World Cup Betting Free Picks for June 18, 2010
Oddsbay will feature daily World Cup betting free picks throughout the competition. Our team of experienced soccer handicappers will highlight the best wagering positions on the board, so check back daily for the latest information.
SERBIA VS. GERMANY 4:30 AM PACIFIC
Serbia faces a ‘must win’ situation following their first game loss to Ghana. Realistically, if they don’t get three points here their chances to advance to the knockout stage are very slim. The bad news is that they’re facing a German team that looked better than anyone in the tournament thus far in their opening game win over Australia (with the possible exception of Argentina over South Korea on Thursday). Serbia is certainly a better all around team than the Aussies, though if the German’s continue to hit on all cylinders they’re still in for a tough time of it.
The German’s offense is led by Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski and Serbia just doesn’t have the offensive playmakers to counter this duo. Serbia is a decent defensive team but so was Australia and Germany’s slick playmaking made short work of them. It’s hard to see where Serbia’s scoring will come from and obviously if they don’t score they can’t win.
There’s an old sports handicapping adage that ‘teams are never as good as they look at their best, nor as bad as they look at their worst’. Germany could come in flat after their opening game rout and allow Serbia to dictate tempo and make this game a defensive struggle. Still, even if Germany performs at 50% of what they did against Australia they should get the win here. If you’re looking for a spot to go against Germany a better opportunity will likely be their final group stage game against Ghana—and particularly if they get a win here and have already clinched a spot in the final 16.
We’ll bet this game the same way we did Argentina’s game against South Korea on Thursday. Instead of laying -170 with Germany we’ll take them on the goal handicap line at -1 -108. Since we’re of the opinion that Germany will win we’ll risk getting a push with a one goal victory for the better price. And despite their four goal outburst against Australia we’ll also play this one UNDER the total. Serbia is a better overall team and likely won’t fall apart the way the Aussies did.
PLAY GERMANY -1 -108 OVER SERBIA
PLAY GERMANY/SERBIA UNDER 2’ -120
USA VS. SLOVENIA 7 AM PACIFIC
Slovenia is a competent team and actually leads the Group C table after their 1-0 win over Algeria. Despite that victory, however, there were a few ‘warning signs’ that have us looking to play against them here. We expected them to have an easier time with an undisciplined Algeria side, but even after their opponents went a man down Slovenia needed a goaltending blunder to get the goal and the win. They’re taking a big step up in class here, and it’s unlikely that the US will ‘beat themselves’ in the same manner.
The USA was also the beneficiary of a goalkeeper miscue in their opening game draw against England. Robert Green’s now infamous miscue late in the first half allowed Clint Dempsey to even the score after Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard gave England the lead early in the contest. The tying goal may have been ‘soft’ but the US earning a draw was no fluke, and despite the British media’s derision of goalkeeper Green in the aftermath the reality is that England entered the game with the mindset that a single point was an acceptable outcome.
There were questions about the US’s backline play heading into the World Cup, but they looked solid against England after conceding the early goal. Keeper Tim Howard looked exceptional and despite suffering bruised ribs in the opening game he should be fit to play. The big edge for the Americans is on the offensive end—they’ve got an abundance of playmaking and goal scoring talent and that’s something that the Slovenian side just can’t match.
Ultimately, we’re getting a decent price based on the public perception of the opening game results. Slovenia is somewhat overvalued due to their win, while the USA might not be getting their proper due based on the nature of the ‘soft’ game tying goal against England. This US team is no joke and is easily the most complete team the Americans have fielded since their return to World Cup play. It’s hard to see where the Slovenian scoring will come from, and that’s certainly not an issue with the USA.
PLAY USA +111 OVER SLOVENIA
ENGLAND VS. ALGERIA 11:30 AM PACIFIC
The same dynamic that we discussed in the handicap on USA/Slovenia above is at play in this contest. England played very well against a solid American team, but that has been lost in the postmatch hysteria over Robert Green’s goaltending screwup. Algeria looked a lot better than they really are against a Slovenia side that just doesn’t have any real offensive weapons. England certainly would have liked to win their opening game, but the draw was a fair result and far from crushing.
With games against Algeria and Slovenia remaining in group play there’s every reason to think that the ‘Three Lions’ can take all six points. We expect them to have little trouble today with an Algerian side that looked very erratic and undisciplined against Slovenia, but their opponent’s offense was unable to take advantage even after they went a man down. England is a completely different deal, and they’ve got the weapons to make Algeria pay for sloppy play.
The trick in this contest is finding a way to back England at a reasonable price. We have no interest in laying -400 or -500 with the Brits, but at the same time don’t see much value in a position on Algeria or the draw. We’ll take a shot with the halftime/fulltime prop bet—England struck quickly against the United States and there’s every reason to think that they’ll be able to put the ball into the net against Algeria with even greater ease. The HT/FT prop gives us the best opportunity to get involved at a reasonable price.
PLAY ENGLAND HT/FT -127 OVER ALGERIA