Nigeria’s soccer team must find its groove in order to avoid catastrophe.
The African nation will play Iceland at 11 a.m. ET on Friday in their second 2018 FIFA World Cup Group D game. Having lost to Croatia in its opener, 48th-ranked Nigeria must avoid defeat against 22nd-ranked Iceland, a team brimming with confidence following its shock draw with Argentina in its first World Cup game. Oddsmakers believe this game will be among the tightest at this summer’s tournament in Russia.
Let’s look at the Nigeria vs. Iceland betting lines.
Current betting line (via OddsShark.com):
Nigeria win: +175
Iceland win: +170
Total goals: 2
NESN.com’s picks: Draw, under
Iceland’s defense always is hard to break down, and that will remain the case against Nigeria. Expect more effective defending and counter-attacking from Iceland, the smallest-ever nation to reach a World Cup. Nigeria will see this game as its best chance to pick up points, so we can expect the Super Eagles to enjoy advantages in possession, territory and chance creation. But neither team will have the edge over the other, and they’ll share the points from a draw.
The teams have multiple avenues for goal-scoring, but we don’t expect them to produce much. A 1-1 draw is a reasonable score prediction, but one of the defenses might pinch a goal and close up shop. The under is the safest bet here.