The 2014 World Cup is set to get underway in earnest with Thursday’s opening round match between host country Brazil and underdog challenger Croatia at Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo. The Brazilians are favored at -350 with the invading Croats listed at whopper +850.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 10, 2014
While Brazil and its stable of star performers are highly favored heading into their opening match, they will take on a Croatian team that is quite competent, even if the odds say they are as equally overmatched.
This FIFA World Cup Expert Picks betting breakdown on this exciting opener will help you get your 2014 World Cup wagering off to a solid – and virtually guaranteed – pay day-producing start.
- Brazil -1½ +100
- Croatia +1½ -120
- Brazil -350
- Croatia +850
Match Over/Under Total Odds
- Over 2 ½ -105
- Under 2 ½ -115
Team O/U Total
Over 2 -125
Under 2 -105
Over ½ +110
Under ½ -140
Analysis: Brazil and Croatia have only played each other twice with the 2014 World Cup host nation winning once and earning a draw in the nation’s only other meeting.
This year, Brazil is a huge favorite to win this opening World Cup match and for good reason…they’ve got three of the best offensive minded/goal scorers on the plant playing for them in Hulk, Neymar and Fred.
Of course, the Croatians won’t roll over easily as they’ve got some world class talent on their roster in the form of midfielders Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. Unfortunately, Croatia will be without its best player in Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic who is out for this match because of the red card he received during the last qualifying match against Iceland.
Croatia will likely look to play more of a defensive match in an effort to control Brazil’s ‘Big Three’ but I don’t see them being able to equal their counterparts in the scoring opportunity or actual scoring components.
Veteran Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa is very good, but he won’t be able to handle the barrage of shots he’s likely to face in this match.
There's no greater danger than playing it safe. http://t.co/3E8MXSDBex
— Nike (@Nike) June 9, 2014
Brazil won’t have quite as easy a time as some may believe , but they will win and I think the score will be two-nil (2-0). Besides, no host nation has ever lost the opening ceremony match in World Cup history so there’s that!
Brazil looks great as a -350 moneyline pick to me, but I’m not too sure this game sees over the two goals I have predicted. If the Croatians do manage to find the back of the net, then I like Brazil to still find a way to win by two…3-1. Otherwise, I say Neymar and Fred score for the host nation to get the party started right in Sao Paulo.