Italy is favoured coming into its second Confederations Cup match against Japan, and it has an opportunity to advance to the knockout stage with a win.
Italy delivered a solid performance on Saturday when it defeated Mexico 2-1. Its passing in the midfield was crisp and fluid, while its attacks up front created numerous goal opportunities.
The Azzurri will look to maximize points here as they face Brazil in their final group stage match later on in the week which will be their toughest one. William Hill has Italy pegged at 1.73 to take the win over Japan in the 1x2 offering. For the halftime/fulltime win the Europeans are slated at 2.70, which is definitely teasing considering they have scored in the first half in 10 of their last 13 matches.
Had it not been for a penalty call that resulted in a Javier Hernandez goal, Italy would have beaten Mexico with a clean sheet. I like that pick here at 2.00, though the 2.60 available for only Italy to score under the teams to score heading is of better value.
The outright draw is listed at 3.50, and though Japan gave a somewhat decent account of itself against Brazil, I still expect Italy to hold off for full points.
If you feel that the Samurai Blue will cause the first upset of the tournament - I don't - then you can take them at an even 5.00.
For the correct goal score bets, take a look at the Italy 2-0 win here at 7.50. The Italians have scored at least two goals in eight of their last 10 games.
In the goal scorer market, Mario Baltelli is favoured to score in the game at 1.91, but also to score the first goal at 4.50. The way in which he bulldozed through three Mexican defenders to score last match was as good as it gets from a striker, and I expect him to cause headaches for the smaller Japanese back four. That is, of course, if he can remain composed. A Balotelli hat-trick is at 21.00 if you want to reach for the stars today.