played in game 1, despite the disappointing result. What made it all the more impressive as well is that China sent an inexperienced team to Canada (for the most part). Not that they showed it, But nerves could have been a huge factor in game 1's result. It' not easy taking the host nation in the opener of an competition.
Up next is a solid Dutch outfit, but one that is somewhat similarly lacking in international experience. The Dutch are matched at +115 to win outright, but China have to fancy their chances, even if the odds makers don't. There's still a lot to play for in group play, from clinching either direct spot into the knockouts to one of several best third-place finishes up for grabs.
Draw or China Win at -138 at bet365
Under 2.5 -163