Just when you think this World Cup can’t get whackier, Group E delivers a Thursday afternoon thriller.
Friday is the last day of the group stage for the 2022 World Cup. If it is anything like the rest of this tournament, you can expect the unexpected. It makes betting more difficult but should encourage you to throw out at least one crazy wager. With this World Cup, it may just end up paying off.
Feel free to hop on the bandwagon with me or get in my mentions about how dumb my picks are. Either way, know your limits, enjoy yourself, and strap in for another day of exciting World Cup action.
Serbia’s push creates goals
Serbia needs to win and outperform Cameroon’s result against Brazil to advance. Switzerland sits in the driver’s seat. A draw sees them through barring Cameroon pulling off a massive upset.
I expect both teams to stick with their normal game plans in search of a win. During qualifying, Serbia opted to step up their line of confrontation and press to create attacking opportunities. It is an approach that will serve them well in a must-win match. On the other end, Switzerland will look to control possession and fluidly move up the pitch in search of scoring opportunities.
It seems like an obvious statement, but the first goal will change the game. An early Switzerland lead will force Serbia to ratchet up the pressure in a desperate search for two goals. The reverse is true as well. A Serbian lead will push Switzerland out of the top two and in need of an equalizer.
My expectation is a 1-1, 2-1, or even 2-2 type of affair. Either way, I see both sides scoring at least one goal in this final group-stage match that neither can afford to lose.
- Both Teams To Score (-115) – 1 unit
South Korea defeats a rotated Portugal
Portugal has already locked up a spot in the Round of 16. They will also win the group, regardless of the result, as long as Ghana fails to win and erase the delta in goal differential. Accordingly, I expect to see rotation from the Portuguese. The most likely candidates to step aside are anyone carrying a yellow card (Rúben Dias, Danilo Pereira, Rúben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, and João Félix).
Unlike Portugal, South Korea has every reason to chase a win. Victory is the only way to keep their hopes alive, although it may still not be enough at the end of the day.
In soccer, like most sports, a team running around the pitch at 110% can erase a talent gap with an opposition that is simply going through the motions. With favorable odds given for a South Korean victory, I will wager on the upset.
- South Korea Win (+333) – 1 unit
South Korea’s knock-on effect
If Uruguay and Ghana look up at the videoboards and see South Korea with a lead over Portugal, it will create a desperate situation for both teams.
With a South Korea win, Ghana needs at least a draw to advance. If the Koreans find a two-goal lead, Ghana has to win. Uruguay, however, needs to win no matter what. But if South Korea holds a one-goal lead, Uruguay must erase the goal difference and goals scored tiebreakers with a three-goal lead of their own. Accordingly, I am expecting chaos as Ghana and Uruguay trade goals.
There are a few different plays here. The simplest is betting the “Over”. I also like the odds given to Ghana in this one as well. You can combine the two for a +600 parlay if that is your thing.
- Total Goals Over 2.5 (-105) – 1 unit
As a bonus, I am adding quick picks for all matches each day.
- South Korea v. Portugal South – Korea (+333)
- Ghana v. Uruguay – Ghana (+375)
- Serbia v. Switzerland – Draw (+230)
- Cameroon v. Brazil – Brazil (-250)