Euro 2020 Semifinal Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Best Plays for Italy vs. Spain, Including the Total

Euro 2020 Semifinal Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Best Plays for Italy vs. Spain, Including the Total article feature image
Credit:

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images. Pictured: Italy standout Federico Chiesa celebrates a goal.

  • Italy and Spain have both shown offensive prowess so far in Euro 2020, and we're banking on that to continue in Tuesday's semifinals.
  • Our staff is betting the Italians to advance at -143, and the over -- 2.5 at plus money instead of laying -130 on over 2.
  • Get our staff's full breakdown of their Italy vs. Spain picks below.

It has been quite the Euro 2020 tournament so far, chock full of drama and excitement. Now, things should become even more electric as we enter the home stretch that starts with this week’s semifinal-round showdowns before culminating with Sunday’s championship.

We get the party going Tuesday when global powerhouses Italy and Spain square off in the first semifinal. The Italians earned a 2-1 victory over Belgium — the No. 1 nation in the world, according to the latest FIFA rankings — behind goals from Nicolò Barella and Lorenzo Insigne.

On the other side, the Spaniards survived penalties to get past Switzerland after playing to a 1-1 draw through regulation and extra time. Spain was the benefactor of an own goal in the opening half.

Handicappers Jeremy PondBJ Cunningham and Anthony Dabbundo deliver their best bets for this confrontation. Let’s take a look at their top plays below and see what they think could be in the cards.

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Tuesday’s Euro 2020 Best Bets

ANALYST PICK | ODDS BEST BOOK
Jeremy Pond Italy To Advance (-143) DraftKings
BJ Cunningham Italy vs. Spain Over 2.5 Goals (+130) DraftKings
Anthony Dabbundo Italy vs. Spain Over 2.5 Goals (+130) DraftKings

Odds as of Monday afternoon.


Jeremy Pond: Italy To Advance (-143) vs. Spain

Some disclosure before we get going: I tabbed Spain to win the Euro 2020 title in our tournament preview. To be the only person with his team still alive from our group of solid handicappers is nice, but it also means surprises had to have happened with France, Portugal and Netherlands all sent on early holiday.

I have a futures ticket on La Furia Roja that was placed prior to the opening match of the competition, as well as mid-event one on England. So, I’m in the mix on both sides of the bracket.

However, I’m well aware Spain looks to be firmly up against in this battle of continental juggernauts at Wembley Stadium. The Spaniards needed extra time to get past inferior Austria, then were forced to go penalties against another weaker side in Switzerland. Honestly, both results were great, but my confidence in the nation has weaned as time and the games have gone on.

In contrast, Italy has sparked overall en route to a 5-0 record. Azzurri have scored 11 goals and conceded just two, with one coming via a Romelu Lukaku kick from the spot in their 2-1 win over Belgium. They’ve limited the opposition to 0.5 expected goals or less in three of the five affairs, proving once again they boast arguably the best defensive side in the world.

And then you having Italian standout Lorenzo Insigne, who did this against Belgium in that quarterfinal triumph:

Lorenzo Insigne was on something else for #ITA tonight 🔥#EURO2020 @Lor_Insigne pic.twitter.com/2QK5HDYsJ0

— Goal (@goal) July 2, 2021

Throw in the fact the Spanish had to endure an extra full hour of soccer — plus the added stress of a penalty shootout — prior to this battle of heavyweights. Fit athletes or not, those players are coming off long domestic seasons and even more time on the pitch is going to eventually catch up with them.

For those reasons (and it pains me to say it), I’m backing Italy to advance at -143 odds via DraftKings as my top pick. Keep an eye on this number at BetMGM as well, since they’ve gone back and forth when it comes to the best odds. Obviously, this could look like a hedge play to some knowing I’m alive to the Spaniards to capture the title, but this is a genuine selection.

Azzurri have just looked better and been a more cohesive as a unit from front to back. Even with Ciro Immobile throwing in a clunker against Belgium, Italy has others like Insigne and Federico Chiesa there to pick up the slack.

Bottom line, they’re going to be too much for Spain to handle. Jump on Italy to get the job done and put itself a win away from its first Euro crown in 40 years.

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BJ Cunningham: Italy vs. Spain — Over 2.5 Goals (+130)

This is an interesting matchup here featuring teams that have had a lot of success due to their goal of maintaining a large share of the possession. That’s especially the case with Spain, because to this point it has held the ball more than 60 percent of the time in every single match in this tournament.

What I think will be interesting to see is how much Spain has left in the tank. Over the past two weeks they’ve essentially played 330 minutes, travelled from Spain, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg and now London, which is a ton of travel. And honestly, the Spaniards looked completely gassed in the second half and extra time against Switzerland.

However, Spain has been awesome offensively so far in this tournament. The Spaniards have created the most chances of anyone, with 17.58 expected goals in only five matches. They also have the most touches in the opponent’s penalty area; most completed passes; best pass accuracy of anyone; and, the second-most shot creating actions.

Now, on the other hand, Italy should be able to penetrate Spain’s back line, because it has the pace to get in behind with Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Chiesa. The Italians’ offense has been awesome as well, creating more than 10 xG and have the most shot creating actions in the field.

So, with two of the best offenses facing each other, I am going to back over 2.5 goals at anything plus money or better.

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Anthony Dabbundo: Italy vs. Spain — Over 2.5 Goals (+130)

For the first time in Euro 2020, Italy’s defense looked vulnerable in transition against Belgium. The dribbling of Jeremy Doku and passing of Kevin De Bruyne led to plenty of chances against the Italians. Spain and Italy have been two of the best attacking sides, and both have now shown defensive vulnerabilities.

Spain’s back four hasn’t coped well with high-intensity pressure that’s similar to what Italy is sure to bring. And when Spain does break through Marco Verratti and Nicolo Barella, the passing range of Spain’s Pedri could pick apart the Italian backline. 

Also, these sides have more passes completed into the final third and penalty area of anyone in the competition.

The total in this match is deflated, because of the nature of it being a European semifinal and I don’t think that either manager takes a conservative approach to this game. Spain isn’t good enough without the ball to defend that way for long, and Italy has only played one way under Roberto Mancini. That’s unlikely to change from its high-octane approach even without Leonardo Spinazzola.

Of the two semifinals, this is the one where chances and goals should come.

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