Jul 9, 2011

Peru - Mexico

Copa America

Can't believe these odds, and even more surprising is that they're not falling at all. Odds on Chile against the Mexicans went from 2.20 to 1.40, but there seems to be little movement here. Not saying that Peru should be as big a favorite as Chile was, but still, I see anything above 1.80 as pure value. Mexico is forced to use their Olympic U-23 squad, with only 5 senior players, and if there is anyone worth mentioning, that is Gio dos Santos. And that's it! All the other players from their squad are from the local league, and neither of them has a worth-mentioning name or history. They didn't play too bad against Chile, but I mainly blame it on the Chileans underestimation of the young Mexican team. I don't expect the same issue with Peru... they are aware of their lowly status in South America, so they take each match with determination. That is their main weapon, as well as a very careful and organized play, leaving few spaces for their opponents, and that is how they snatched that point from Uruguay. So I expect this match against Mexico to be a rather tight and dull affair, but Peru should come out on top at the end. Even if they don't, I just can't imagine losing, so this DNB bet is perfect. GL!

Peru DNB @ 1.72, 4/10
Result: 1-0, WON

Uruguay - Chile

Copa America

The odds on the overs are probably greatly influenced by the poor display of football that we had so far in the tournament. From the 7 matches that were played so far, only 1 ended with over 2.5 goals, and only in 3 of them were at least two goals scored. So this probably had a big impact on the bettors and the bookies, who are choosing caution for this types of bets. But still, that I don't see a big relation between the previous matches and the next ones, and since here we have 2 naturally overish teams, I'm going with goals. And there are some good signs here, as both Uruguay and Chile conceded in the first round, and did so against some rather poor opponents, offensive-wise. And if they allowed goals from Peru or Mexico, teams that aim their main focus on defense and organized play, I can only expect that they will also concede against each other. We have some big players responsible for goals here, and I expect them to be enough for at least one goal apiece. Forlan, Suarez, Cavani, Sanchez... hard to see them not scoring, especially since this match could prove crucial. Both teams will probably qualify with ease (as I don't expect Mexico to get more than 1 point in this group), and whoever wins this match will also probably win the group (Chile will make 6 points, while Uruguay can make 4 points and will play against Mexico in the last round). So caution is pretty much useless here, and both teams should go for the win. GL!

over 2 goals @ 1.72, 4/10
Result: 1-1, VOID

Jul 8, 2011

Bolivia - Costa Rica

Copa America

Ok, odds have been moving like crazy, up and down, and I doubt the current price will be available for too long, so let's take it now, as it surely has value if we considered it was down all the way to 1.76 yesterday on Sunday morning. Can't explain why the odds have gone up so much. Bolivia left a very good impression after their debut, in which they held Argentina to a 1-1 draw, after taking the lead and only being equalized by a superb effort from Aguero. They didn't impress (as it was Argentina who disappointed), but they looked quite ok against a bigger opponent, and with 1 point already in their pockets, 3 more against Costa Rica will assure their qualification to the next stage. Costa Rica, as we all know, are using a very experimental team, with 99% of the players performing in the local league, and 18 out of the 23 squad belonging to the U-23 team. They didn't pull any trees in their first match. In fact, they were quite awful... harmless in attack, and very vulnerable in defense, and the only reason why the match ended just 0-1 was because the Colombians treated the second half like a friendly match, and weren't even trying to score another one. This Costa Rica team is probably the poorest in all the tournament, and I don't expect them to win any points. The Bolivian team has a lot of players from Oriente Petrolero, and that's a good thing, as they know each other very well and know how to play like a team, so I expect them to pile on Costa Rica's misery. GL!

Bolivia (-0.5 AH) @ 2.01, 3/10
Result: 0-2, LOST

Jul 5, 2011

Chile - Mexico

Copa America

Don't understand why the odds are still so high for this match. Under FIFA rules, Mexico are allowed to participate in this tournament using their Olympic U-23 team, along with 5 senior players (over 23 years). Though the final list hasn't been submitted yet, the preliminary list looks very weak. From the 25 players on that list, 17 have never played for the national team. Jonathan dos Santos, from Barcelona B, is the only known players in the squad, and the only one to play outside of Mexico (Carlos Vela was also on that list, but he was later withdrawn). So a team that looks very weak on paper, and honestly, I don't expect them to make a big fuss in this competition. Chile hasn't finalized their list either, but from the 28 players nominated, we can see some real classy names: Claudio Bravo from Real Sociedad, Matias Fernandez from Sporting and Alexis Sanchez from Udinese, just to name a few, and there is no reason to believe they will miss out of the final list. Chile showed some good football in the World Cup, with roughly the same players, so I expect them to also have a good run in Copa America. Their opening match against Mexico should be a morale boost, should they get the win, and I see them as clear favorites if we take into account the quality of their players, and the experience difference between them and Mexico's squad. Odds should be around 1.40 in my opinion, so the current odds represent huge value. GL!

Chile (-0.5 AH) @ 2.12, 6/10
Result: 2-1, WON

Jul 3, 2011

Brazil - Venezuela

Copa America

I expect a big flop for Brazil in this Copa America. I really don't find their squad too impressive, and I don't expect them to go very far in the competition. They will of course qualify easily from the group, as they have some relatively easy opponents (don't see Venezuela or Ecuador able to pose some problems to them). And since their period of 'Jogo Bonito' is long gone, their matches will most likely be some low-scoring affairs, especially if we look at their squad. Most midfielders are defensive minded (Leiva, Sandro, Elias), with just Elano, Jadson and Paulo Henrique playing more offensively, but they surely won't be on the field at the same time, and Elano/Jadson aren't world class players able to decide a match by themselves, while Ganso is still pretty young. Pato, Neymar Robinho and Fred are the strikers, but again, nothing impressive there. Venezuela aren't an impressive team, and offensive-wise, they can't pose many problems to the Brazilians, so I expect them to try and play it safe in defense, crowding their own area. A narrow one/two goals loss will still be a good result, as snatching some points against Paraguay or Ecuador seems more realistic, so they have to watch their goal difference. Brazil also won't push too hard for a huge victory, and I don't really expect a bigger result than 3-0. GL!

under 3.25 goals @ 1.91, 3/10
Result: 0-0, WON