Oddsmakers doubt Costa Rica’s ability to author a sequel to its own Cinderella story.
Costa Rica will play Serbia at 8 a.m. ET on Sunday in Samara, Russia, in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Group E opener. Costa Rica sits 23rd in the latest FIFA rankings, while Serbia is 36th. Yet, oddsmakers pegged Serbia as the favorite in this contest, despite Costa Rica’s unexpected quarterfinal finish in the 2014 World Cup and its impressive results in 2018 World Cup qualifying.
Let’s look at the Costa Rica vs. Serbia betting lines.
Current betting line (via OddsShark.com):
Costa Rica win: +400
Serbia win: -120
Total goals: 2
NESN.com’s picks: Draw, under
The short odds on Serbia winning suggest how tight many expect this game will be. The teams can outperform expectations through determination and collective effort. Costa Rica seems less likely to do this, based on the form it showed in warm-up games. That might be why the odds suggest its chances of victory are slim. However, everything changes once the ball starts rolling at the tournament. The draw appears to be the safest bet.
The goal total in this game is as difficult to predict as the game itself. The teams lack attacking star power, and Costa Rica boasts one of the world’s best goalkeepers in Keylor Navas. Add to that the caution opening games naturally produce lead us to believe this will be a low-scoring affair. Take the under.
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