by Kevin Stott | France (-1½, -126, 2o -122, The Palms) vs. Romania (9 a.m. PT, ESPN Classic/ESPN Deportes) : Play in the so-called "Group of Death" begins here in Zurich this morning as No. 7-ranked (Fifa) France meets an upstart Romanian (No. 12) team very capable of the upset here.
2006 World Cup runner-up France lost Zinedane Zidane (retirement) but does have star Thierry Henry, an exciting player who can put the ball in the back of the net. With the French at 2-1 to win Group C and at 7-1 to win Euro 2008 and Romania at 7-1 to capture the Group and 40-1 to win the championship, the logical look here is with France laying the -½ as well as the under – especially if you can access a 2½ somewhere.
This should end 1-0, maybe 2-0 FRANCE, with the UNDER 2 worth half to three-quarters the amount of the side bet, or an equal amount if you can find a 2½.
Italy (PK, -131, 2o, 120) at Netherlands (11:45 a.m. PT, ESPN Classic/ESPN Deportes): 2006 World Cup winner Italy features 6-foot-5 striker Luca Toni (33 goals), the heart of the Azzurri’s offense. And with goalkeeper Gianlugi Buffon, Italy’s defense is just as impressive.
Netherlands – or The Country Formerly Known As Holland – has its own star in net in goalie Edwin van der Sar, a key reason Man U toppled Chelsea in last month’s UEFA Champions League final. This game will be close, with a DRAW certainly not out of the question. But I lean slightly towards Italy, with a 1-0 win the predicted final in this soccer match from Berne. Note, Italy’s ranked No. 3 by Fifa – tops of all teams in this tourney – while the Netherlands is ranked No. 10. ITALY PK, UNDER 2.
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