Finland vs. Belgium Euro 2020 Odds & Picks: The Early Bet to Make for Monday’s Game (June 21)
Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images. Pictured: Belgium star Kevin De Bruyne.
- Finland and Belgium will hit the pitch on Monday afternoon for a Group B matchup.
- Belgium enters the game as a heavy favorite, and soccer analyst Anthony Dabbundo expects some early fireworks in the first half.
- Check out Dabbundo's full betting preview complete with updated odds, a pick, and a prediction below.
Finland vs. Belgium Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-105/ -117)|
|Day | Time||Monday | 3 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Monday morning and via DraftKings.|
Group B wraps up Monday, with two simultaneous matches featuring all four of the teams playing, as Denmark takes on Russia in Copenhagen and Belgium meets Finland in St. Petersburg.
The Belgians came from behind to beat Denmark, 2-1, in their last game, with Kevin De Bruyne coming off the bench to assist on the first goal and score the eventual winner. Belgium only needs a point to clinch the group, while Finland might need to get a point to have a chance of advancing to the next round.
Finland upset Denmark in its opening match, 1-0, but lost to Russia second time out by the same scoreline. On paper, this is one of the most lopsided matches of the group stage, but Finland has proven difficult to break down through 180 minutes of action.
Conservative Approach Working Well for Finland
Finland’s approach to its opening matches could best be described as passive. And just how passive? The Finns have the second-lowest possession rate, third-fewest defensive pressures in the attacking third and fifth-fewest number of times dribbled past.
Finland sits in its low block, looking to counter through striker Teemu Pukki and has had very little attacking success so far. The Finns scored a goal off a header against clearly shaken Denmark and nearly scored against Russia, but hasn’t been able to find enough consistent openings. They’ve produced only 1.3 xG thus far on 12 shots.
Their approach isn’t going to change in the final group match, especially when a draw is likely enough for them to go through and a one-goal loss leaves them in decent position to qualify in third place.
When Finland has pressed in its own defensive third, it hasn’t been very successful and it will be difficult to win the ball against Belgium’s possession-heavy side that will try to keep Finland stuck in its own half.
The biggest issue here is the center-back matchup against Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, who’s strength, hold-up play and technical ability make him a dominant force up top. De Bruyne is likely to start as well, which adds another dimension to this attack, better than the two Finland has faced thus far.
Oddsmakers Still in Love With Powerful Belgium
Belgium continues to be overrated in the market, despite possessing two of the best attacking players in the world in De Bruyne and Lukaku. The Belgians’ flaws are clear: their wing backs are average; center backs are aging; and, the midfield isn’t great at breaking up play when it doesn’t have the ball.
Denmark outplayed Belgium for almost the entirety of the match, holding its foe to six shots and one big scoring chance. The Danish midfield and forwards’ pressing exposed holes in Belgium, as they created two expected goals.
However, this is not the spot to hop in front of Belgium, because Finland has offered very little resistance to Denmark and Russia entering their penalty area and creating chances.
Belgium has the second-fewest passes completed into the opposition penalty area, as well as the fewest completed crosses into the area. However, Finland has allowed the most of any team in the tournament in both categories.
Simply put, Belgium has ball progression issues, but Finland isn’t the team to exploit it because it has the third-lowest possession rate thus far and doesn’t press at all. Potential opponents like Italy could present a nightmare for the Belgians, but I don’t see a path to betting or fading them here.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There’s always some game theory to be had in these final group stage matches. Because Belgium is such a huge favorite, it’s likely to control the proceedings in terms of possession and chance creation.
However, if the Belgians get up an early goal, they’ll have the group wrapped up and look to rotate players in to prepare for the knockout stage, as Italy did in the second half of Sunday’s game against Wales.
Finland will also be concerned about its goal difference for a potential third-place tiebreaker, so it’s unlikely to open it up and push for goals if it could hurt its goal difference.
I think this game will feature goals in the first half before potentially slowing down in the second half. A live under after an early goal is in the cards, as is a first half over in your plays.
Pick: First Half Total Over 1 (-125)