UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifying Soccer Picks: Croatia vs. Norway

Nikki Adams

Friday, March 27, 2015 8:34 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 27, 2015 8:34 PM UTC

As EURO 2016 qualifying recommences, Croatia look to extend their perfect qualifying form when they take on Norway on Saturday. Can the Croatians deliver as the hot favorites? Find out as we weight in on this game and serve up choice soccer picks.

Croatia Top Group H
As it is, Croatia are sat atop Group H with a 3-1-0 record and 10 points. Although they are level on points with Italy (3-1-0), they are ahead on goal differential (+9) after scoring 10 goals and conceding just one goal. The Croatians will look to extend their solid campaign at the expense of Norway on Saturday when they kick off match day 5 of their EURO 2016 qualifying campaign.

Norway are sat third in the table with a 3-0-1 record and nine points. They are just a point behind the top tandem of Croatia and Italy. Obviously, a win over Croatia will see Norway move up in the table into one of the top two spots by the day's conclusion. (Which one depends on the outcome of the section's clash between Italy and Bulgaria, which kicks off later in the day).

Croatia Hot Faves
Croatia enter match day 5 as the runaway favorites at -222 soccer odds to win outright. Home advantage ensures they are correctly favored for this game, but also the way they've started their campaign.

It's hard to find fault with these EURO 2016 Qualifying odds given Croatia's impressive account in four games. They opened with a 2-0 win over Malta at home, and followed with a 1-0 win over Bulgaria on the road. Against Azerbaijan they went on a raid, scoring six goals without conceding. Their toughest game was against Italy on match day 4 at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza where they deservedly earned a point after a hard fought 1-1 draw. That account sent out a message of intent to the field of Group H. In earlier games, they beat the sides they were supposed to according to sportsbooks and did so handily. Against Italy, they punched above their weight class to hold an established heavyweight to a draw on the road. That's no mean feat.

Norway Have All To Do
Norway have all to do in Croatia, if they are to come through on their large +750 soccer odds. Indeed, it looks to be an impossible task according to the soccer odds board.

Norway boast a perfect 2-0-0 record in away matches in Europe after beating group minnows Malta and Azerbaijan. That road record though will be put under the cosh when they take on a Croatian side that is undefeated at home with a 2-0-0 record. It's one thing to beat lightweight opponents, another to attempt the upset over a respectable side such as Croatia. Not only are the Southern Slavs unbeaten in this campaign, they have yet to lose a European qualifying game (21-7-0).

This will be Norway's first meeting with Croatia in International competition and a good benchmark for them to determine where they fall on the world stage. There have been three friendly accounts between this pair with Croatia winning both at home and drawing the one in Norway.

Soccer Betting Verdict:
It's a lopsided soccer betting market, but a fitting one considering past European championship betting trends and current form. By and large, Croatia at -222 soccer odds is the consensus soccer pick gaining most traction in soccer betting circles. Norway's road form in this campaign can't be ignored, but until they earn a signature road win it's hard to back them for the result. In other words, we recommend a play on Croatia for your soccer picks. Put it this way: It would be a right shocker if they didn't win this game. We also like the Over 2.5 at +120, seeing as Croatia has plenty of firepower on the field that could give Norway's stoic defense some trouble.

Soccer Picks: Croatia -222; Over 2.5 +120 at BetOnline

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