During the 2014 World Cup, the Costa Rican National Team surprised everyone by making it to the Quarter Finals. This year, may be different as they are starting in a very difficult group comprised of Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia. However, in the last World Cup they were in a similar group and beat everyone’s expectation. So the big question this year is Can Costa Rica make it to the World Cup Quarter Finals again?
Naturally, everyone in Costa Rica is hoping that the “Tricolor” will do as well if not better this year. Unfortunately, Costa Rica is in Group E with Brazil which is a 9/2 World Cup favorite. In comparison, Costa Rica ranks at the bottom of the ladder with 750/1 odds to win the World Cup.
However, many hopefuls and sports handicappers believe that lightning can strike again for Costa Rica because of several reasons.
Tomorrow starts the Round of 16 of the EUFA Euro Cup and for those who have not noticed, the bracket is definitively one sided as we have England, Germany, Spain and France on one side and the rest on the other side.
What does this mean? It means that we will be seeing some of the strongest teams exiting early while at the same time seeing some teams that have never won a title make it to the finals.
Of course, some sports handicapping experts believe that with this roster, Belgium should be on the other side as they believe that this year Belgium has one of the best team in Europe and has won back-to-back games at the Euro for the first time ever.
We are halfway through the first leg of the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League, with all of the favorites emerging victorious last week. Real Madrid bested Roma 2-0 in the only game decided by more than one goal. Paris SG, Benfica, and Wolfsburg were the other victors, with those four clubs now having a better chance of advancing heading into the second leg, which takes place the second week of March.
There are four more first-leg matches, with two games being played on Tuesday, February 23rd and two more the following day on Wednesday, February 24th. The two teams pegged by online sportsbooks to win it all are both in action Tuesday.
Barcelona is a +200 favorite to win it all, and they are a big -165 choice to beat Arsenal, who is returning a hefty 4:1 payout with a big upset. Even a draw would be a surprise, returning a 3:1 payday, and combined with an over/under of 3 goals, the online sportsbooks are looking for the tournament favorite to win this one in convincing fashion.
Short rest for the English Premier League, who just finished a round a play on Tuesday and Wednesday and now play again this weekend. In our EPL Betting Update article last week we spent some time discussing Leicester City, who has by far been the surprise team of the league thus far but had a tough matchup at Tottenham Hotspur.
The Foxes were able to pull the big upset in that match, as Robert Huth headed one in the back of the net in the 83rd minute for the game’s only goal, returning a big +415 payday at the online sportsbooks for the outright win.
Leicester for City has now pulled even with Arsenal a top the EPL table, trailing only in goal differential. Arsenal is +16 while the Foxes are +13, but are gaining confidence every week and Wednesday’s big victory can only boost momentum going into this weekend.
We are just past the halfway mark of the EPL Season, with more than a few surprises along the way. The biggest surprise has to be Leicester City, who is just two points behind Arsenal at the top of the tables 20 matches in. Riding the hot foot of Jamie Vardy, who along with Everton’s Romelu Lukaku leads the league in goals scored with 15, the Foxes have lost just one match since the last weekend of August. Vardy has been named EPL Player of the Month in both October and November, with manager Claudio Ranieri taking home Manager of the Month in November also.
Despite that good play, Leicester City is a big underdog this week vs. Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham currently sits in fourth place with 36 points, but leads the EPL (along with Manchester City) in terms of goal difference at +18, and their 16 goals allowed is also the best in the league.
The online sportsbooks list the Spurs as a -150 favorite to win outright, with a draw returning +280 and an outright win by the Foxes netting a nice +415 payday. The Over/Under is 2.75 goals.
The UEFA Champions League begins the Round of 16 next week, with two matches being played on Tuesday and two more Wednesday, followed by the remaining four matches to be played early next. Remember, both teams will each play a leg on their home field, with the second leg set to begin the second week of March.
There are several soccer betting options available provided by most major online sportsbooks. Not only can you wager on the outcome of the match in typical style (bet either side to win along with an option to draw), but you can also place a bet on which team will advance to the next round.
Of course, there is always the Soccer Future wagers available, and currently Barcelona is the top choice returning 2:1, while Bayern Munich is right behind them at +225. Real Madrid (+450), Manchester City (+850), and Athletico de Madrid (+950) are the only other clubs currently returning less than 10:1 odds.