Soccer Picks: Italy vs Brazil in Confederations Cup

Nila Amerova

Thursday, June 20, 2013 8:59 PM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 20, 2013 8:59 PM UTC

Soccer fans will be in for an epic battle when Brazil and Italy collide to decide the top spot in Group A of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

But which side of the coin holds the best value? Find out as we breakdown this intriguing matchup and deliver our soccer picks for your consideration.

Bookies favour Brazil at the expense of a quality Italian side

Brazil has the market cornered firmly. Overwhelming consensus across all sportsbook platforms sees not only that Brazil is the favourite to win but also that Italy is the hefty underdog at their expense. Brazil is trading at -150 at Bet365 whilst Italy is trading at a hefty +450 to win.

That the bookies are leaning towards Brazil in this clash is no surprise. After all, from the beginning they were the tournament favourites to win it all, so their odds are par for the course. What is surprising however is just how much of a disadvantage Italy is at on the soccer odds to win this match. This begs the question then: are they really such a long shot to beat Brazil?

Brazil yet to be tested in the competition

Home ground advantage can prove inhibitive in some cases but it certainly doesn’t seem to have affected Brazil at all. They’ve strolled into the knockout stages convincingly with back-to-back clean sheets. In a broad sense, they’ve risen to the occasion so far and delivered. Importantly, their big stars Neymar, Hulk and company have played very well and have all been firing with abandon. Strictly speaking however, Japan was a mismatch and Mexico came into the competition in rather bland form. So can we say we’ve had the true measure of Brazil when clearly they’ve yet to be tested? Or is this simply a case where bookies are overrating a team –even an illustrious team such as Brazil?

Brazil were fortunate to begin the competition against Group A minnows Japan as it allowed them to ease into the competitive environment without too much risk. Japan were clearly overwhelmed by the occasion and superstar opponent they were facing and thus, produced a lacklustre effort. Brazil got the rather easy win.

Mexico meanwhile was already deflated before the tournament even began because of the state of their World Cup campaign. The opening defeat to Italy just added more insult to injury. So by the time they came up against Brazil they were in the doldrums. You never got the sense Mexico believed they could beat Brazil.

Italy will be Brazil’s first real test and it remains to be seen whether they’ll answer that test successfully. If the first two rounds are anything to go by, the Italians are in it to win it all as well. They will fancy their chances and give Brazil a real run for their money.

Italy in it to win it all

The Italians arrived in Brazil to compete and put forward a serious challenge for the Confederations Cup. With two hard fought wins – over Mexico and more recently, Japan – that see them through to the knockout stages, they’ve backed that claim.

But the stakes are high now with top spot in Group A on the line – which in all likelihood would result toward avoiding Spain in the semis. Nobody wants to face the World Cup and European Cup champions in the semifinals, certainly not Italy who lost to them in the Euro Cup final.

Italy showed their mettle in both games. They were impressive against Mexico and, had it not been for a costly tackle, they would have emerged from that match with a clean sheet. They were equally impressive (if not even more so in some respects) in their come-from-behind win over Japan. They were down 2-0 midway through the first half before they finally got on the scoreboard. Although they got some help from Japan in the second half -courtesy of an own goal by Atsuto Uchida- they nosed ahead 3-2 eventually. When the momentum seemed to shift towards Japan midway through the second half as they drew level, the Italians kept their heads up and were finally rewarded with the 4-3 victory.

Certainly Italy was a bit lucky to get the win over Japan but that is the nature of sport sometimes. One cannot say they didn’t deserve the win or that they didn’t fight hard for it. They did and that grit, perserverance and determination bodes well for them in their upcoming clash with the hosts.

Soccer Betting Verdict: Brazil are the favourites and they may very well prove the bookies right and beat Italy. Nevertheless, despite what the odds would suggest, Italy has a very good shot to win this match. It is that probability which makes them the value play at a lush +450 to win outright.

For those inclined this way, additional value picks to consider in other markets are as follows: bookies favour a low scoring affair of under 2.5 but while defense will certainly play a key role in this game Brazil’s backline is yet to be tested by a side as opportunistic as Italy is. Thus, we’re leaning towards the over 2.5 at -105. Also, since we’re going against the bookies with an Italy win we’re plumping down to a 2-1 score at +1800.

Soccer Free Picks: Italy to win 2-1

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