The group stage has come to an end at the Confederations Cup in Russia and the teams expected to get through to the semis all did. Portugal is set to face Chile in the first crossover on Wednesday while Germany tests its mettle against Mexico the very next day.
By virtue of their performance in Group B, it’s the Germans who have been deemed favorites to win the trophy. Online sportsbook Sportsbook has given the Group B Sportsbooks a +240 line to win their next two games with Portugal (+250) and Chile (+275) coming in close behind the reigning World Cup champions.
With all the faves doing what they were supposed to during group play, the real competition starts now and the semi between the Portuguese and Chileans has the potential to be the match of the competition with Alexis Sanchez and Cristiano Ronaldo going head-to-head internationally for the first time ever.
Mexico has the honor of being the longest shot available at +800 and they’ll have to usurp the mighty Germans in a semifinal match if they’re to meet either Portugal or Chile in the tournament’s finale.
That said, in a tournament such as this, you may want to consider the long shot. Germany has not been fielding its best 11 and it’s unlikely they start doing so with just two games left to go.
The Mexicans have played up to their competition so far and they actually drew their toughest match of the Cup against Portugal in Group A action. Javier Hernandez had a few chances to win the game for his country but was ultimately able to convert only one of his three shots in a 2-2 draw.
You can also bet on who will take home the golden boot at Sportsbook and it’s Mr. Ronaldo who’s the +150 fave to win the trophy. He, Timo Werner (+220) and Lars Stindl (+330) all have two goals each in the competition but as one of the most prolific scorers in the history of football, it’s clear why CR7 has gotten the nod from the books.
Odds as of June 26 at Sportsbook
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Domestic league soccer has ended and for you footy junkies out there who are nervous about the withdrawal symptoms from their intake of the sport reaching a critically low level with no major international competitions on the docket, everything’s going to be OK – I promise.
The Confederations Cup is upon us and although it doesn’t have the same kick as some of the more prestigious tournaments, it should at least keep us off the streets. I’ve broken down the odds for the competition with lines from Sportsbook and provided a brief analysis of each team that’s in contention for the hardware in Russia.
Although the tournament isn’t much more than a hype machine for the World Cup, it’s one of the more coveted friendly tournaments on Earth. Expect teams to field their top choice players and compete hard for results.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Confed Cup is that a certain team is missing from the field. This is the first time in the competition’s current conception that Brazil has not qualified and with the South American super team winning the tournament three straight times prior to 2017, I don’t hear many people complaining.
The favorite, Germany qualified for the tournament by way of its World Cup win in 2014. Most books have the Germans as faves to also win the World Cup in 2018 so it makes sense that they’re being given the benefit of the doubt here. Never finishing higher than third place at the Confederations Cup, however, it’s clear how low the competition is on the country’s hierarchy of international tournaments.
That said, there’s an enormous number of European teams that compete for only a few spots at the Confederations Cup and it’s much more difficult for a team like Germany to qualify compared to countries like Australia and Mexico, who face far fewer obstacles in their journeys to qualify for international competitions.
Not far behind the Germans, the European champions will be a serious threat to take the title. Portugal will be representing its confederation as the Sportsbook of Euro 2016 and will be looking to place at the tournament for the first time in the country's debut appearance.
Cristiano Ronaldo will lead a group that will take on Russia, Mexico and New Zealand in Group B. The Portuguese are minus-money faves to win their group and if they go after results, any other outcome is unlikely.
Taking Brazil’s spot at the Cup, Chile is being given a ton of respect by sportsbooks after the country qualified for the competition back in 2015 by winning the Copa America. The Chileans have now won the CONMEBOL title two consecutive years and are starting to become a force at the international stage with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal leading the charge.
Since 1992, the Confed Cup has been won by a South American team five times and has had a South American representative in its final seven out of nine times. This will be Chile’s tournament debut but given the history of CONMEBOL success in this competition, it’s tough to count them out.
The most experienced team in the field, Mexico will be making its seventh Confed Cup appearance in the contest. With all those entries, you’d expect Mexico to have a few titles but they have just one to show for their efforts.
Coming off a momentum-killing draw against the USA in World Cup qualifying, Mexico is tied with its Russian hosts with +250 odds to win Group B. To do that, they’ll most likely have to beat Portugal, something they’ve never done.
As hosts of the tournament and the upcoming World Cup, the Russians were granted a free pass into the field. Winning will be tough with two teams in the fold who are expected to compete for the trophy in 2018 but playing on home turf should give them a slight advantage. Don’t expect the Russians to blow the doors off anyone as their playing style is normally about hanging onto results, not chasing them.
The most recent of the eight qualifiers, Cameroon got into the competition through the merit of their victory at the Africa Cup of Nations. No strangers to the Confederations Cup, Cameroon finished runners-up in 2003 but could struggle to get out of a group that also includes Germany and Chile.
Their roster is devoid of any superstars and their success on the African stage is not likely going to be repeated in Russia – this year or next.
Could we be in store for some more thunder from Down Under? Probably not. Although they’ll be making their fourth appearance in the tournament, the Aussies are outmatched here. They famously made the final of the 1997 contest and finished third in 2001, though, so maybe winning this thing means more to them than we know.
New Zealand +25000
The Kiwis have the longest odds to win this and for good reason. They are minnows on the international stage but have a habit of qualifying for this tournament because of the horrendous quality of their confederation competition.
Here’s the complete list of odds for the Confederations Cup available at Sportsbook:
Odds as of June 12 at Sportsbook
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