Costa Rica return to their role as big underdogs on Saturday when they take the pitch against Netherlands in their World Cup 2014 quarterfinal match.
The Ticos are 6-1 moneyline underdogs to fall to the mighty Dutch in 90 minutes, and 13-4 underdogs to advance to their first ever World Cup semifinal.
The Ticos have defied the odds since the start of tournament. Drawn into a group of death alongside Italy, Uruguay and England, three nations that each have World Cup titles to their credit, Costa Rica was not expected to win a game, let alone their group.
But as 50-1 longshots to win Group D and 1000-1 longshots in World Cup futures betting at the outset of the tourney, the Ticos shocked the world by posting wins over Italy and Uruguay, before drawing with England to capture the group's top spot.
The Costa Ricans were finally pegged as favorites in their round of 16 showdown against Greece, whom they defeated in a thrilling match settled by penalty kicks.
But the Oranje, who set the tone for the rest of the tournament with a dominating 5-1 win over defending champions Spain, will represent a far greater challenge for the Ticos.
With odds of 2-9, Netherlands are very strong favorites to get past Costa Rica and reach the World Cup semifinals for the second straight time. The Dutch had many doubters going into the tournament. After a dismal performance at Euro 2012, Netherlands struggled against elite competition leading up to the World Cup.
Drawing into Group A alongside Spain and a strong Chilean squad, the Oranje were far from a lock to advance to the knockout stage, as reflected in their weak 9-4 odds to win Group A and distant 25-1 odds to claim their first World Cup.
But Netherlands followed up their win over Spain with a strong 2-0 win over Chile before defeating Mexico with late-game heroics in the round of 16.
The Dutch go into their match against the Ticos leading the tournament in goals scored, and have closed the gap on favorites Brazil, Germany and Argentina with vastly shortened odds of 9-2 in World Cup futures wagering.
In contrast, Costa Rica have seen their World Cup odds dramatically improve, but they remain the proverbial underdog with 40-1 odds in futures wagering.
Netherlands vs Costa Rica prediction: 2-0 Holland