Austria vs. North Macedonia Odds, Picks, Betting Predictions: Is Heavy Favorite Still Undervalued at Current Price? (June 13)

Austria vs. North Macedonia Odds, Picks, Betting Predictions: Is Heavy Favorite Still Undervalued at Current Price? (June 13) article feature image
Credit:

Peter Powell – Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Xavier Schlager.

  • Austria begins its Euro 2020 campaign Sunday when it takes on lowly North Macedonia.
  • The heavy underdogs lacks any noteworthy talent, while the Austrians are stacked in midfield and feature soon-to-be Real Madrid defender David Alaba.
  • BJ Cunningham breaks down this matchup below and delivers his best bets for the game.

Austria vs. North Macedonia Odds

Austria Odds -135
North Macedonia Odds +420
Draw +235
Over/Under 2.5 (+136 / -166)
Day | Time Sunday | 12 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds as of Saturday afternoon via PointsBet.

Group C kicks off with an intriguing matchup between Austria and North Macedonia, the Cinderella story entering the European Championships.

Austria was a huge sleeper pick for the 2016 tournament, but ended up not making it out of the group stage. However, the Austrians bring back a very talented squad and have a fantastic opportunity to get out of the easiest quartet at this tournament.

However, Austria needs to take care of business against North Macedonia like it did in qualifying.

It’s hard not to feel romantic about North Macedonia. This is its first major tournament in its history, plus it has only been a country since 1990. The nation finished third in its qualifying group behind Poland and Austria, but needed to beat Kosovo and Georgia in the qualifying playoffs to make the field.

However, while it’s a great story, North Macedonia doesn’t have the talent to compete with a roster like Austria, so it’s going to be an uphill climb that starts in its first match.

Austria Powered by Strong Midfield

The Austrians will be a team to watch in this group, because they come in a little under the radar. They were in one of the easiest qualifying groups, finishing second to Poland, but had the best underlying metrics by averaging 2.57 expected goals per match and only allowing 0.92 xGA overall.

The real strength of the Austrians is in their midfield, with three talented players in RB Leipzig pair Marcel Sabitzer and Konrad Laimer, as well as Wolfsburg standout Xaver Schlager. This trio should be able to dominate against North Macedonia, which is really weak in central midfield.

The Austrians are led up front by 23-year-old Sasa Kalajdzic, who scored 16 goals in 33 appearances for Stuttgart in the Bundesliga this season. He carried a 0.47 xG per 90 minute scoring rate to lead the team. Kalajdzic scored three of Austria’s five goals in their World Cup qualifying matches back in late March.

Austria was in the same group as North Macedonia during Euro qualifying and both matches were a complete rout, with the Austrians winning 4-1 and 2-1 in those meetings. The Austrians dominated the xG battle, holding a combined 8.87-1.31 advantage in the advanced metric.

That said, there’s no reason to believe this game will be any different.

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North Macedonia Short on Talent

North Macedonia is one of the three worst teams in the competition. It has a couple of guys on its roster you might recognize like 37-year-old striker Goran Pandev, who has the most goals and appearances for the country.

The nation also has Eljif Elmas, who is an attacking midfielder for Napoli;  Leeds United left back Ezgjan Alioski; and, Enis Bardhi, a winger for La Liga side Levante. Outside of them, though, it’s pretty bleak.

During qualifiers, North Macedonia was in one of the easiest groups and didn’t put up much of a fight against the two best teams it faced in Poland and Austria. In its four matches against those teams, it lost all of them by a combined score of 9-2 and the xG margin was 10.77-2.49 in total.

I have a hard time seeing how North Macedonia is able to make massive improvements from its two previous thrashings at the hands of Austria.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

North Macedonia really lacks the overall talent to hang with Austria, so I think the favored side is going to cruise, especially given how much it dominated the fixtures during Euro qualifying.

Since I have Austria projected at -216 odds and 1.99 goals, I’m going to go for the double and take Austria at -135 and its team total over 1.5 goals.

Pick: Austria ML (-135) | Austria — Team Total Over 1.5 Goals (+105)

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