Soccer Picks: Ukraine vs. France World Cup Playoffs

Nila Amerova

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 10:36 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 10:36 PM UTC

Ukraine take on France in World Cup playoffs this week, both sides vying for one spot in Brazil 2014. Who will win this intriguing clash? Join us as we rundown through the soccer odds available and deliver our choice sports picks for your consideration.

Ukraine and France set up a rather tight soccer betting clash in European playoffs this week. Ukraine are listed as the +200 underdogs for the home leg of this clash but France can take nothing for granted listed on the long side of even money as well, at +140 soccer odds at Bet365.

Ukraine gave England a run for their money

Despite a slow start to qualifying, Ukraine picked up the pace to finish second behind England by just a point. If anything they appeared to be the more complete side when all was said and done, even managing a crucial point-making trip to Wembley where they held England to a 1:1 draw and backed it up with a scoreless draw at home to the Three Lions. To maintain an undefeated mark against one of Europe’s heavyweights is no mean feat and should send Ukraine into their clash with France with measured optimism.

Overall, Ukraine finished 6-3-1 in Group H with 28 goals for and just 4 goals against –almost as solid a performance as England that went 6-4-0 and scored 31 goals while conceding just 4 in the process. Ukraine boast an unbeaten record in their last 11 trips with nine draws and two wins.

France dealt a tough draw

France’s task was always going to be tough given that they fell into the same group as defending World Cup champions Spain. That they finished second was almost a foregone conclusion in the minds of sports bettors.

France finished a full three points behind Spain in Group H however so it was a rather close contest that could have gone either way – the deal-breaker was the 1:0 defeat to Spain in Saint Denis, France. Overall, France finished with a 5-2-1 mark and 17 points. They scored 15 goals and conceded 6 goals.

It should be noted that Group H was the smallest group in the European field with only five teams compared to six teams contained elsewhere, which means they’ve also played less qualifying matches (just eight).

Ukraine vs. France betting preview and picks:

This is a rather interesting clash between Ukraine, a nation on the rise in football, and an established France that although undergoing wholesale changes in recent years still have an enviable pedigree. Ukraine’s experience in Euro 2012 have prepared them for this tournament very well and they’ve built on that experience admirably. Save for the unexpected 1:0 defeat to Montenegro at home, Ukraine maintained an unbeaten mark with three wins and a draw (to England). That alone makes them a good bet at +200 to win outright or even (given the quality of the opponent) at +220 for the draw.

Many have pointed to the fact that the draw could have been kinder to Ukraine but the same could be said for France because they’re not getting a free pass to Brazil drawing Ukraine at all. And that fact is being reflected in their odds that though tip them as the favourites are on the long side of even money, offered at +140 at most sportsbooks

Moreover, France’s road form in the competition yielded a 2-2-0 mark. While they maintained an unbeaten record on their travels, the biggest criticism against them perhaps was the scoreless draw to Georgia in Tbilisi. That they failed to get a better result in Georgia was surprising. It doesn’t augur well for them here against Ukraine, which is a much stronger side than Georgia is today.

Soccer Betting Verdict While common wisdom suggests that France is the better choice for your soccer picks at +140 don’t discredit the Ukrainians just yet. There is still everything to play for in this competition. Home advantage on their side in the first leg alone could see them rise to the occasion at the expense of an established heavyweight in Europe and that makes them a tempting play at +200 at Bet365, or at the very least, on the draw at +220 that would set up an intriguing reverse leg in France with both sides still hoping for Brazil.

Tale told this should be a rather tight match and because France haven’t been overly convincing on the road, our recommended (if defensive) soccer pick is the draw at +220.

Soccer Free picks: Draw +220

 [/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":247915, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

comment here