Las Vegas Review-Journal sports writers Adam Hill and David Schoen have been given $5,000 fantasy bankrolls to bet during the World Cup on either sides, totals or props. Below are their bets for today, with an explanation of their picks:
ADAM HILL, REVIEW-JOURNAL
Thursday: Won $590
Today: Betting $100
Bet 1: $100 on Switzerland (+½, plus-110) over France
Comment: Switzerland has heard all the naysayers snickering about the fact it entered the tournament as a seeded team. There is a reason it got the spot, though. This is a disciplined side, particularly in the midfield. It has a lot to prove here and will find a way to avoid defeat. Both teams won their openers and would be happy picking up a point for the draw.
DAVID SCHOEN, REVIEW-JOURNAL
Thursday: Won $0
Today: Betting $350
Bet 1: $200 on Italy (-½, plus-110) over Costa Rica, first half
Comment: This play goes against tournament form, as teams from the Americas have fared quite well. But Italy played well in its opener against England — its odds at the LVH to win the tournament are down to 15-1 — and won’t sit back early knowing a victory would put the Azzuri in prime position to finish top of the group.
Bet 2: $150 on France-Switzerland draw (plus-255)
Comment: These teams are familiar with each other, and neither side will have a home-field advantage, which has proven to be a major factor through the first week of the tournament. France wasn’t tested in its opener against 10-man Honduras, and the Swiss defense is tough to breach. Switzerland has allowed only two goals in its past eight World Cup matches.