Denmark vs. Belgium Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Total Has Value in Euro 2020 Group Play (June 17)

Denmark vs. Belgium Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Total Has Value in Euro 2020 Group Play (June 17) article feature image
Credit:

Gonzalo Arroyo – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images. Pictured: Romelu Lukaku.

  • Belgium and Denmark meet on Thursday afternoon in Euro 2020 group play (12 p.m. ET, ESPN).
  • Pegged as the favorites to come out of the group, Belgium easily dispatched Russia in their first game, but the Danes lost to Finland under scary circumstances.
  • Anthony Dabbundo explains how he's betting Denmark vs. Belgium.

Denmark vs. Belgium Odds

Denmark Odds +325
Belgium Odds +108
Draw +205
Over/Under 2.5 (+130 / -157)
Day | Time Thursday | 12 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds updated Wednesday afternoon via DraftKings.

Denmark and Belgium entered the Euro 2020 Championships as the two favorites to advance from Group B and into the knockout stage. But after Denmark’s loss to Finland in unfortunate and extraordinary circumstances, the Danes will play host to Belgium on Wednesday in Copenhagen, likely needing a draw to maintain a good chance of advancing to the next round.

Belgium won its first match easily against Russia, scoring twice in the first half and rolling to a 3-0 win. But the Belgians still have some injury concerns and uncertainties, as Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne all could play limited time in this game.

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Expect Denmark To Play For Tie

It’s really hard to draw any conclusions about the Danes’ performance in the second half following the collapse of star midfielder Christian Eriksen in the 43rd minute of their opening group match against Finland. Despite the loss, Denmark played really well.

They won the xG battle handedly, compiling 1.9 expected goals including Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s penalty miss in the second half. Only Portugal created more expected goals in the opening round of the group stage. Denmark allowed just one shot in the entire 90 minutes and two passes to be completed into the penalty area, while completing 21 themselves — more than any other team.

Everything we knew about Denmark before the tournament — excellent defensively, solid passing midfielders and a questionable attack — were proven true in the opening game. The attack was missing a top end striker to get on the edge of chances and carve out space in the penalty area. Now, it won’t have its top creative player in Eriksen, and it has no one who can easily replace his progressive passing and production. Thomas Delaney and Hojbjerg are solid holding midfielders, but neither has the creative output of Eriksen.

Playing without Eriksen, they’ll likely sit in deeper in a 4-3-3 that will look more like a 4-5-1 out of possession. Denmark will sit deep and defend and force Belgium to break them down, trying to steal a point in this match.

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Can Belgium Improve Their Attacking Numbers?

A surface-level look at Belgium’s first game provides reasons to be encouraged. They went to Russia and thrashed the hosts, 3-0, in a game that was effectively over in the 32nd minute when Belgium went up 2-0. A look at the underlying numbers suggests that they missed their creative star Kevin De Bruyne more than the scoreline would suggest. They also benefited more from Russian miscues at the back than actual great attacking play.

Belgium completed one pass into the penalty area, fewer than every other team in the first match except Sweden. Most of their attacks broke down after entering the final third, the kind of area where De Bruyne or Hazard excel. Even in their back three formation with two wing backs, Belgium didn’t complete a single cross into the area and only carried it into the area twice.

Among the top favorites of this tournament, Belgium’s underlying attacking numbers were by far the worst in the first round of matches. Now, they’ll face a side that’s much better defensively than Russia and unlikely to make the same mistakes.

The likely midfield pair of Leander Dendoncker and Youri Tielemans did an excellent job of passing and retaining possession in the middle of the park. That will likely remain true against Denmark, who will be out of possession. Romelu Lukaku is one of the most in-form strikers in the world, but he can’t be the entire Belgium attack, either.

The Belgians will also be traveling quite a bit for this match, from Russia to Denmark. They could be looking for rotation if they’re up 1-0 or 2-0 late to keep legs fresh before making a return trip to Russia for their third game of the group stage.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Denmark were an excellent defensive team during European qualifying and have all of the excellent pieces to shut down quality attacks. Take away the Danes’ best attacking player, throw in a home crowd to encourage their defending, and this is a perfect spot for an under in a game unlikely to see plenty of shots and chances.

It’s uncertain if De Bruyne will play in this match unless he absolutely has to, and the Belgian offense wasn’t very good without him.

Pick: Under 2.25 goals (-115 or better)

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