Brazilian soccer star Neymar

Rio 2016 Men’s Soccer Semifinals Betting Picks

Written by on August 14, 2016

Brazil has the possibility of winning both gold medals in soccer in the 2016 Summer Olympics, which would be a huge feather in the cap of the host nation — particularly after the men’s side looked headed out before the knockout rounds after two scoreless draws to open group play. With the semifinals of the men’s draw set to take place this week, let’s talk about the matchups to help you with this part of your summer Olympics betting.

Rio 2016 Men’s Soccer Semifinals Betting Picks

Brazil vs Honduras (12pm Eastern time, NBC Sports Network / Telemundo)

Odds: Brazil 1:2, Honduras 12:1If you’re wondering what on earth Honduras is doing in an Olympic semifinal, you’re not alone. After all, this is the first time that Honduras has ever made it this far in the Olympic tournament. However, it’s also important to note that, on the men’s side, the Olympics features under-23 teams rather than the senior national team. Honduras knocked out a game South Korean side, 1-0, in the quarterfinals, as Alberth Elis tallied the only goal in that game. South Korea did the better job of attacking but simply could not finish in the 18-foot penalty area. The Hondurans played a more patient game, biding their time until the South Koreans pushed forward too far and then got their goal on a terrific counter. Brazil has been a favorite since the tournament began — after all, Neymar, a star from the senior national team, is young enough to take part in these Olympics. However, he went through all three pool play games without a single tally. That drought came to an end against Colombia, as he and Luan Vieira posted tallies in a 2-0 victory for the host team. As scrappy as the Hondurans are likely to be, Brazil has found their form and should proceed with ease. I’m predicting a 3-1 win for Brazil.

Nigeria vs Germany (3pm Eastern time, NBC Sports Network / Telemundo)

Odds: Germany 2:3, Nigeria 4:1 Nigeria knocked off Denmark 2-0 in the quarterfinals, thanks to goals by captain Mikel Obi and Aminu Umar. The Nigerians won Group B thanks to wins over Japan (5-4) and Sweden (1-0), and they enjoyed the chance to avenge a 6-2 whipping by Denmark at a tournament in South Korea back in June. Manager Samson Siasia returned Emmanuel Daniel to his starting role in goal, and he made the coach’s confidence pay off. As impressive as the Nigerians’ run has been, they will run into a juggernaut in the Germans, who dismantled Portugal by a 4-0 score in their quarterfinal. The Germans spent the vast majority of the game in Portugal’s defensive third, and while the Portuguese worked hard to make the Germans keep switching to find the right opening (and found some countering opportunities of their own), they could not break through to score, and finally Serge Gnabry scored his sixth goal of these Olympics, and three other Germans would follow. The Nigerians have played a solid tournament, but they are not on the same level with the Germans at this point. I’m predicting a 3-0 win for Germany.