The group stage is finally over and at least in theory the teams that survived have a chance to take home a medal, but the bookmakers suggest something else. Except for the European clash between Russia and Turkey, the other games seem to be lopsided with the Americans and Australians being the overwhelming favorites to win the quarterfinals.
An all-American duel
The United States will lock horns with Canada in a match that everyone expects to go into a single direction, hence the impressive spread for a quarterfinal. While past performance doesn’t guarantee future results, the way the Americans handled themselves in the group stage suggests that they are capable of covering the spread. They’ve won all their games by 25 points or more and not even the most optimistic Canadians expect their team to prevail.
Strictly from a punter’s point of view the handicap of -35 points offered by Bet365 at even odds is attractive to say the least. Canada didn’t lose any game by more than nine points and even though the United States are without a doubt the strongest team they will face in the 2012 London Olympics, they won’t go down without a fight. They play a fairly defensive game and until half time, Canadian women should have enough stamina to limit the proportions of the score, without being a real threat.
Don’t overestimate France against the Czech Republic
The French women won group B without losing a single game, but their performance was anything but stellar and the quarterfinals will not be a breeze. They needed overtime twice against Australia and Great Britain, with the latter being the worst team in the group. Their inability to preserve an early lead caused France plenty of headaches and kept fans at the edge of their chairs game of their game. Bet365 regard them as favorites to win the fixture with the Czech Republic but the spreads are a bit too generous.
Their opponents fought hard in a group dominated by the United States and played much better during the final games. Those who care to make this game more interesting by placing a bet, can choose between the Over 127,5 points to be scored and the Czech Republic to protect the +9 spread offered by bet365. The game between Turkey and Russia is simply too close for a winner to be called, while in the other lopsided game of the quarterfinals between Australia and China the best bet would be the over 139 points.