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Jerry Bo: 2018 World Cup Russia: The show must go on...

The chase for the Cup has taken some odd turns. @FIFAWorldCup verified Twitter account

This year, the FIFA World Cup in Russia has brought us loads of surprises and we are only a week in. Of the five pre-tournament favorites, only France was able to secure 3 points in their opening match, and that was due to a fortunate own goal.

Although many favorites aren't covering, they are winning straight up.
Favorites 10-4-3 SU
Over/Under  8-9

Unders have a slight lead overall, but where you can find value is on the 1st half unders. Of the 17 matches, only 5 have seen multiple goals in the opening 45 minutes.

Mexico shakes things up

CONCACAF representer Mexico pulled off a stunning upset knocking off the World Champions Germany. Backing El Tri at +600, is the upset of the tournament thus far. On a day that featured the other tournament favorite Brazil, many bettors tried to take the easy route and moneyline parlay Germany and Brazil. We all know how that worked out as neither powerhouse was able to secure 3 points.

The Swiss put cheese in your pockets

Not only were money line parlays destroyed when Mexico pulled off the impossible, but gamblers tend to chase losses and this again led to a disaster. After the final whistle in the Die Mannschaft defeat, action junkies pounded Brazil in the last match of the day. Brazil was over a -300 favorite money line and -1.5 goals on the spread. An early touch of magic from Philippe Coutinho, put bettors in a strong position to catch the second goal and clean up the mess from the first games. At halftime, Switzerland was in the +740 range in some places to come back and pull of a draw. That they did, and the books once again mopped the floor with Brazil backers who led 78% of the action that match.

11 is greater than 10

For 87 minutes, the Colombian national team was asked to play a man down after the cynical mistake by the South American Carlos Sanchez. A clear handball on a goal scoring opportunity left Los Cafeteros playing with 10. Colombia fought hard and even tied things up right before half with some trickery on a free kick, but it wasn't enough. Japan dominated the second half holding 65% possession while getting 11 free kicks to Colombia's 0. Peckerman's group opted to try and park the bus and secure a draw with the early misfortune, but they ultimately crumbled after a 73rd-minute header by Yuya Osako. Japan backers were a part of history as no Asian team had ever beaten a CONMEBOL team in a World Cup, all while cashing the upset at +450.

With Groups having slight uncertainty, the futures market has changed in some places. Find value by predicting where these teams finish in the group and what their paths to the final will be. For example, if Mexico goes on to win the group, Germany takes a tougher path having to play Brazil sooner than expected. Take advantage of that as Brazil odds haven't increased and actually have dropped to +400 in some places. That doesn't reflect the fact of the facing the Champions earlier due to the German's mishaps in the first match vs Mexico. If that happens, I still believe you are better off doing a mechanical parlay aka moneyline roll over from match to match on Brazil to better the odds of +400.

Updated odds

Brazil    +400
Spain    +450
France    +700
Germany    +750
Belgium    +900
Argentina    +1100
England    +1400
Portugal    +1800
Croatia    +2800
Uruguay    +3000
Colombia    +4000
Mexico    +4000
Russia    +5000
Poland    +8000
Switzerland    +8000
Denmark    +10000
Serbia    +12500
Peru    +15000
Sweden    +15000
Senegal    +20000
Iceland    +20000
Nigeria    +20000
Egypt    +30000
Japan    +30000
Australia    +30000
Iran    +50000
South Korea    +50000
Tunisia    +50000
Costa Rica    +75000
Panama    +100000
Morocco    +200000
Saudi Arabia    +200000

As you can see, Germany has dropped after the first match, reflecting our thought on their path. The biggest move in the futures market is Mexico, who went from 100-1 to 40-1 after the Father’s day gift.

Plays

Saudi Arabia vs Uruguay - FIFA World Cup - Group A
Uruguay -1.5   3U
Uruguay -2       2U
Uruguay  TT over 2 MAX


Spain vs Iran - FIFA World Cup - Group B
Spain -2  2U
Over 2.5    3U


Peru vs France - FIFA World Cup - Group C
Over 2.5              2U

Croatia vs Argentina - FIFA World Cup - Group D
Over 2     3U

Peoples Parlay  2U
Spain -1.5
Uruguay -1.5


Parlay   1U
Spain ML
Uruguay ML
France Peru over 2
Croatia vs Argentina Over 2

For any questions or comments reach me @JerryBoKnowz on twitter.

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Let him cook! Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a rebuild. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr are studs. KPJ just signed a four-year extension with the team. Other guys like Jabari Smith Jr, Kenyon Martin Jr, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher, Tari Eason, and Jae'Sean Tate are really good pieces to surround Green and KPJ with. The only issue with this group: they're REALLY young! Tate is the elder statesman at 27 of the young nucleus. Most are barely old enough to buy a drink. Some still aren't old enough! They're a bunch of green bananas waiting to turn yellow to slightly brown and be ripe enough for consumption.

We need to give it time. Just like bananas, they take time to ripen. Coach Stephen Silas is known for developing young players. His most prized student is the star player for that team in South Oklahoma up 45. Number 77 for that team credited Silas with helping him realize his All-Pro potential while Silas was a part of the coaching staff there. To a man, all his former players credit him with being a positive influence on their careers. So why are fans in a rush to get rid of him?

When you look at the Rockets' record over the last few years, it's gross. Sure, they've been a lottery team the last couple of seasons, but that was by design. As part of the Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook trades, they gave away pick swap rights. Had they not been that bad, they wouldn't have been able to draft Green or Smith Jr. Those two guys are building blocks for the future, along with KPJ. Giving those picks away would've put this team further down the totem pole of developing themselves into a contender. Losing pays off when you can hit on high lottery picks.

If you give a chef dirt, bread, ham, molded cheese, and spoiled mayo, can you expect anything else but a nasty ham sandwich? How about if the chef was given a steak that is almost rotten, potatoes with root growth, and spoiled butter? Could you expect a better meal than the sandwich? Yes! However, that meal may still cause a stomachache. Now, give said chef a full complement of gourmet groceries and guess what you'll get?

This is why I say let Silas cook. He's the perfect coach for this group of kids. He can teach them all the fundamentals of the game at this level and help them grow into their full potential. If there's a change to be made on the sidelines, move Silas into a front office role, but DO NOT get rid of him! Guys like him are too valuable. Why do you think Mark Cuban hated losing him, but knew he couldn't retain him because he had a head coach already? Cuban knew what he had in Silas and what Silas did for Luka Doncic. He can do something similar for the Rockets if given the time to work his magic.

Should Tilman Fertita find the need to move on, I'd look for a more experienced coach who can guide them from bottom of the playoff ladder into top four in the West and real contenders. For now, Silas is the head chef. Continue giving him the groceries he needs, and he'll continue giving these kids the lessons they need to develop. Changing the coach now could stunt their growth. Let him cook!

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