UEFA Nations League Semifinal Betting Preview: Portugal-Switzerland and Netherlands-England
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports, Pictured: Cristiano Ronaldo
- A spot in the inaugural UEFA Nations League Final is on the line between Portugal-Switzerland on Wednesday and Netherlands-England on Thursday.
- Portugal are heavily favored to advance past Switzerland with home-field advantage while England are slight favorites against Netherlands on neutral field.
The inaugural UEFA Nations League tournament has reached the semifinal phase with Portugal facing Switzerland (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET) and Netherlands taking on England (Thursday, 2:45 p.m. ET).
Teams are battling for a spot in the final on Sunday, June 9th at Estádio do Dragão in Porto, Portugal at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN.
Odds to win 2018-19 UEFA Nations League
Portugal are the slight +200 favorites to lift the trophy, followed by England (+225), Netherlands (+300) and Switzerland (+800).
Oddsmakers currently give Portugal a 75% chance of advancing past Switzerland but the Netherlands-England semifinal is much, much tighter based on the odds.
Portugal vs. Switzerland
- When: Wednesday, June 5th at 2:45 p.m.
- Where: Porto, Portugal
- TV: ESPN2
- Odds To Advance: Portugal -300, Switzerland +250
- 3-Way Moneylines: Portugal -155, Switzerland +460, Draw +250
- Over/Under: 2.5 (u-120)
Portugal have had a successful run the last few years with a Euro 2016 title and a Round of 16 appearance at the 2018 World Cup, but they weren’t entirely convincing in either tournament.
The key player to watch is obviously Cristiano Ronaldo but Bernardo Silva of Manchester City and João Félix of Benfica have really emerged as stars, too. There’s also the likes of Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves of Wolves, and Bruno Fernandes of Sporting Lisbon.
They’ll be without two players for Wednesday’s match as Danilo Pereira is serving a suspension and Andre Silva is out due to injury.
Switzerland deploy a physical approach but they’ve also got goal-scoring ability proven by their 5-2 win over Belgium to reach this stage. They’ve got standout players like Fabian Schar, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri and made the Round of 16 at the last World Cup before losing 1-0 to a surprising Sweden squad.
For what it’s worth, Portugal are No. 7 in the FIFA rankings and Switzerland are No. 8, but there’s not much to read into there as those rankings are heavily flawed.
These teams have met three times since 2008 with Switzerland winning a pair of 2-0 games at home and Portugal winning the other meeting in Portugal, 2-0.
Since odds opened, Portugal have moved from -145 to -155 while receiving nearly 70% of moneyline bets around the market according. I agree that Portugal should be the favorites but -155 is too high so the is value on Switzerland +0.5 goals (+140) to at least get the match into extra time.
In the totals market, public and sharp bettors agree on the under (2.5) and sportsbooks have adjusted the juice from -120 to -135. With lopsided wagering on a low-scoring affair, this over/under could drop down to 2 goals.
The Bet: Switzerland +0.5 goals (+140)
Netherlands vs. England
- When: Thursday, June 6th at 2:45 p.m.
- Where: Guimaraes, Portugal
- TV: ESPN2
- Odds To Advance: England -130, Netherlands +115
- 3-Way Moneylines: England +155, Netherlands +175, Draw +215
- Over/Under: 2.5 (u-125)
Thursday’s semifinal match will be a true neutral-site venue at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques in Guimarães, Portugal.
Netherlands have been rejuvenated after missing the 2018 World Cup with now-emerged stars like Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool and Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt both at Ajax. This should definitely be a team to watch for Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.
England finally made a nice semifinal run at the 2018 World Cup before falling to eventual runners-up Croatia. They’re the slight favorites to reach the UEFA Nations League Final but odds haven’t fluctuated much since opening.
With so many players involved in Saturday’s Champions League Final, particularly on the English side, it’s hard to tell how the mangers will select a starting XI.
Bettors have been fairly split on both Netherlands and England to win in regulation so the draw (11% of tickets) is clearly the contrarian side. The over/under market has also been quiet thus far with just a small shift toward under (2.5).
I’m going the other way and expecting a 2-1 or higher scoreline, so at +105 odds I’m betting the over (2.5). Both teams have scored multiple times in their last four games to combine for 25 total goals and that should continue on Thursday night.
The Bet: Netherlands-England Over 2.5 (+105)