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This tournament has made zero sense. Yesterday, we saw Japan win their group over Germany and Spain. We also saw Belgium get knocked out, and Morocco won their group. Once again, this tournament has made no sense. I want to see how much money the sportsbooks have made from this World Cup so far because this has been absurd. With that being said, let’s win all our picks for the last day of the group stage.
The tweet says it all; I could not have been more wrong about this Uruguay team. I assumed with the lethal finishing of guys like Nunez, Suarez, and Cavani with an aging defense, they should have scored goals. Turns out they might not score a single goal. Ghana, on the other hand, is currently second in their group. Both of Ghana’s previous matches had five goals scored, and they have given up 33 combined shots and 12 on target in this tournament. Ghana is going into this game looking for a draw. Still, they are not strong enough defensively, which is why I love Uruguay and the over.
Uruguay is currently last in the group, which means they HAVE to score multiple goals and win this one. Ghana is essentially playing for the draw with how the table is shaping up. They are up two points in the group over South Korea and Uruguay. They currently have the advantage on goal difference and goals scored over South Korea and Uruguay. I see Uruguay getting a goal in the first half, which will cause the match to open up and cause Ghana to attack more. I think Uruguay will get a second on the counterattack, forcing Ghana to be desperate for a goal. I believe either Ghana will get a goal against an average Uruguayan defense, or Uruguay will put Ghana to bed with a third. I know I said this Uruguay team has been a major disappointment, but they will be desperate in this one. I like betting on teams going for the win versus teams who want to sit back and take a 0-0 draw. A perfect example is the Iran-USA match earlier this week. I will be taking the Uruguay ML and the over.
But my favorite bet in this game is Darwin Nunez over 1.5 shots on goal. Uruguay is going to play extremely aggressively, and this Ghana defense is not stable enough to keep a clean sheet. As we saw in Ghana’s last two matches, they’re giving up a ton of chances/shots to other teams, and getting Nunez over 1.5 shots on goal at +170 is excellent value.
Portugal has already booked their ticket to the round of 16, and a decent amount of substitutes will be starting in this one for Portugal. If Portugal gets the draw, they win the group, and even if they lose, it is still very likely they win the group unless Ghana wins 3-0 (depending on the score of the games). This Portugal team is realistically playing for nothing. Meanwhile, South Korea is playing for everything. Portugal will rotate players and want to get through this match without injuries. I like betting on teams who will be aggressive and desperate in soccer. I like South Korea +0.5 and ML at +290. I lean over in this one as well, mainly due to South Korea’s aggressiveness in this match; it will lead to many chances for Portugal, especially on the counter.
To be honest, I don’t love a pick in this match. Brazil will rotate the entire team to rest them for the knockout stages. Cameroon will be very aggressive, but Brazil has more depth than anybody in this tournament. The Brazil B team would be a top-five favorite to win the World Cup on their own. The total at 2.5 is also tricky because Brazil’s backup defense can still keep a clean sheet on this Cameroon side. Still, Cameroon must score goals and be aggressive, which could lead to counterattacks for Brazil. Brazil is -1.5 on the spread, which is also a stay-away on both sides; I don’t see much value in this match. I do not have an official play, but I have a couple leans. If I make an official play, follow me on Twitter @karterb8, and I will tweet it out!
On the lost tapes of the KarterKast in our World Cup episode with Luke Gray (follow him on Twitter @lukegray1997, fantastic follow), we chose Serbia to be our dark horse team in this tournament. They have been massively disappointing to me. There is no excuse for losing to Cameroon; Aleksandar Mitrovic should have easily had a hat trick in that match. But who cares about that match? Let’s talk about this one. A draw would more than likely put Switzerland in the round of 16. I’ve been saying it this whole blog, but I like backing the aggressive teams. Especially when the aggressors have someone who is a lethal goal scorer in Mitrovic. I believe Switzerland can make this a 0-0 match, but when these teams in the World Cup have been playing a draw, they have struggled. It is difficult coming into a game immediately sitting 11 men behind the ball; one tiny mistake, and it’s over. I’ll be backing the Serbians here to win this match over the Swiss. Also, I have no stats to back this up, but I think the first goal is a Mitrovic header, so I will sprinkle a little on Mitrovic first goal or anytime goal.