Defending World Cup champion Italy is heavily favored on Sunday in World Cup gambling as they face New Zealand.
It is an early start on Sunday for this match that can be seen on ESPN. Italy is laying a goal and a half in World Cup betting odds to New Zealand.
World Cup gambling odds on the three-way line list Italy at -500, New Zealand at +1300 and the Draw at +1300. The total on the match is 2.5 under. Both Italy and New Zealand started World Cup play with draws so the winner of this match would likely be in good shape to advance. Italy will have to win without their top goaltender as Gianluigi Buffon is out due to injury. He was substituted for in Italy’s 1-1 draw with Paraguay and it was discovered he has a herniated disk in his back. While it might seem that Italy is in trouble without their top goalkeeper they could actually be in better shape. Federico Marchetti is the backup and he could be a better answer for Italy. He has been excellent for Cagliari in Serie A the past two seasons. Buffon is considered a world class goalkeeper but he didn’t play that well this season for Juventus as he was in and out of the lineup due to injury. Buffon is the starter for Italy based on his reputation and past play not based on what he has done this year. The Italians may actually be better off with Marchetti in goal.
New Zealand got a goal from Winston Reid in stoppage time that enabled them to get a tie against Slovakia. It seems unlikely they will find a way to score against Italy and they could easily give up two or three goals. Italy is not as strong as they were four years ago but they New Zealand is not a good team and they were fortunate to get a draw against Slovakia vs. the World Cup betting odds.
New Zealand and Italy have met once in the past and that was last year when Italy won 4-3. Italy has lost only one of their last 21 matches against non-European teams and New Zealand does not seem to have the ability to threaten the Italians in this Sunday matchup.