Brazil looks to overcome a dismal showing in a draw with Switzerland as it tangles with Costa Rica on Friday.
Brazil’s first taste of World Cup action since a humiliating home loss four years ago didn’t go quite as planned – and the world powers will need to turn things around in a hurry if they hope to secure a spot in the Round of 16. The Costa Ricans opened their World Cup with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Serbia last weekend.
World Cup 2018: Brazil vs. Costa Rica Odds and Betting Analysis
Date: Friday, June 22, 8 a.m. ET
St. Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia
Bettors still need to lay a pretty penny to make a measurable profit on a Brazil victory – but is it worth it after the Brazilians failed to capitalize on several glorious scoring opportunities in their draw with the Swiss? Those with faith in the Brazilian side should explore the props market, where there is a tidy profit to be made on a big Brazil win. And given the urgency of the situation, Brazil will be looking to do just that on Friday.
For starters, bettors can improve their payout by going with a Brazil-Brazil pick for half time-full time (-159), or by hitting the correct score. Look for Brazil to score early and often, while keeping the Costa Rican attack at bay; a 3-0 score yields a +475 payout, while a 4-0 Brazil win is worth +813. If you want to cover yourself, you can bet on both outcomes or lay a little more on a 2-0 Brazil result at +379 if you believe the five-time champs will take it easy.
Neymar came into the tournament as a favourite to win the Golden Ball as the tournament MVP – but he’s playing from behind after failing to convert in Brazil’s opener. Look for the 26-year-old to make up for lost time; he’s great value at +251 to open the scoring Friday, and a virtual gimme at -155 to score at any point during the match. Gabriel Jesus is another solid play here, at -143 to score a goal and +268 to strike first.
Bettors can’t feel great about choosing a Costa Rican player to score in a game where Brazil will very likely dominate the possession and shots ledger. The best option here might be to stick to result-based wagers; if Costa Rica can frustrate Brazil in the early going, a Draw-Brazil half time-full time result at +264 could be in play. But with the underdogs at -244 to be blanked, that might just be the best way to profit on a Costa Rica bet.
Brazil vs. Costa Rica Prediction
Brazil 3, Costa Rica 0
Neymar, Jesus and Co. aren’t messing around; this game shouldn’t be close, as Tite’s troops bounce back from an opening-game clunker and secure the three points with vigor.