Croatia vs. Spain Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Can Spaniards Finally Get Some Breaks in Euro 2020? (June 28)
Aitor Alcalde – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images. Pictured: Spain standout Álvaro Morata.
- Spain is a big favorite over Croatia in Monday's Round of 16 match in Euro 2020 (12 p.m. ET, ESPN).
- The Croatians were dealt a huge blow earlier in the week when winger Ivan Perišić had a positive COVID-19 test and will miss the contest.
- Jeremy Pond breaks down his Spain vs. Croatia bets and details why he's backing La Furia Roja to reach the quarterfinals despite middling results in group play.
Croatia vs. Spain Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+110 / -134)|
|Day | Time||Monday | 12 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Sunday evening via DraftKings.|
Life in the Euro 2020 knockout round rolls on Monday when powerhouse Spain takes on sizable underdog Croatia at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.
The Spaniards enter this Round of 16 affair after finishing a disappointing second in Group E play, settling for a 1-0-2 record (W-L-D) and five points. Sweden wound up winning the group in surprising fashion, collecting seven points in the opening stage.
On the other side, the Croatians rallied themselves into second place in Group D to reach this part of the competition. Led by veteran star Luka Modrić, Croatia followed up a loss to England and draw with Czech Republic with a resounding 3-1 victory over Scotland to advance.
We should be in for an interesting match, so let’s see where the betting value sits when it comes to these sides.
Croatia Must Fill Void Created Via Perišić’s Absence
Talk about taking the long way to the Group D runner-up position.
Nothing has come easy for Croatia so far in the competition. The nation suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of England in its opener, then followed that with a 1-1 draw against upstart Czech Republic. Needing a win in its final group-stage fixture, Modrić and the lads bagged all three points in a 3-1 triumph against Scotland and grabbed second by way of goal differential.
However, Croatia was dealt a crushing blow heading into this contest when standout Ivan Perišić was ruled out after his COVID-19 test came back positive. Other than Modrić, he’s probably been the Croatians’ best overall player through three matches.
Ivan Perisic has tested positive for COVID-19 and must self-isolate for 10 days, the Croatian Football Federation announced.
He will not be available for Croatia's round-of-16 matchup against Spain on Monday. pic.twitter.com/inThYvM8Ey
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 26, 2021
Obviously, losing the talented winger on the attack is devastating for the Croatians, who don’t have anyone close to the Inter Milan man’s ability.
Adding to Croatia’s lineup concerns is the fact its offense was utterly stagnant outside that performance against Scotland, which happened to be misleading when it comes to expected goals.
Sure, the Croatians scored three times, but they lost the xG battle by a 1.2-0.7 margin to the Scots. They were beaten in xG against England (0.9-0.3) and Czech Republic (2.0-1.1) as well.
Opponents Beware: Spain Becoming More Dangerous
Things seem be going in the right direction for La Furia Roja entering this Round of 16 confrontation with the Croatians. After a disappointing scoreless draw against group winner Sweden, the European power has found its groove.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The Spanish dominated the Swedes, possessing the ball a stunning 85 percent of the fixture. Unfortunately for them, they simply couldn’t find the back of the net despite having a plethora of quality chances.
Spain has met Croatia twice before at a major tournament, with the pair splitting the first two meetings at this exact competition. However, these aren’t the same sides that battled in the 2016 Euro 2020 showcase that saw the Croatians coming out on top.
Instead, you have a Spanish outfit that brings it at both ends of the pitch facing a foe that has looked slow, old and lacking any sort of pep. And because of that, I’m having a hard time poking holes in Spain heading into this affair that could give Croatia an edge.
Perhaps the scariest part about La Furia Roja is the fact they’ve continued to get better in the xG column as the tournament has progressed. According to FBref.com, the Spanish have gone from 1.9 xG to 2.2 xG to an impressive 3.1 xG in their 5-0 blowout of Slovakia. Combined, that’s a sizzling 7.2 xG created against a paltry 1.8 xGA so far. Slovakia mustered a minuscule 0.1 xG as well.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I really feel like the loss of Perišić absolutely crushes Croatia’s hopes of advancing against such a balanced, gifted Spanish side that features first-class talent all over the field.
That blowout win over Slovakia has to have the favorites feeling pretty confident, so I firmly believe Croatia is firmly up against it in this meeting.
For those reasons, I’m backing Spain on the Asian Handicap spread line of -0.75 at fair -136 odds via DraftKings as my top pick. There’s simply too much juice on the current -175 ML, so I’d look to get La Furia Roja somewhere live around -135 odds if you can hold out for a number in that ballpark.
If totals are your jam, I’d sprinkle a little on the total staying under 2.5 goals at -134 as well. I don’t see Croatia cracking this Spanish defense that’s conceded just one goal entering this showdown.
Pick: Spain -0.75 (-136) | Total Under 2.5 Goals (-134)
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