There are some online betting sites in Russia that draw the line at four goals; on these sites, gamblers can bet on Neymar’s goal score to be less or more than four. Fortunately, Bet365 Sportsbook offers a safer option: they are drawing the line at only three goals.
The odds offered for Neymar to score more than three goals are 1.90. The same increase is given for bets on his scoring three or less goals. However, we don’t think that both options are equally likely to happen. We strongly feel that the chances of Neymar’s scoring more than 3 times are significantly higher. Why? Here are a few reasons.
Reassuring post-injury performance
Until recently, there were concerns that a foot injury could affect Neymar’s World Cup goal output. The Brazilian suffered a fissure of the fifth metatarsal on Feb 25 during a club match against Marseille. Luckily, the surgery was successful but there were voices saying that Neymar might not have enough time to get back in perfect form before the World Cup started.
These suspicions were proven wrong when the superstar returned to the field. He managed to score in both of the matches he played in after his operation. These matches were friendlies but far from easy games. The win against Austria on Sunday, in particular, tested his durability: as Eyewitness News points out, Neymar was the target of some rough tackles. But those challenges didn’t stop the striker from this shrewd dribble and nutmeg-style goal:
Excellent pressure management
How well a player can deal with extreme pressure is almost as important at a major tournament as football skills. The 1998 World Cup is a case in point, when the underdogs, France, defeated Brazil in the finals partly because Ronaldo suffered a seizure just before the match. It has been suggested that the seizure was a direct result of extreme pressure.
This is why Neymar’s excellence at psychological battles is so important. Former World Cup champion Rivaldo even claims that pressure has a positive effect on Neymar. According to Rivaldo, Neymar interprets the fact that “the whole world is looking at you” as a confirmation that he has “the support of the fans.”
Potential goal output no longer affected by controversial Mastercard campaign
Even if Neymar is able to use the fans’ high expectations as motivation, it is probably for the best that Mastercard will not put additional, unnecessary pressure on him. The company had a questionable campaign that promised 10000 meals to children in need for every World Cup goal scored by Neymar or Messi.
This campaign received severe backlash and was eventually discontinued. This means that Neymar won’t have to deal with the thought that his performance could affect the lives of starving children.
Betting on Neymar’s goal score: “more than three” is a safe option
In the 2014 World Cup, Neymar scored four goals despite having to leave the tournament relatively early (when Zuniga’s notorious tackle fractured his vertebrae in the quarter-finals). Brazil are the favorites to win the World Cup this year and Neymar will probably have even more time to score than four years ago.
Considering the factors discussed above, it is almost guaranteed that Neymar will at least match his 2014 goal output. The 1.90 odds offered by Bet365 Sportsbook are very favorable for such a safe bet.