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World Cup predictions, odds, best bets today: Betting tips, expert picks for Saturday, December 3 – Sporting News

The chaos and drama of the group stage is behind us, as the 2022 FIFA World Cup now moves on to the knockout round. 16 teams remain, and now the battle for the trophy truly begins. One slip now spells certain doom in single elimination competition.
The United States get things started with their highly-anticipated match against the Netherlands. Louis van Gaal’s side is on an 18-match unbeaten run, but the U.S. have yet to concede from open play and are still kicking with the tournament’s second-youngest roster.
Then, Lionel Messi hopes to begin his push for the elusive World Cup trophy as Argentina matches up against surprise qualifier Australia. It’s expected to be one-way traffic, but that hasn’t phased the Socceroos yet.
Check out all our picks below.
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Ultimately, while the U.S. may feel they have a chance in this game, they’ll have to defend well to come out in front. As a result, this game could get clogged up, with Tyler Adams and the U.S. midfield continuing to frustrate the Netherlands but produce very little threat going forward. It’s hard to see the U.S. coming away with a win here, but if they defend well enough they could see out a 0-0 or 1-1 draw and send it to extra tie or penalties.
Both these teams have appeared to be better first half performers, which lends one to think of placing an opposite selection here, but remember — when a team is a better first-half side, that also includes defensively.
Upon closer examination, the United States have been a better attacking side in the first half, but defensively as well, putting up 1.97 xG but conceding just 0.68 xGA. The Netherlands, however, play to get to halftime scoreless, hoping to nick a goal against the run of play, which they’ve done a few times. They put up just 0.95 xG in the first half, and concede just 0.63 xGA. After the break, things swing the opposite direction.
Finally, we’ve got a big flier. We’ve already touched on how much better the U.S. play better in the first half, and how the Netherlands enjoy an open second half…so why not take a chance on this bet with a big reward? The U.S. could get an early goal and then sit back on it as they did against Iran, which would invite the Netherlands to pile on the pressure. This is a pick that sports longshot odds but has a decent chance of success. — Kyle Bonn
MORE: Full Netherlands vs. USA betting breakdown, with odds, picks, predictions, team news, and more
The odds on everything in this match are so wildly swung towards Argentina that’s its extremely difficult to find good value openings. So as a result, we’ve had to make a large leap just to find plus odds.
Here, we’ve built a parlay that’s essentially calling for Argentina to win either 1-0 or 2-0. It’s extremely tough to see Australia scoring in this match, and Argentina should advance comfortably. That said, La Albiceleste are not a team to run up the score like France did against Australia. They’ll look to shut it down after getting a goal or two, knowing they should be comfortable.
Additionally, Argentina are exhausted after a grueling group stage, and won’t want to empty the tank just to pick out a third or fourth goal. Instead, with such a daunting potential road ahead, they should shut up shop once a lead is gained. — Kyle Bonn
MORE: Full Argentina vs. Australia betting breakdown, with odds, picks, predictions, team news, and more
On the final day of group stage play, things went belly-up. Luis Suarez assisted one goal and had a big hand in the second, but never netted himself. Uruguay capitulated at the death, having taken an in-form Suarez off far too early and left without a forward presence, falling just a goal short of qualification. That left the over and the parlay on that match just short. We’ll send Diego Alonso a bill. South Korea stunned Portugal at the death to help the only successful bet of the day cash.
In the later games, Serbia and Switzerland exploded to life early on, and Switzerland picked the leaky Serbia defense apart, leaving their European rivals in the dust yet again at the World Cup. Alongside that, Cameroon did their part against Brazil, but the tournament favorites were woeful in front of net despite totaling 2.48 xG on 21 shots, as Gabriel Martinelli and Bruno Guimaraes both missed huge chances to equalize late.
Records below compiled since the first edition of this post on Monday, October 3. Sporting News betting contributors include Kyle Bonn, Nathan Evans, and Simon Borg.
With the opening game of the World Cup here, below is a reminder of our World Cup futures selections.
Kyle has gone with tournament favorites Brazil to win the competition, as the Selecao have the most talented and deepest squad in the field. On the back of that pick, Neymar is the selection for Golden Boot winner as the tournament’s top scorer. There’s one top team that should fall early, and that’s France who have a soft group, but injuries and poor form could come back to haunt them early in the knockout stage.
Unfortunately, a number of his upset picks fell short. The first future to fall was Canada, whose excellent performances weren’t enough to earn points, seeing them become the second team eliminated after hosts Qatar. Uruguay, whose extremely disappointing performances were completely counter to their form coming into the tournament, leave them now needing a prayer simply to qualify for the knockout stage. Finally, Denmark were a trendy upset pick, and while still alive, they cannot win the group now.
One that did manage to come through was Japan, who roared back to top Spain and win Group E. While we weren’t bold enough to take the Samurai Blue to win the group, cashing in on them to qualify at 3/1 was good enough. Argentina also came through to win Group C, but that was widely expected and the return is minimal.

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