Men’s Olympic Soccer Odds & Picks


Men's Olympic Soccer

Players exercise at a training session of Mexico men’s soccer team at Prince Takamado Memorial JFA YUME Field Saturday, July 17, 2021, in Chiba, near Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

  • The opening round of group games for the 2020 Olympic Men’s soccer tournament kicks off in Japan at 7:30 am EST on Thursday, July 22
  • Sixteen teams will compete for the gold medal in a tournament that concludes on August 7
  • Get the odds for all eight games, and our analysis and betting prediction for three of the biggest games  below

The 2020 Olympic Men’s soccer tournament kicks off in Japan at 7:30 am EST on Thursday, July 22, with the opening round of games taking place prior to the official opening ceremony. Sixteen teams have qualified from all six federations and squads will comprise players aged under 23 (born on or after January 1, 1997) plus a maximum of three overage players.

We list the games, the odds and offer some best bets for three of them.

Men’s Olympic Soccer Odds – Round One

Match Home Draw Away
Egypt U23 vs Spain U23 +1500 +525 -475
Mexico U23 vs France U23 +350 +240 -115
New Zealand U23 vs South Korea U23 +600 +260 -170
Ivory Coast U23 vs Saudi Arabia U23 -125 +240 +390
Argentina U23 vs Australia U23 -205 +330 +575
Japan U23 vs South Africa U23 -425 +600 +950
Honduras U23 vs Romania U23 +250 +195 +135
Brazil U23 vs Germany U23 +105 +230 +275

All odds as of July 21st at DraftKings

Brazil U23 vs Germany U23 Prediction

The Yokohama Stadium hosts a repeat of the 2016 Gold Medal Match when Brazil claimed the big prize on home soil. The Selecao are looking to again go deep in the tournament and have put together a strong squad that includes former Barcelona star Dani Alves along with Richarlison, Gabriel Martinelli, and Douglas Luiz from the English Premier League.

Brazil also comes into this in good shape, having won five games out of seven in a pre-Olympic tournament, and has lost just once in 2021. Germany, by contrast, has had nothing like the same level of preparation and has only played as a team once in 2021 – a 1-1 draw with Honduras. The Germans, unlike some other European teams, have not included any players who took part in Euro 2020.

With preparation being so key to making a good start in tournament soccer, Brazil has a distinct advantage here and while they remain in plus money the value is most definitely with them, albeit in what may well be a low-scoring game.

Best bet: Brazil to win (+105)

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Mexico U23 vs France U23 Prediction

France makes its first appearance at a men’s Olympic soccer tournament since 1996 but their preparations have been badly hampered by some players being included in the initial squad being precluded by their clubs for making the final cut. This all adds up to coach Sylvain  Ripoll having a squad lacking in experience and top-level talent, but which will still play with the usual Gallic attacking intent and flair.

Mexico’s build-up to the Olympics has been much smoother, with a largely home-based squad that is settled and has played no less than eight games already in 2021 – six wins and two draws. So, while the Mexicans start this as underdogs, their preparations and form suggest this could be much closer than those odds are indicating.

Both nations have experienced the feeling of winning gold – France in 1984 and Mexico in 2012 – but in the here and now, much will depend on how unsettled the French have been by their disjointed run-in to the tournament. If Mexico can build on their good form and not allow the French time to settle into the game, then there could be an early upset on the cards in Tokyo.

Best bet: Mexico to win (+350)

Argentina U23 vs Australia U23 Prediction

Argentina has a fine pedigree in this tournament and won back-to-back gold medals in 2004 and 2008 when a young Lionel Messi was just starting to make a name for himself. But there will be no big names in this Argentina squad, with coach Fernando Batista opting to pick under-23 (plus three overage) players who were not part of the victorious Copa America squad.

Australia coach Graham Arnold – also manager of the senior Australia team – has put together a squad of mainly A-League-based players with a light sprinkling of players who ply their trade in Europe, like Stoke City defender Harry Souttar. In their final warm-up game, the Australians beat near-neighbors New Zealand but prior to that had lost four on the bounce, compared to the Argentinians who have lost just once in their five games this year.

It is tough to make a case for anything other than an Argentinian win, with player-for-player, the South Americans having the edge in every department. There is little value in the Argentina win (-200) however, but worth considering is a solid 2-0.

Best bet: Argentina to win 2-0 (+625)

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Gary Gowers

Soccer
Sports Writer

Soccer