Gambling Guide

Jerry Bo: 2018 Russia World Cup group predictions

Messi leads Argentina. Dennis Doyle/Getty Images

In the gambling realm, action junkies and anxious bettors engulf themselves in events that allow you to place an extra amount of wagers for an extended period of time. This summer, we get the FIFA World Cup in a month's span of chaotic betting. Gamblers around the world, as well as the die-hard, devoted fans, will be looking to wager something, anything, opening opportunities for finding value as novice bettors with deep pockets might dictate lines. In other words, if two countries are playing and the fan base of one is much larger, you can expect "loose" money on an individual side as citizens and fans of the country might back their teams with their hearts, opening doors to find mispriced lines.

To Win Group Odds:

Group A

Russia                     +175
Egypt                      +595
Saudi Arabia       +3740
Uruguay                  -130

I especially like the price for Uruguay to win the Group and it will be a MAX per-tournament plays.

Uruguay to win Group A   5U MAX

Group B

Portugal         +195
Spain               -205
Morocco       +1590
Iran               +3290

For me, Spain and Portugal go through, with Morocco being the dark horse in the group that could surprise. The key for Morocco will be defeating Iran and getting the full three points and then getting something out of the match vs. Portugal. The opening round match of Spain vs. Portugal is sure to be a cracker of a match! The scheduling is perfect, on the second day of the tournament, Friday, June 15th, the late game, for the world to relish.

Group C

France          -355
Australia   +1990
Peru             +945
Denmark    +445

The clear favorites to win Group C, France seems to be the obvious choice. My problem is the price being extremely steep for a team with a defense in question.  A team I think will make some noise in this group will be CONMEBOL representer Peru. The return of Paolo Guerrero after getting his ban lifted will serve as a massive boost to the team. The price for Peru to advance can be found in the +170 range, and I like the number quite a bit.

France + Spain Win Groups Parlay   -110 3U
Peru to Advance  +170 2U


Group D

Argentina       -175
Iceland        +1340
Croatia          +220
Nigeria          +995

The fan favorite, Argentina are favorites to win the group but I’m not sure they do. Are they the best team? Yes, but do they play the best as a unit? That’s in question after limping into Russia 2018, needing the last game win even to make it here. The team is led by no other than Lionel Messi, alongside with another world talent in Angel DI Maria, and the Dynamic Paulo Dybala, which manager Jorge Sampaoli will need to find a way to fit in.

Although I think Argentina is the best overall team in the group, I won't back them just yet. Instead, let's see if we can get lucky on Nigeria to advance a +255.

Nigeria to advance a +255    1U

Group E

Brazil                 -355
Switzerland     +620
Costa  Rica     +1790
Serbia               +795

Favorite Brazil is one of my horses I'll be riding this tournament, and the -355 price tag is justified. The question here is who will get second, and I cant choose between Switzerland or Costa Rica so we will pass. Instead, we’ll opt to do another heavy favorite parlay. Remember, in these international tournaments, the top dogs usually show up, and their prices are correct, making it tough to find value in this competition.

Brazil+ Spain  to win groups -110    3U

Group F

Germany .            -305
Mexico                 +520
Sweden                +645
South Korea      +1740

The defending Champions Germany, enter Russia as the overall favorites to win the FIFA World Cup, and deservedly so with all the talent at every position. Look for Germany to dominate once again, but I have a sneaky prediction for them later in this tournament.

No chance for upsets to win the tournament here, but I do find some value in Mexico to advance at -110. With Mexico facing off vs. the Germans in their first match of the group stage, I think they get two advantages.

1) The time to prepare for Germany, knowing the first match will be so pivotal.
2) Knowing where they stand early after their toughest game is also significant, as goal differential will maybe be the deciding factor to who gets second in this group.

Mexico to advance 2.5 U

Group G

Belgium           -130
Panama        +4490
Tunisia          +1790
England           +115

This group is relatively simple to me, Belgium and England both advance. The question is who takes the group; I'll go with Belgium at that price. England will be solid in the attack with Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, but the overall talent of Belgium will see them win the group.

Belgium to win Group   2U
 

Group H

Colombia    +135
Poland         +170
Senegal       +445
Japan          +745

Perhaps the most robust group to pick a winner, every team is a plus odds leading us to some value. I'll be backing Colombia to win the group for a small bet, with confidence in them being the best top to bottom team here. The return of Radamel Falcao will be the story line to follow, and I fancy him to be in the top goals scorers conversation at the end of the tournament.

Colombia to win the group 2U

** These are only pre tournament bets and will not be reflecting what I bet game to game. The way these teams come out and perform in certain situations is what will guide us to our wagers. These are purely for futures purposes.

World Cup Prop Bet extravaganza coming soon……

Any questions or comments reach me @JerryBoKnowz on twitter.

 

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Houston drops the opener

Angels use big sixth inning to take opener from Astros

Houston's offense started hot, then went cold Monday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With a 2-1 series win under their belt to start this ten-game homestand, the Astros turned the page to a three-game set with the Angels on Monday night. Things started strong for Houston, building an early lead, but it would erode in the middle innings as the Angels would respond with a big sixth inning to take the opener.

Final Score: Angels 5, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 18-17, tied for second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Suarez (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Brandon Bielak (1-2)

Houston Builds an early lead

After a 1-2-3 top of the first by Luis Garcia, Houston would start the scoring in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back walks set things off, setting up an RBI ground-rule double by Alex Bregman, giving them the 1-0 lead. Kyle Tucker lead the bottom of the second off with a double, then came around to score on an RBI single by Myles Straw, then Michael Brantley made it 3-0 with an RBI double later in the inning.

Los Angeles roars back to take the lead

Los Angeles trimmed the lead to two runs in the top of the fourth with an RBI double, but Houston was able to get that run back on another RBI by Straw in the bottom of the fifth. Things fell apart for Garcia in the top of the sixth, with back-to-back one-out solo homers trimming the lead to one run and ending his night there: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 92 P.

The Angels didn't stop there, getting two more runs to take the lead off of Brandon Bielak, who managed just one out while blowing the lead. Brooks Raley would enter to get the final out of the inning, then tried to keep the deficit at one run when he returned in the top of the seventh. It looked like things might unravel for him, allowing the first two batters to reach base on a walk and single, but he would battle back to strike out the next three straight to strand both.

Angels take the opener

Joe Smith took over in the top of the eighth, still 5-4, but would get two outs while allowing a double in his three batters before Houston moved on to Kent Emanuel, who finished the inning off. After another scoreless inning for Houston's offense, Emanuel remained in the game in the top of the ninth to keep a walk-off chance alive, and he would do so by erasing a walk to send the one-run game to the bottom half. The Astros wouldn't pull off a comeback, though, dropping the opener to Los Angeles.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Tuesday night. It shapes up to be an exciting pitching matchup, with Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 3.58 ERA) for Houston going up against the two-way star Shohei Ohtani (1-0, 2.41 ERA) for Los Angeles.

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