Sweden vs. Ukraine Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions for Euro 2020: One Side Overvalued in Round of 16 (June 29)
Gonzalo Arroyo – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images. Pictured: Alexander Isak, Emil Forsberg
- Sweden is favored over Ukraine in the Euro 2020 knockout stage on Tuesday afternoon (3 p.m. ET, ESPN).
- Our projections make the Swedes an even bigger favorite, so BJ Cunningham is betting them to win in regulation at +138.
- Get his full Sweden vs. Ukraine preview and pick below.
Sweden vs. Ukraine Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+148 / -180)|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Monday afternoon via DraftKings.|
You wouldn’t call the final match of the Round of 16 a ratings bonanza, but the money you win on Sweden vs. Ukraine will be just as green as the money you win on England vs. Germany.
The Swedes ended up as the surprise winners of Group E, earning seven points and posting a +2 goal differential through wins against Poland and Slovakia and a heroic 0-0 draw against Spain. The Blue and Yellow needed a goal in the final minutes against Poland to finish first.
While Sweden surged into the group stage and should be brimming with confidence, Ukraine limped into the knockout stages with three points and a -1 goal differential despite playing in the easiest group of the tournament. But tournament football is all about luck and somehow Andriy Shevchenko’s men got the best draw imaginable despite finishing third in their group.
Sweden Is More Than Just Defense
Sweden had a very clear gameplan against Spain in their first match. The Swedes played their two low blocks out of their 4-4-2 formation, allowed Spain to control a majority of the possession and looked to send their phenomenal young striker, Alexander Isak, out on the counter. The tactic paid off to the tune of a 0-0 draw, despite Spain dominating on expected goals, 2.89 to 1.19.
The Swedes more or less stuck to that same gameplan for the first half against Slovakia, but they got better as the match went along, creating 1.77 of their 2.00 xG in the second half and eventually getting the penalty to win, 1-0.
Then Sweden threw a wrinkle into everything against Poland. You’d think that Sweden would have sat back and packed it in after going up, 1-0, but that isn’t what happened. Sweden got caught way up the field a couple of times and it cost them on the first goal by Robert Lewandowski. It would all work out in the end, however, as Sweden was able to net three goals to win, 3-2.
Sweden could set up more offensively in this match, too, as the Ukraine defense has struggled to suppress scoring chances. Ukraine allowed 5.52 expected goals in the group stage (Austria, Netherlands, North Macedonia).
Sweden’s offense was also buoyed by the arrival of winger Dejan Kulusevski, who delivered two assists in his first extended action of the tournament. The young Juventus winger will combine with Isak and Emil Forsberg to give the Swedes a very dangerous attack.
Ukraine Will Be Up Against It
Ukraine came into this tournament highly overrated as they won their qualifying group despite having only a +0.9 expected goal differential. So far, they have done nothing to change that narrative.
After defeating North Macedonia and losing to the Netherlands, Ukraine only needed a draw against Austria to guarantee a place in the Round of 16. That match was one of the most peculiar contests I’ve ever watched as it seemed like Ukraine thought there was some sort of handshake agreement to end the contest in a draw.
I know that is not what happened, but it was inexcusable how pooly Ukraine played. Shevchenko’s side created 0.36 xG, took five shots and completed just 26 passes in the final third. In fact, in Ukraine’s two losses to the Netherlands and Austria they lost the xG battle, 4.01 to 1.07.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This match is really a clash of two different styles of play. Ukraine loves to play a very open, end-to-end style of football, whereas Sweden likes to play a low block and stay very compact defensively. Ukraine must be careful in this match to not get caught too far up the pitch because Sweden’s attacking trio of Isak, Forsberg and Kulusevski will make them pay on the counter.
I think Sweden is a clear favorite in this match, but that has a lot to do with how overrated Ukraine is. Sweden may set up defensively, but their counter should be able to penetrate a pretty shaky Ukraine defense.
Since I have Sweden projected at +117, I think there is some value on them to win this match in regular time at +138 and would play it down to +130.
Pick: Sweden ML (+138)