R-J’S HILL, SCHOEN WAGER FANTASY BANKROLLS ON WORLD CUP
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
Friday: Lost $400
Today: Betting $645
Bet 1: $270 on Belgium (+½, minus-135) over Argentina
Comment: Lost in the story of how great Tim Howard was in net for the United States against Belgium on Tuesday was how relentless Belgium was on the attack. It is full of talent and creativity all over the field and will not look like an underdog when these teams line up today. Argentina will certainly have the crowd — and Lionel Messi — but expect this one to come down to the final minutes and perhaps even extra time.
Bet 1: $375 on Netherlands (-1, minus-125) over Costa Rica
Comment: It has been a great run for Costa Rica, but it ends today. No CONCACAF team has reached the semifinals of the World Cup since 1930, and that streak isn’t going to end this year. The potent Dutch attack will prove too much for even Costa Rica goaltender Keylor Navas, who has been exceptional.
DAVID SCHOEN, REVIEW-JOURNAL
Friday: Won $550
Today: Betting $575
Bet 1: $200 on Argentina (-½, plus-115) over Belgium
Comment: We’ve seen the cream rise to the top in the quarterfinals (Brazil and Germany), and Argentina is the better team here. Give me Lionel Messi, a massive crowd advantage for La Albiceleste and plus money against the inexperience of the Belgians any day.
Bet 2: $375 on Netherlands (-1, minus-125) over Costa Rica
Comment: This could be a tougher match for the Dutch than many think, as the Oranje are better suited to play on the counterattack than with the ball. The speed of Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell also could pose problems for the Netherlands’ slow defense, and there won’t be any water breaks this time for Louis van Gaal to make adjustments. Still, I saw enough in the final 30 minutes vs. Mexico to think the Netherlands will break down Los Ticos.