Soccer Picks: Greece vs. Romania World Cup Playoffs Odds

Nila Amerova

Friday, November 15, 2013 4:45 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 4:45 PM UTC

Greece and Romania have been drawn together in the World Cup playoffs. Join us as we breakdown this European battle for a spot at Brazil 2014, complete with our sports betting verdict and picks.

Greece installed as the notional favourites

Sportsbooks have Greece installed as the notional favourites for the first leg of their clash with Romania, at nominal +105 odds. That they are on the long side of even money for their home clash only speaks to the danger that Romania poses to their hope for a spot in Brazil. That said Romania are listed at rather hefty +320 soccer odds to win outright at Bet365. So why aren’t bookies giving this match to Greece more convincingly with odds on the short side of even money?

Greece finished second in Group G despite levelling Bosnia Herzegovina on 25 points following an identical 8-1-1 mark in group action. Bosnia-Herzegovina advanced automatically on the virtue of a slightly better goal differential, sending Greece to determine their fate in the playoffs.

Romania clinched second-place in a tightly contested Group D, winning the battle for the coveted spot over Hungary and Turkey by just a handful of points. Netherlands secured top spot convincingly with a nine-point edge over Romania (6-1-3).

Greece vs. Romania Betting Tips and Picks:

Greece have qualified for the last three major tournaments, posing a huge obstacle for Romania to overcome on paper. Keep in mind as well they might have qualified this time directly had they not been so unlucky to fall level with Bosnia Herzegovina on points.

That combined with the fact that they have home advantage for the first leg one has to concede they do present value as the +105 soccer pick.

Still one can’t overlook Romania’s accomplishment in a very tough group, which could be the catalyst to a successful playoffs campaign against a very unfortunate Greece. One aspect about Romania that gives their hefty +320 soccer odds value is the firepower they bring to the table that stands in contrast to the more defensive-minded Greeks. Greeks scored only 12 goals while Romania scored 19. In fact, had the Greeks scored more goals in group action, they might have not been in this predicament. And one has to wonder whether that is a problem that will rear its ugly head in playoffs given that they had a relatively easy group with the likes of Lithuania, Slovakia, Latvia and Lichtenstein contained within.

Still something has to be said for defence, which the Greeks have in a very solid backline that only allowed only four goals throughout the qualifying stages – only Spain allowed fewer with three and they are the defending World Cup champions, to put it into perspective. That advantage on defence even a solid Romanian offensive force may be challenged to rip through and add to that the fact that Romania’s defence can be dubbed shaky allowing 12 goals in qualifying makes for an interesting matchup, to say the least.

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Soccer Betting Verdict: In more ways than one this isn’t a straightforward matchup, one that perhaps should be tipped a lot closer than sportsbooks would have it right now. Greece is correctly favoured given that they went through qualifying unbeaten in nine games and suffering a lone defeat. But nothing can be taken for granted here. It’s the playoffs and its all bets are off. Whatever happened in the group stage is passé now.

Romania are up for the challenge and they have the creativity up front to accomplish the upset in Athens on Friday, especially if they can keep it together in the back. In short, there is value on both sides of the coin and, as such, sports bettors could do no worse than take either side on victory as their soccer picks.

For our part though we like Romania just a tad bit better to advance to Brazil 2014 and, hence, we’re plumping down to a positive result for them in Athens, especially if Greece play this first leg too defensively. So we’d recommend either the +200 draw or the +320 win for Romania. As well, as for our bonus soccer pick we’re looking at the under 2.5 at -211.

Soccer Free Picks: Draw +200
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