GAME INFORMATION: 7:30 P.M., SATURDAY, JULY 17 AT BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, HOUSTON
BETTING ODDS: QATAR -2000/GRENADA +2200/DRAW +1050
TOTALS: OVER 3.5 +100/UNDER 3.5 -140
Long known as a defensive side, Qatar didn’t look anything like that against Panama, as it failed to hold a lead three times and ended up with a draw that should have been a win. There’s no shame in drawing with Panama, a decent side, but if Qatar is going to compete in the World Cup in 16 months, the Crimsons have to shore things up.
That shouldn’t be a problem against Grenada. The Spice Boys were never in the match against Honduras, and the final score was always going to be whatever Honduras wanted it to be. Grenada hung on at 2-0 for most of the match, but the floodgates finally opened up in the last 10 minutes to create the 4-0 scoreline. A rout at the Gold Cup is nothing new for Grenada: the Spice Boys have been outscored 29-1 in seven Gold Cup matches all-time and have never come closer than a two-goal defeat.
MATCH BET: QATAR -2.5, -140
Reason: Grenada’s poor attacking skills means there isn’t a lot of value in taking Qatar to win to nil, so this is probably the best we can safely do. Qatar can score when it needs to and showed no problems putting up goals against Bangladesh, but Bangladesh is ranked even lower than Grenada (185th, compared to 160th for Grenada), so expecting a repeat of those five goals might be a little much, especially with how hard Grenada’s defense fought against Honduras for 80 minutes. Winning by three seems much more reasonable.
SCORE BET: QATAR 3, GRENADA 0, +425
Reason: Qatar needs to get at least a decent number here, because they’ve got no way to know what happens in the Panama-Honduras match. If they can squeeze out five goals, they’re guaranteed to advance to the knockout stage with a tie against Honduras, no matter what happens elsewhere. So the attack will keep the accelerator going for all 90 minutes, but I think Grenada’s defense can hang on for a good chunk of that time. I can see another 4-0 result happening, but 3-0 feels a bit more likely.
SIDE BET: QATAR TO WIN BOTH HALVES, -150
Reason: Qatar shouldn’t have too many problems asserting the issue, and once they do, it’s difficult to see a way back for Grenada. The Crimsons are likely to earn a comfortable win here, which should set them up well for their final group match against Honduras. I don’t think they’ll have a problem scoring in either half, and in this match, one goal per half should be enough to win each half.