Olympics Men's Football Semi-Finals
Tuesday 3 August
Spain are back as favourites to win the gold medal in the men's football, having dropped to a shorter price to Brazil.
The star-studded Spanish side were the pre-tournament favourites, but their price rose above that of Brazil's, following a number of unconvincing performances. After their 5-2 win over Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals, Spain are now 2.56/4, just ahead of Brazil at 2.68/5.
Spain and Brazil are strongly expected to meet each other in the gold medal match, with the other two semi-finalists, priced as relatively big outsiders. The hosts Japan are 7.87/1, while Mexico are 9.08/1.
Goals flow when Mexico involved
Mexico 3.412/5 v Brazil 2.1211/10; The Draw 3.613/5
Kick off, 09:00
Brazil's new status as second favourites could be down to the fact that they are perceived to have the slightly tougher semi-final opponent.
Mexico have been an unpredictable team at this tournament. In the opening match they pulled off a big shock with a 4-1 thrashing of France. They then lost to Japan in their second game, before beating South Africa 3-0 to finish second in Group A. Mexico were underdogs against South Korea, but won a thrilling game 6-3.
Brazil's quarter-final was rather less eventful, as they defeated Egypt 1-0. Egypt managed to draw 0-0 with Spain in their opening match and proved themselves to be a tough team to break down, so Brazil's result is not a slight on them.
Ivory Coast held Brazil to a 0-0 draw, so the Samba Boys can be contained, but it seems doubtful that Mexico will try to do so. Three of Mexico's four games have seen both teams score, with their matches now averaging five goals per game.
Over 2.5 goals looks generously priced at 1.875/6. A Brazil win and both teams to score is 4.3310/3.
Spain finally find goals, but Japan can keep it tight
Japan 3.814/5 v Spain 2.111/10; The Draw 3.412/5
Kick off, 12:00
Having struggled to score goals throughout this competition, Spain finally burst into life in the quarter-finals.
Spain only scored two goals during the group stage, which saw them draw two of their three games (W1). For much of their quarter-final against Ivory Coast, scoring goals continued to be a problem. The score was 1-1 from the half hour mark and it looked like Ivory Coast were going to pull off a shock, when they went 2-1 ahead in the first minute of injury time.
Rafa Mir saved Spain from elimination with a 93rd minute equaliser and then in extra time, scored two more to complete a hat-trick. Mikel Oyarzabal also found the net from the spot, as Spain ran out as 5-2 winners.
Mir has come one as a substitute in all of Spain's games, but will surely get a start after his contribution against Ivory Coast. Spain's issues with scoring goals will no doubt be tested by Japan, who have only conceded one goal so far, winning all of their games in Group A and then beating New Zealand in the quarter-finals on penalties, after a 0-0 draw.
Under 2.5 goals was a successful bet in all three of Spain's group games and should land against at 1.794/5, with Japan having proved that they can keep things tight. With the talent that Spain have in their side, we have to assume that they will progress and their odds of 2.111/10 to win in 90 minutes seem fair.