If you are the type of World Cup bettor who likes to watch a little action now and then, you probably appreciated Tuesday’s demolition of Brazil by Germany, even if it was one-sided; that is, provided you were on the right side. On Wednesday, the other semi-final is going to be played, matching up the teams from Argentina and the Netherlands (Holland), and this one could come down to a duel between two of the world’s most potent offensive players, although no one should assume for a moment that they don’t have a lot of support around them.
Lionel Messi of Argentina and Arjen Robben of Holland are both still in the running to win the Golden Boot Award, and either one of them can take a giant step in that direction as these clubs square off at 4 PM ET at the Arena de San Paolo. The winner gets to play Germany in the championship game.
In the World Cup betting odds that have been placed on this match by the people at VietBet, it’s pretty tight, with the Argentinean squad a slight favorite:
The World Cup Championship
Argentina vs. Netherlands (Semi-Finals)
Wednesday, July 9 — 4 PM ET
Arena de Sao Paolo
Argentina advances -140
Netherlands advances +125
(The following numbers involve 90 minutes and stoppage time only)
Betting Odds – Moneyline:
Over 2 Goals -126
Under 2 Goals +111
Arjen Robben has caught a lot of criticism for his theatrics, and indeed there was that controversial moment which iced the Round of 16 game against Mexico when he drew a questionable foul in stoppage time that led to the winning penalty kick. But there is no ignoring the fact that the Bayern Munich midfielder is a genuine difference-maker in other ways as well, as he combines with Robin van Persie to form a 1-2 punch that should scare any goalkeeper.
Messi is chasing down James Rodriguez, who has the inside track for the Golden Boot with six goals. Rodriguez, accordingly, is even money at VietBet, while Messi is +430 in the World Cup betting futures to capture the award.
Holland has its answer for Messi, or at least the one it would like to employ, and it was articulated by defender Bruno Martins Indi in talking to reporters. “We have to cut the supply line to Messi,” he said. To those who are much more familiar with American sports, that would be the rough equivalent of some team looking deny LeBron James the ball. Of course, it can be an effective strategy; those who are familiar with the United States team’s saga in this tournament know that until the very last seconds, they had Christiano Ronaldo pretty well bottled up, and very frustrated.
But after that, you have to worry about more weapons for Argentina, namely Sergio Aguero, who is back in action after having missed a game with a thigh bruise. Then there is Gonzalo Higuain, who netted the winner in the quarter-final game against Belgium. This is not a front line you can sleep on, and it has the ability to make you pay if you overplay one part of it.
Holland’s team got a reputation for being explosive on AND off the field, as internal unrest has become almost a tradition with the “Oranje.” But when they have things going they can be a thing of beauty, as they can really get the ball down the field in a hurry, with Van Persie, something of a longshot for the Golden Boot at VietBet with +3050 odds, takes up the charge . If they really are going to put the clamps on Messi back at the other end, it will be up to a guy like Higuain to pick up the slack for Argentina. Keep in mind that Angel Di Maria (who had the winner against Switzerland, assisted by Messi) will not be able to suit up for this game, as he has a thigh injury that is not so different than the one Aguero had.
The talk among many of the World Cup bettors who are “expert” at this is that Argentina has not peaked yet. Of course, the Netherlands almost did not get here, as the Dutch had to go to the penalty kick phase to turn back Costs Rica, the “little team that could.” Both of these squads have offensive firepower, but Argentina may have more of it. And if Messi, who has not had great success in previous Cup competition, wants to get it done while he still has the opportunity (he’s 27), the time is NOW. We favor Argentina, at -140 in the VietBet odds, to advance.
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Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.