Argentina looks to close out group play in style

Argentina looks to close out group play in style

Lionel Messi’s first competitive contest on U.S. soil was a rousing success. What can the five-time Ballon d’Or winner do for an encore?

Lucky Copa America spectators in the Pacific Northwest will find out shortly. Messi and the world’s top-ranked squad, Argentina, hit CenturyLink Field at 10 p.m. ET to battle Bolivia. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives La Albiceleste odds of -425 to finish group play with a perfect 3-0-0 record. Coach Julio Cesar Baldivieso’s bunch, on the other hand, enters as a +1150 underdog.

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Argentina’s celebrated captain missed his country’s Centenario opener with Chile due to a back ailment. Last week, however, he served as a one-man wrecking crew vs. Panama. The Barcelona forward scored three goals and assisted on a fourth in just 29 minutes of action.

Yes, you’re free to shudder at the thought of what Messi could accomplish against the lowest-rated team in the tournament. Bolivia fought valiantly in losses to the Canaleros and La Roja, but Baldivieso’s troops remain hopelessly overmatched. That’s not likely to change this evening, even though Argentina has already secured its spot in the quarterfinals.

TUESDAY COPA AMERICA FREE PICK: ARGENTINA -1.5

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