It has been a long four years for the Brazilian men’s soccer team – and they plan to take it out on every team in their path as they open Group E action Sunday against Switzerland.
Everyone remembers that 7-1 semifinal drubbing the host Brazilians absorbed at the hands of eventual champion Germany – a defeat that prompted a complete overhaul of the program, the result of which sees Brazil come into Russia as one of the favourites to win the tournament.
World Cup 2018: Brazil vs. Switzerland Odds and Betting Analysis
Date: Sunday, June 17, 2 p.m. ET
Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don, Russia
That Brazil isn’t a bigger favourite than this is a testament to the depth and discipline of a Swiss team that would love nothing more than to steal at least a point in the opener. But bettors shouldn’t overthink things; with Neymar at next to full health and manager Tite wringing the most out of his charges, a multi-goal victory is a great play; consider a 2-0 Brazil outcome at +458, or a 3-0 Brazil rout at a payout of +708.
Oddsmakers are split on the totals side of things, offering nearly identical odds for the over (+115) and the under (+111). Bettors can opt for slightly safer plays, such as the Brazil/under-3.5-goal combo play at -111, or the Brazil/over-1.5-goal option at -167. The payouts aren’t nearly as large in these cases, but it does give bettors a bit of a buffer should the Brazilians opt to sit back and defend after building a two- or three-goal advantage.
Everyone is expecting big things from Neymar, who sat out that blowout four years ago due to injury but is back and as prolific as ever; he’s installed at -119 to score against Switzerland. But bettors would be wise to keep an eye on Gabriel Jesus, who should see plenty of scoring opportunities himself and is -101 to score on the Swiss. Jesus is also a slightly more profitable play to score the game’s first goal at +338, compared to Neymar at +290.
Any bet on a Swiss player to score against a truly dominant Brazil lineup is nothing more than a longshot play. That said, the Swiss are tactically sound and should be able to generate the odd counterattack. The best bet might just be veteran winger Xherdan Shaqiri, who had three goals at the previous World Cup and is listed at +1,409 to score against the Brazilians. Mario Gavranovic (+1,110) and Haris Seferovic (+1,122) are also decent longshot options.
Brazil vs. Switzerland Prediction
Brazil 3, Switzerland 0: With respect to a talented Swiss team, the Brazilians have been waiting nearly 1,500 days to put the misery of that World Cup semifinal disaster behind them. Look for Neymar and Gabriel Jesus to have their way in a one-sided opener.