AlMac: Straight Reads The Line – June 21/18 (World Cup RD 2/Day 2)

Thursday June 21st

Going into this Thursday set of match ups the favorites look far less appealing than they did yesterday. These are teams that, with exception of Croatia, have all been below their measure of expectation and I am frankly turned off by the majority of the teams in today’s fixtures. It is also easy to say without hesitation that all teams on this Thursday card have their fair share of flaws. Because of that, my educated opinion – the best value on this card are in derivative bets and the low risk combo bets (ie, Over 0, etc)

A big part of the handicapping should be focused on motivational factors, Denmark can concede a draw to the Ozzie’s, Peru needs atleast a draw to have a realistic chance of advancing, Argentina needs a draw but would prefer a win to keep their head above water in their group.

This game may not be worth waking up for, but that also might be crazy talk. I will be going into this game expecting very little from the Ozzie’s, and to be honest – it is possible to see very little from the Danes here. Denmark can make a statement leading off the day with a win or tactical draw vs the Roos, could even see a 0-0 draw. Austrailia is going to want to push the pace as they attempted vs France, but the Danes game plan will be to slow it down to crawl. The 1st Half draw looks juicy at -105, it’ll be an odd game but the Danes can defend well which we saw vs Peru. As well; the Danes offensive organization is average at best – it’s not my favorite game of the day by far – but I will be betting it either way.

I do have a slight lean towards France here, but at the same time I am going to be catious and any solo bets I make for this game will be made after the Denmark/Austrailia game for bank roll purposes – I do not want to be comitted to anything to risky if I am down units on the day, but if I am up a bunch of units I will start taking shots are derivatives and combo bets. France concedes alot of goals, they are also severely over valued because of so many pundits talking them up as contenders, which may or may not be true – that is yet to be seen.

And… sure, they may be contenders – but they won game 1 sitting back and waiting for Austrailia to beat themselves. Peru needs this way more, Peru haven’t lost in 2 years before last game and we all know the final was not indicative of the result in that match vs Denmark. Don’t sleep on Peru, but I am probably going to be betting France in a number of different derivative bets.

Plain and simple, Argentina is a total mess. Croatia is sitting pretty with the Argentines hobbling into this 2nd round game. I can see Croatia scoring early here and Argentina struggling to get the equalizer for almost the entire match. Argentina Under 2, Croatia Over 0 may be a play that I like here. Argentina’s defense is probably the worst out of the South American bunch, I expect them to concede as well as them to score.

If you are able to find it, Messi not to score may be a nice play here, the man is snake bitten and all the pressure will be on him in this match, if Argentina is going to have any success in this tournament they are going to have to learn to stop relying on the striking ability of Messi and start generating offense in other places.

I would also take a look at the Pentaly Kick bet. Croatia has big defenders, and as we saw vs Iceland; Messi will try to draw fouls vs this much larger defensive team. I feel whenever you have a bigger defending team vs a smaller more striking squad, it gives a higher chance for a PK. Not to say that Messi dives, but to say that there is more of a chance to get tripped because of the length of some of these Croatian defenders.

In conclusion, the wrong team is favored here in my opinion. I don’t care if Argentina needs the win. Croatia is the better side right now. Man to man they are better, on offense they have been more organized and productive than Argentina and overall they have played a better defensive game. Because of all those factors, I find extremely hard to get infront of this Croatian team and chose to completely stay away from Argentina.

With that thought, if Messi ends up at the penalty line, it will be a mistake – Aguero should be taking penalties in these situations – not Messi.

Let’s see what the plays are looking like…

France/Peru (Both Teams To Score) Yes +120
France/Draw, Over 1, Under 4 (Combo) +120
France (Over 0), Peru (Under 1) (Combo) +137
France -1 (+110)
France/Peru (1H) Over 0, (2H) Over 0 (Combo) -110
Argentina (Over 0), Croatia (Under 2) (Combo) +140
Argentina/Croatia (1H) Over 0, (2H) Over 0 (Combo) -110
Argentina/Croatia (Penalty Kick) Yes +187
Argentina/Croatia (Both Teams To Score) Yes -106
Argentina Over 1, Croatia Over 1 (Combo) +650
Argentina (2H) Over 0 (-138)

Let It Ride
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4% – Spain -1 (+100)

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AlMac’s Plays Of The Day
presented by @Intertops

2% – France -1 (+105)
3% – Croatia/Argentina o2 (-133)

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AlMac’s Best Bets
presented by XBet

($50) – Argentina/Croatia Over 1.5, Denmark/Australia Under 3 (Parlay) -136
($50) – Denmark/Australia (1H) Draw (-105)
($50) – Denmark (Over 0), Australia (Under 1) (Combo) +200
($50) – Denmark/Australia Under 2.5, France/Peru Under 2.5 (Parlay) +153
($50) – Denmark/Draw, Denmark/Australia Under 3 (Combo) -110
($100) – Denmark/Australia (2H) Over 0.5, France/Peru (2H) Over 0.5, Argentina/Croatia (2H) Over 0.5 (Parlay) +120
($100) – Australia +1.5, Croatia +1.5, Peru +1.5 (Parlay) +109

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