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World Cup Betting News and Notes Sunday, June 15

World Cup Betting News and Notes Sunday, June 15

Sunday's WCup Action

Group E: Switzerland vs. Ecuador Line
Switzerland +135, Ecuador +190, Tie +205
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (Over +170, Under -222)

Group E play of the 2014 World Cup opens on Sunday afternoon with what should be a tight matchup between Switzerland and Ecuador.

Ecuador made it to their third World Cup in four renewals by finishing above well-fancied Uruguay in CONMEBOL qualifying, and can land decent outsider odds by beating Switzerland in Group E's opening fixture. The South Americans improved on their early exit in 2002 when emerging from a group containing hosts Germany, Poland and Costa Rica four years later. They've won three and lost four of seven World Cup matches since debuting in 2002, prevailing in their first in Germany against Poland, so backing a draw in Brazil seems a fool's errand.

Reinaldo Rueda's men pit their wits against a Switzerland outfit managed by wily former Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, but the Europeans could arrive in Brazil somewhat undercooked after an undeniably straightforward preliminary campaign.Seven wins and three draws from 10 qualifiers launched the Swiss into the FIFA world rankings top-10, but the fact that Iceland – who have never qualified for the World Cup – finished a distant second in their group tempers that form line. Erratic recent performances offer little indication as to how they might fare in the land of samba, with a 1-0 autumn win against Brazil and a 2-2 March draw with Croatia sandwiching a 2-1 loss to South Korea among other results.

Switzerland exited early in 2010 despite beating eventual winners Spain in their opener, but Ecuador – who have held Argentina twice since last June – have enough quality to ensure that only the former of those eventualities can occur in their home continent.

Group E: France vs. Honduras Line
France -400, Honduras +750, Tie +450
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (Over +120, Under -149)

Group E play of the 2014 World Cup continues on Sunday with France heavily favored to breeze past Honduras.

France travels to a fifth successive World Cup with their usual roster full of talent, but Didier Deschamps' side's chaotic qualifying campaign – allied with their erratic tournament form – makes them a tough team to trust in Brazil. Deschamps' best 11 will feature seasoned performers Hugo Lloris, Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery, while much is expected of World Cup debutants Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane.

However, being a gifted bunch hasn't stopped France imploding at recent World Cups. The last time Les Bleus won their opening fixture was against South Africa 16 years ago, when they went on to become champions for the first and only time. A farcical trophy defense in Japan and South Korea four years later began with Fabien Barthez, Marcel Desailly, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and company going down 1-0 against Senegal, who were playing in their first World Cup. A brace of opening-day 0-0 ties against Switzerland and Uruguay then followed in the last two editions.

However, though betting on another low-scoring bore draw is a tempting prospect, the 12 fixtures featuring either France or Honduras between September 10 and mid-May produced a whopping combined total of 43 goals.

With that in mind, a split-stake strategy on 2-2 and 3-3 draws should be implemented for this match, but Deschamps' men are worth tracking as their campaign unfolds. France followed up World Cup final appearances in 1998 and 2006 with group-stage exits in 2002 and 2010, a pattern that suggests they'll go well again in Brazil.

Group F: Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina Line
Argentina -277, Bosnia-Herzegovina +550, Tie +350
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (Over -125, Under -105)

Group F play of the 2014 World Cup begins on Sunday afternoon with Argentina heavily favored to beat Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Despite the exile of Juventus' Carlos Tevez from their roster, Argentina have the firepower to justify their status as second favorites at neighbors Brazil's World Cup party, and Alejandro Sabella's men should possess too much class for Group F second favorites Bosnia-Herzegovina. A frightening Albiceleste forward contingent containing Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and four-time world player of the year Lionel Messi will be unleashed upon the tournament debutants, with goals expected to rain down on Safet Susic's side.

The Europeans only lost one qualifier and in goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, midfielder Miralem Pjanic and striker Edin Dzeko, they possess individuals worthy of their places among the planet's finest. Subsequent clashes with Iran and Nigeria should see them accrue two wins that deliver them to the last 16 at the first attempt, but a 2-0 loss to Argentina before the World Cup draw was made gives an accurate reflection of their chances against Sabella's side in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

The aforementioned Argentine forward trio’s combined club strike tally came in at just under 100 during the 2013-14 season and the last winners on South American soil will frighten every defense that they encounter in Brazil, but their own backline proved far from impregnable in qualifying. Argentina conceded seven goals in their final four fixtures when topping the CONMEBOL preliminary section. With that in mind, backing Messi and company to win a match in which both teams score, looks the way to squeeze as much value as possible from this fixture.

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Re: World Cup Betting News and Notes Sunday, June 15

Switzerland vs. Ecuador Preview and Pick
By: Al Hain-Cole 

Switzerland and Ecuador will be hoping to steal a match on their Group E opponents when they come face to face in Brasilia in Sunday's opener.

Having qualified for the World Cup without losing a single match, Ottmar Hitzfeld's men are +145 favorites at the LVH SuperBook to beat Ecuador and pick up a valuable three points here.

On the other hand, La Tri only edged out Uruguay on goal difference to seal the final automatic South American qualifying spot and are +220 outsiders at the LVH to come out on top.

Reinaldo Rueda's side held England to a 2-2 draw in their final warm-up friendly to record a fourth stalemate in six, and you can get odds of +205 at the same book on the sides cancelling each other out when it really matters.

Considering their impressive qualification campaign and a team loaded with plenty of exciting young talent, the Swiss have been mentioned as potential dark horses in Brazil.

In contrast, question marks surround their opponents' ability to come up with the goods away from the fortress home ground where they secured all seven of their victories in qualification.

Having lost five and won none of their eight qualification fixtures on the road and with only two victories to their name in the last 14 matches, Rueda's men hardly inspire confidence coming into this competition.

With this in mind, those +145 odds appear decidedly generous on Switzerland getting off to the best possible start by collecting all three points at the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia, and should be backed with some degree of confidence.

That bet looks even more assured considering Hitzfeld's outfit have lost just one of their previous 18 matches and came out on top against both Peru and - even more impressively - Brazil in their most recent encounters with South American opposition.

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Re: World Cup Betting News and Notes Sunday, June 15

France vs. Honduras Betting Preview and Pick
By: Hugh Wilson

France and Honduras meet on Sunday (3 p.m., ABC) in the second Group E match, with this the first meeting ever in the history of the two nations. Despite having never played each other, both sides should come into this match well prepared, having had a number of months to iron out all the creases.

France, despite the injury to star player Franck Ribery, have been tipped to succeed in the tournament, with a relatively simple group and potential second round opponent.

With four wins in their last five matches, including an 8-0 thrashing of Jamaica last time out, Les Bleus have shown they can find the net with ease and will come into this game full of confidence. The LVH lists them at -320 odds to win the match.

Honduras showed they were a team not to underestimate as they held England in their final friendly in a bruising encounter in Miami. Luis Fernando Suarez's men certainly didn't hold back in the tackles in that match, so France can expect a physical game this evening.

But with only one win in their last seven matches, Honduras' preparation for the finals hasn't been ideal. They are a chunky 12-to-1 at the LVH, with a draw priced at +375.

Deschamps' men have been so solid at the back, conceding only one goal in their last five matches.

The total is set at 2.5 goals at the LVH, though UNDER backers have to lay -140 odds.

With France unsurprisingly favorites, it's worth looking at angles to back them without touching the outright price due to it being a tad skinny.

In France’s last eight wins, dating back to March last year, their margin of victory has been at least 2 goals. They can be backed at -1.5 goals at +115 at the LVH.

With this bet also landing against Honduras in all of their last five losses, expect a comfortable night for France in Rio as Les Blues look to get off to an impressive start.

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Re: World Cup Betting News and Notes Sunday, June 15

Portugal vs. Germany Preview and Pick
By: Al Hain-Cole 

A mouth-watering World Cup showdown takes place in Salvador on Monday, as Germany faces Portugal in Group G’s clash of the titans.

After winning nine and drawing one of their 10 qualification matches on the road to Brazil, Joachim Low’s men are +110 favorites at the LVH SuperBook to justify the hype by recording a big opening win.

Portugal, on the other hand, only qualified for the tournament via the play-offs and are +265 underdogs at the LVH to cause an upset here.

There have been no draws in any of the last four competitive meetings between these sides, but you can get odds of +230 on them sharing the spoils at the same book.

Having suffered defeats against these opponents at three of the last four major tournaments, Paulo Bento’s team must have breathed a sigh of resignation when the draw was made for this year’s group stages.

However, their chances of meting out some sort of revenge would be vastly improved by the presence of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, who is hoping to start on Monday despite his recent injury problems.

The Real Madrid man missed two of the warm-up matches but returned to help his country to a 5-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in the final friendly, an ominous sign for a German team going through a minor defensive crisis.

With first choice left-back Marcel Schmelzer ruled out through injury and regular right-back Philipp Lahm potentially needed in midfield due to fitness concerns surrounding Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Die Mannschaft may line up with an unfamiliar defense made up of four center-backs.

Considering their impressive frontline struck six goals in their final warm-up match, Low’s team may therefore decide that attack is the best form of defense against a team that have put five past both Cameroon and Ireland in recent matches.

With an entertaining match surely on the cards, odds of +120 seem extremely generous on over 2.5 goals being scored, in a bet that would have paid out in three of Portugal’s last four and a convincing 35 of Germany’s last 42.

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Re: World Cup Betting News and Notes Sunday, June 15

Argentina vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Preview and Pick
By: Phil Kitromilides

Of all the group games in the World Cup, this might just be one of the most exciting as we get a first glimpse of a terrifically talented Argentina against debutants Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Alejandro Sabella's men are among the favorites to lift the trophy and rightly so, as their squad boasts enough skill to comfortably conquer the world.

What they lack perhaps is the theoretical defensive solidity of Spain or Brazil -- albeit both of those leading contenders have shown their defensive frailties in the opening round of games -- yet if the Albiceleste's forward line click they will be supremely tough to combat.

That is what must be the worry for Bosnia-Herzegovina playing in their first ever tournament and they are offered at +825 at the LVH SuperBook to cause a huge upset with a win.

Argentina for their part are clear odds-on favorites at -275 to start their campaign with a win, while the draw is available at +375.

It will of course be fascinating to see how Bosnia coach Safet Susic attempts to nullify the threat of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero, although the Balkan nation have shown themselves to be more than capable of finding the back of the net, qualifying for tournament as one of the highest scoring European sides.

Backing goals in this opening group game looks tempting then, and the LVH's price of -120 for over 2.5 goals to be scored is inviting enough for us to consider.

Both sides are capable of getting on the scoresheet while Argentina are perhaps the strongest attacking team in the world. If they hit the ground running they can easily knock three past Bosnia with the side boasting goals from all over the pitch.

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