Costa Rica vs Serbia Odds

Costa Rica vs Serbia World Cup 2018

Costa Rica and Serbia will be under no illusions as to what is at stake in this fixture. After being drawn alongside the most successful team in the history of the World Cup in Brazil, there is effectively only one knockout place available to the pair of them and Switzerland, meaning their games against each other are critical. Brazil have topped their World Cup group for the last nine consecutive tournaments, and they will make it ten in Russia.

The Central Americans will fancy their chances in this match considering they are traditionally great starters at the tournament. They are also in the middle of perhaps their best era in history - they absolutely crushed it in the 2014 World Cup by topping a group containing three former winners in Uruguay, England and Italy.

Costa Rica qualified for the event with games to spare in a below-average CONCACAF hexagonal that saw the USA eliminated on the final day. Rarely tested in their federation, it's no surprise to see them return to the World Cup for the fifth time.

Serbia also performed well in qualifying, losing just once during their campaign. Despite leading the nation to their first competitive tournament since the 2010 World Cup, manager Slavoljub Muslin was sacked due to ongoing conflict with the Serbian FA president, and now the Balkan nation will need to start again under Mladen Krstajić.

Serbia have the stronger of the two squads on paper, boasting several notable European stars such as Manchester United's Nemanja Matic and Roma's veteran wing-back Aleksandar Kolarov. Costa Rica do have Real Madrid's Keylor Navas to call upon in goal, and his influence was telling at the 2014 tournament where he conceded just twice in five matches.

Throughout qualification, Serbia were caught napping early in matches, before coming from behind to draw or win, and they simply cannot afford to do this against a Costa Rican side who can shut up shop at the back. Mind you, they have shown much more promise in the build up to this event, defeating a disappointing Bolivia side 5-1 in their final pre-tournament friendly.

It's therefore no surprise to see the Europeans starting as fairly heavy favourites, priced at -113 to win the match. We are inclined to believe that Costa Rica will get something out of this match though, and feel as though the draw is the most likely result. You can get +227 for a stalemate, while Costa Rica are paying +347 for the win.

We're going to pick a 1-1 result in this match, a scoreline that won't help either team in their quest to reach the final 16, but will lead to a couple of crucial duals with Switzerland assuming Brazil defeat them in their first encounter.

Costa Rica vs Serbia Betting Tips

  • 1

    Over/Under - Under +2.5 @ -192

  • 2

    Will Both Teams Score? - Yes @ +119

  • 3

    Correct Score - 1-1 Draw @ +493

  • 4

    Matchbet And Totals - Draw and Under +2.5 @ +237

Costa Rica vs Serbia Preview

The Central Americans are priced at +325 to emerge from a tough Group E, which perhaps gives you even greater appreciation of their feat in 2014 when they were closer to +1500. While they are outsiders against Serbia, this team have been together through plenty of good times and several wins, and you get the feeling that they are more likely to snatch a victory in this one.

To win, they will need a goal scorer, and perhaps the best chance is captain Bryan Ruiz, who plays his club football for Sporting Lisbon. He already has 23 goals for his nation and will certainly be one of the best options in either the first goal scorer or any time goal scorer markets.

The first goal market may be a lot tougher to pick, but remember that Serbia have a habit of conceding first in matches, so that gives you much more of a chance in what is a valuable line.

The Serbs have always been known for their height and have produced some fantastic strong, tall defensive players throughout history. Against a solid five-man defensive unit, their best chance of scoring may be via set pieces, which would see Branislav Ivanovic in the frame for a potential game-winning goal.

For any player-based lines, your best bet is to wait until the squads are announced, normally shortly before kickoff. This is also a good tip to follow regardless of what kind of wager you wish to place.

Head to Head Alternatives

While Serbia are the clear favourite in this match, they still offer reasonably good value in the head to head market. But if you're looking at alternatives, there are several that stand out due to the trends listed above.

Based on the goal scoring trends of each side, this game is a perfect candidate for a live bet. If Costa Rica manage to score first, you will see the odds for a Serbian win increase significantly, which is the best time to place your bet. Also, as the game moves into the second half, the odds should also increase for the draw, which we believe will be the final result.

If you would prefer to place a bet before kickoff, the pick of the markets is the matchbet and totals combination bet. In this match, we have predicted a 1-1 draw, which would fall under the 'draw and under +2.5' category. This is paying +237, which gives you slightly more than the head to head draw price.

Group E Betting Odds