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World Cup betting: Don’t fall for the draw

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

Bankroll: $5,260

Wednesday: Won $365

Today: Betting $125

Bet 1: $125 on United States-Germany (Under 2½, minus-125)

Comment: Don’t buy the hype about a prearranged draw here. Even though it would be mutually beneficial for both sides, they will play the first hour or so in search of a victory. If it does get close to the end, however, neither team will do much to risk exposing a defensive weakness and goals will be tough to come by in the final 30 minutes.

DAVID SCHOEN, REVIEW-JOURNAL

Bankroll: $4,065

Wednesday: Won $110

Today: Betting $550

Bet 1: $500 on Ghana (plus-210) over Portugal

Comment: I’ve never seen a team less excited to score a last-minute equalizer than Portugal on Sunday against the United States. With a goal differential of minus-4, the Portuguese are all but eliminated from the tournament, and Cristiano Ronaldo likely will not risk doing further damage to his knee with little hope of advancing to the knockout stage.

Bet 2: $50 on Belgium (-½, plus-135) over South Korea, first half

Comment: The plus money is worth a shot considering how poor South Korea has been in this tournament. The Belgians have played much more conservatively than they did in qualifying and suddenly look like a decent matchup for the U.S. in the round of 16, should the Americans finish second in their group. But the Red Devils won’t sit back against South Korea the way they have in the first two matches.

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