Ukraine vs. North Macedonia Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Both Countries Look to Stay Alive in Euro 2020 (June 17)
Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images. Pictured: Ukraine standout Andriy Yarmolenko.
- Ukraine and North Macedonia square off in a crucial Euro 2020 Group C match Thursday (9 a.m. ET, ESPN), with both nations looking for their first victory.
- Ukraine, which suffered a disappointing 3-2 loss against the Netherlands in its opener, is a heavy favorite in this contest.
- Jeremy Pond breaks down his Ukraine vs. North Macedonia pick and preview below.
Ukraine vs. North Macedonia Odds
|North Macedonia Odds||+430|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+112 / -136)|
|Day | Time||Thursday | 9 a.m. ET|
|Odds updated Wednesday evening via DraftKings.|
Countries seeking their first Euro 2020 victories square off Thursday when Ukraine takes on North Macedonia in a critical Group C showdown.
Both nations were the definition of hard-luck losers their first time out, both succumbing to their fellow group foes deep in the second half of their respective games after scoring equalizing goals.
Now, Ukraine and North Macedonia will both be chasing three points, knowing anything else would greatly hinder their chances of reaching the knockout stage of this showcase event.
Let’s take a look at these sides and see where the value sits.
Ukraine Hoping for Better Fortune Against Latest Foe
You really had to feel for manager Andriy Shevchenko and his team following their 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands, who are the group favorite.
Down 2-0 deep into the second half, Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham United) and Roman Yaremchuk (Gent) scored in a four-minute span to tie the match. However, Denzel Dumfries (PSV Eindhoven) would crush the Ukrainian side’s hopes of salvaging a point with his 85th-minute goal to give the Dutch the win.
Suffice it to say, Ukraine had to feel complete dejection after rallying for two goals and coming up with nothing against such a high-powered side like the Netherlands. The Dutch did hold a 1.4-0.6 edge in expected goals in the match, but those who watched that match without a dog in the fight knows the Ukrainians deserved at least a point for their efforts.
Fortunately for Ukraine, arguably the worst team in the entire tournament is on deck, and getting anything but the full three points would be considered a loss. Shevchenko sent his team out in a 4-3-3 formation, and I don’t expect major changes after they took one of Europe’s top outfits to the wire.
Underdog North Macedonia Facing Must-Win Situation
Just like its opponent, North Macedonia was on the wrong end of its own thwarted comeback in a 3-1 loss to Austria. The scoreline, nor the rest of the statistical log, was indicative of how this match played out despite the fact the losing side kept the Austrians at bay until two late goals sealed its fate.
Austria dominated the affair from start to finish, holding a 1.4-0.6 xG edge and 63% percent of possession in the match. The Austrians also finished with leads in shots on goal (10-7) and shots on target (7-2) on their way to the win.
Now, things won’t get any easier with a determined Ukrainian side standing in front of them that probably felt it deserved at least a point last time out. That meeting with Austria was projected to be North Macedonia’s best shot at a full three points, so things are looking bleak for the underdog.
Maybe North Macedonia can reach into its magic hat to find whatever it was that led them to a stunning 2-1 upset win over Germany in a World Cup qualifier back on March 31. If not, the nation is going to be in for a long day at Arena Națională in Bucharest, Romania.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This one could get ugly, folks. Having watched both nations play their first games, I can tell you Ukraine is far and away the better side.
For that reason, I’m backing Ukraine on the moneyline at -136 odds via DraftKings as my top pick. I fully expect the country to come out with its foot on the pedal and put North Macedonia in an early hole, then look to pour it on to improve its goal differential looking ahead at potential tiebreaker scenarios.
I’m also going to sprinkle a little on Ukraine scoring at least two goals at -109 odds as a secondary wager. I think it’s worth a play because I expect North Macedonia will have to chase a result, thus leaving it vulnerable to Ukraine’s potent counterattack.
Pick: Ukraine ML (-136 — play to -144 odds) | Ukraine Team Total Over 1.5 Goals (-109)