The U.S. did not pull out the win, but we do have our first day of four matches slated for tomorrow. It will provide plenty of fun betting opportunities.
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 the wonderful return of the World Cup.
The Western Hemisphere takes Group C
One-half of this wager is pretty easy. Argentina is winning Group C. This is the best La Albiceleste has looked in years. The real question is who comes in second place between Mexico and Poland.
There has been plenty of pessimism with this year’s Mexico squad. But this is a nation that has advanced out of the group stage in seven straight World Cups. Poland, on the other hand, has not made it to the knockout round since 1986.
There is hope for Mexico. Star striker Raúl Jiménez logged 45 minutes in Mexico’s last tune-up match. Even if he can’t go a full 90 minutes, he will provide a lift. It may come down to goal differential to determine who advances. In such a scenario, I like Mexico’s schedule with Saudi Arabia last. They will know their mark to beat and ratchet up the pressure on an already-eliminated side.
- Argentina / Mexico Straight Forecast (+225) – 1 unit
Bet on the World Cup winner’s curse
In five of the last six World Cups, the previous winner failed to progress out of the group. France, the 2018 winner, could fall victim. Missing their midfield pair of N’Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba, there is some pre-tourmanet adversity to overcome.
Personally, I think France still has plenty of talent across the board to avoid a disastrous trip to Qatar. But if you believe in the curse, there are a few interesting bets to play.
A conservative wager would be a bet placed on Denmark to win the group (+250). But if you are looking for longer odds, another Straight Forecast bet could be a fun long-odds play.
- Denmark / Australia Straight Forecast (+3500) – 0.25 units
Lautaro Martinez starts off hot
Lionel Messi, in what is likely his final World Cup, will attract the most goal-scoring wagers. As good as Messi is at finding the back of the net, he is just as incredible at setting up his teammates. The player most likely to benefit is Lautaro Martinez.
Martinez has scored in 9 of his last 15 national team matches. With favorable odds and in good form for club and country, I like Martinez’s chances to payout against an overmatched Saudi Arabia.
- L. Martinez Anytime Goalscorer (+120) – 1 unit