Belgium is among the favorites to win the 2020 UEFA European Championship, and its road begins Saturday when it visits Saint Petersburg to take on Russia in the teams' group-stage opener. Belgium, the world's top-ranked team, was one of two teams -- along with Italy -- to win every game in qualifying. That was more than 18 months ago, as the group stage was postponed by the pandemic, but the Red Devils have continued to dominate. They enter Euro 2020 in on a nine-game unbeaten run. Russia finished second in the qualifying group, winning every game aside from 3-1 and 4-1 losses to Belgium.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET at Gazprom Arena. William Hill Sportsbook lists Belgium as the -114 favorite (risk $114 to win $100) in its latest Belgium vs. Russia odds, while the over-under for total goals scored is 2.5. Before locking in any Russia vs. Belgium picks, be sure to see the UEFA Euro 2020 predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's soccer insider Martin Green.
After working in the sports betting industry for several years, Green became a professional sports writer and handicapper. Since then, his European soccer picks have been spot-on. Green has generated almost $19,000 for $100 bettors since the 2017-18 season.
Now, Green has taken an in-depth look at Belgium vs. Russia. You can head to SportsLine to see his picks. Here are some betting lines and trends for Russia vs. Belgium:
- Belgium vs. Russia spread: Belgium -0.5 (-120)
- Belgium vs. Russia over-under: 2.5 goals (under -130, over +100)
- Belgium vs. Russia money line: Belgium -114, Russia +340, Draw +240
- BEL: Romelu Lukaku has scored 100 league goals over his past five seasons
- RUS: Artem Dzyuba has 74 goals in his six seasons with Zenit Saint Petersburg
Why you should back Belgium
The Belgians are 5-2-0 all-time against Russia and have gone 7-2-0 in their current run. They outscored their opponents 40-3 in dominating the qualifying group and have scored 24 and allowed seven in the nine-game streak. Playmaker Kevin De Bruyne isn't expected back from a facial injury until the next match, but Youri Tielemans is a more-than-adequate option in midfield. The 24-year-old played a big role in the emergence of Leicester City, which fell just short of a top-four finish in the English Premier League, creating more than three shots per game.
Belgium has not won a major international competition, losing in the final at Euro 1980 and getting knocked out in the quarterfinals by Wales in 2016. The Red Devils are eager to make up for that, starting now. Striker Romelu Lukaku, who had seven goals and three assists in five qualifying matches, is as dangerous as they come. He had 24 goals in 36 matches for Serie A champion Inter Milan, second in the league to Cristiano Ronaldo. Thibaut Courtois is a world-class goalkeeper and was second in La Liga with 17 clean sheets for Real Madrid.
Why you should back Russia
The Russians are out for revenge and have had plenty of time to review their tactics following the two setbacks to Belgium in November 2019. They also will have the home crowd on their side, with the stadium expected to be half full. Russia allowed just one goal in its other eight games in qualifying and scored 33 total. Russia won the inaugural four-team Euros in 1960 and has been a semifinalist four times. After reaching the final four in 1964, 1972 and 1988, it did not return until 2008, when it lost to eventual champion Spain.
The Russians are tireless runners who prefer to defend deep and try to catch teams on the counter-attack. Artem Dzyuba, a 6-foot-6 forward, needs one more goal to tie Aleksandr Kerzhakov as the national team's all-time leading scorer with 30. He had a league-high 20 goals in 27 league matches for Russian Premier League champion Zenit Saint Petersburg this season. He also ranked third with six assists and can set up Aleksandr Golovin, who is dangerous in space. Golovin had five goals and nine assists for Monaco in the French Ligue 1.
How to make Russia vs. Belgium Euro 2020 picks
Green has looked closely at the Russia vs. Belgium matchup, and he's leaning over on the goal total (2.5). He also has revealed a strong pick on one side and a prop play that brings a nice payout. He's only sharing those picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Belgium vs. Russia? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see the best bets for Russia vs. Belgium, all from the European soccer expert who has generated nearly $19,000 for $100 bettors since the 2017-18 season.