Croatia vs Czech Republic Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Take Croatians in Euro 2020 Must-Win Situation

Croatia vs Czech Republic Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Take Croatians in Euro 2020 Must-Win Situation article feature image
Credit:

Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Croatia standout veteran Luka Modrić.

  • Croatia and Czech Republic will do battle in a crucial Euro 2020 match on Friday at Hampden Park in Glasgow (12 p.m. ET, ESPN).
  • The Croatians are coming off a 1-0 loss to England, while the Czechs and Patrik Schick earned a 2-0 win over Scotland but didn't generate a ton of quality chances.
  • Matthew Trebby breaks down his Czech Republic vs. Croatia pick and preview below.

Croatia vs. Czech Republic Odds

Croatia Odds +118
Czech Republic Odds +250
Draw +235
Over/Under 2.5 (+130 / -157)
Day | Time Friday | 12 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.

Croatia and Czech Republic enter Friday’s Group D match coming off very differing results in their opening games against differing opposition.

Croatia suffered a 1-0 loss to England, which was most bookmakers’ second favorite to win Euro 2020 behind France. Meanwhile, Czech Republic rocked Hampden Park in Glasgow with a pair of fantastic goals for Patrik Schick, the second of which is going to be tough to beat for the goal of the tournament.

The Czechs start the latest Group D games atop the standings, thanks to their two-goal win. In contrast, Croatia needs to take advantage of its experience and get at least one win from its final two games against Czech Republic and Scotland.

Let’s see where the betting value lies in this game, which will take place at Hampden Park as well.

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Experienced Croatia Poised to Bounce Back

Croatia managed just 0.37 expected goals against England and didn’t look like scoring. There was a 25-minute period in the second half after conceding when the Croatians looked very threatening. Luka Modrić was running the show as usual, although he was missing the necessary targets inside the penalty area.

There is plenty of experience in the Croatian attack. Ante Rebić and Andrej Kramarić are experienced goal scorers, who thrived at the 2018 World Cup, coming off solid seasons at the club level. Ivan Perišić didn’t play much for Inter Milan last season, but he’s a proven commodity at this level.

While there’s no questioning this might be Croatia’s last chance to make a big impact with this group at a major tournament, I don’t think it has suddenly fallen off and no longer a significant threat. Perišić is 32 years old and Modrić is 35. The rest of Croatia’s key players in attack are still south of 30, and more than capable of producing moments of high quality.

A concern is that Croatia has scored just once since the end of the club season, drawing Armenia (1-1) and losing 1-0 to Belgium in their two pre-tournament friendlies. I think the Croatians moneyline is a plus number because of that, as well as the perception that they’re over the hill. I just don’t see that as the case yet.

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Schick Has Czech Republic Looking Sharp

The Czechs gave up a whopping 2.31 xG against Scotland, although 1.89 of that came after halftime. Schick scored his second goal of the game, an electrifying finish from the middle of the field, and they spent the rest of the game defending for their lives.

Czech Republic was very impressive during qualifying, registering above-average xG numbers with a solid amount of players from Europe’s top leagues. The Czechs also entered the tournament a popular underdog pick at The Action Network. I listed them to make the quarterfinals at +400 odds as a bet to make before the tournament.

They’re currently in good position to make that happen, even if they finish with just three points in group play, thanks to a strong plus-2 goal difference after one game.

The Czech attack goes through Schick and midfielder Tomáš Souček, who’s coming off a fantastic season at West Ham United. Schick is a great striker for a tournament like this, capable of finishing from anywhere on the field (clearly) and controlling the ball well with his size. Meanwhile, Souček might be the biggest set-piece and aerial threat in the competition.

However, there are some defensive questions surrounding Czech Republic. Its center-back duo of Tomáš Kalas (Bristol City) and Ondřej Čelůstka (Sparta Prague) is extremely underwhelming and fortunate to not concede against Scotland.

With a more experienced and clinical frontline against Croatia, Czech Republic is going to concede chances and unlikely to be as fortunate.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Neither team created much in terms of quality chances in their opening fixtures. The difference was Schick’s electric finishing against Scotland.

Croatia needs a result from this game or else they’ll need a noteworthy win over Scotland in Glasgow to advance. I will happily back its experience at a plus number here. The Czechs are going to be on the back foot again and will likely create more chances in this game if they don’t take another early lead.

I’m high on Croatia’s last hurrah, though, and see them getting all three points.

Pick: Croatia ML (+118)

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