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Author: [Soccer] Topic: World Cup 2014 Thread....
vanzack send a private message View Space | Blog | Friends | Playbook | My Sportsbook: Pinnacle Sports |
vanzack
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#1
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:43:36 PM

Before the tournament preview, just a thought or two about why WC betting is so enticing to me…

 

Most sports betting is routine.  There are teams with players – and even though those players change and change teams – there is a lot of consistency.  Not only with the players and teams themselves – but with the data you can put together to form statistics which can be predictive.  The Bears are playing the Packers?  Well – you have some decent amount of data about how those exact group of players play in those situations and even have previous results between the two.  You can come up with an endless amount of narratives to point you in the direction you are wagering – all that can be supported through statistics.

 

Now enter the WC.  It is a rare animal in the sports betting world – there is rarely (if ever, maybe Olympic Hockey) a situation where players are basically redistributed and play with almost zero history and in such a short cycle.  It is almost like analyzing a pickup game at your local gym – you know the players, but when the teams are drawn – you have almost nothing to use except your analytical brain to come up with predictive results.  Are matchups important?  Individual talent?  Familiarity?  Coaching?  Timing?

 

This leads to variance in not only predictive results – but also the betting lines.  Packers against the Bears….  This line is going to be in a very solid predictable range and in the NFL – the results are also going to be very solidly in a predictive range.  But a situation like the WC is very different.  It is perception alone that is driving lines and prices, and many times these perceptions are wildly incorrect.

 

To me, this is a multi-skill handicapping situation.  You cant be a stats nerd.  You cant go on gut feel with no history either.  You cant just know the sport.  All of these skills and more go in to being successful at International Soccer.  And best of all almost every narrative can be correct before the games begin – meaning that if you believe in your predictive analysis – you will almost always find what you believe to be great betting value.

 

Add all of this to what I feel is the greatest sporting spectacle we have….  And this is why I don’t sleep for a month every four years.  The WC has been very good to me – hopefully that continues…  Good luck to everyone.

 

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#2
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:44:01 PM

Group Analysis:

 

Group A:

 

Group A features tournament favorite (currently +300ish) Brazil, who should breeze through the group.  But I don’t see them as automatic winners in this tournament.  When I look at the team, there are weak spots.  Lots of depth – but there are other teams out there with more talent.   Their style of play should look different from the Brazil of decades past – with much more balance on defense – that is really the strength of this side – they are going to be very hard to score on.  Up front it will depend on unproven Neymar and inconsistent Hulk – but there are others that can come in – but just no “sure things” for really dominating games.  But they will win out in the group and will be a very tough out at home – I just feel like somewhere down the road they will get knocked out. 

 

Then there is the other three teams…  Which I feel are pretty close in talent level.  But I put Croatia ahead because of matchups and schedule order.  I don’t really see how Mexico just suddenly flips a switch from their horrendous qualifying campaign.  Cameroon is talented – but they still are plagued with the horrendous zig zag defensive line mistakes that they have had for years.  Diagonal passing teams will have a field day with the Cameroon defense.  It has been the African teams downfall (defense and goalkeeping) and I see nothing different in this WC.  Croatia have an extremely talented individual team but greatly underachieved in qualifying – just scraping in by beating Iceland in a playoff.  But with Srna, Mandzukic, Modric, Siminic – they are a dark horse to make a decent run – especially if they can somehow get a result against Brazil.

 

Predicted Group A Finish

Brazil               9

Croatia                        4

Cameroon        2

Mexico            1

 

Bets in Group A:

Croatia to Advance +115 (1.5 units)

Mexico to finish last +270 (.5 unit)

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#3
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:44:24 PM

Group B

 

Overall, group B has some of the most interesting tactical matchups in the tournament…

 

Spain seem like they are not getting near enough credit for me.  You can get +650ish to win the tournament, which just doesn’t feel right.  But I understand the reasoning.  Spain has had tons of success, but the blueprint has seem to come out on how to undo them.  Barca and Spain can be beat by allowing them to have possession, and hitting them on the counter.  I feel the addition of Diego Costa is a huge factor for Spain (if he is healthy) because this false 9 idea of Fabregas or putting the very mediocre Torres up front just doesn’t put goals in the net.  In 2010, Spain scored 8 goals in 7 games and won the tournament – and I just don’t see that happening again.  Certainly, we will see their opponents allowing them to have 70% possession, and then hit them on the counter.  Spains success will be determined by their ability to score goals – Diego Costa could prove to be one of the most important factors in not only Spains chances – but the tournament overall.

 

The Netherlands are in transition.  This is not the side that went to the final game in 2010 – the defense is totally new – with the aging stars in the attack still potent.   They will most likely be playing a very non-Dutch 5-3-2 – with wingbacks at the back to support a known weak defense and then release the likes of Robben, RVP, and Schneider on the counter attack.  The wingback system means that the outside two defenders go up in attack and fill in as wingers – but it also means that those two guys are back and forth all game and can easily get caught out in transition.  I will be curious to see how they employ this – I really think the first game will be extremely interesting against Spain (more to come on that…).  If the Dutch are to be successful – they will win in high scoring games – but I think their WC ends after 3 games.

 

Australia is also in transition – with some aging vets sprinkled in.  They struggled in an easy qualifying group by coming in second to Japan and edging out the likes of Iraq, Jordan, and Oman.  Wrong time for this squad in a very tough group.  Zero points for you!

 

I have Chile edging out the Dutch for the second qualifying spot.  They play an unorthodox 3-4-3, and seem to be able to pull it off by keeping two of the midfielders to sit right on top of the three on defense.  Their style of play is possession and attack.  Arturo Vidal is one of the most complete midfielders in the world – and there is plenty of scoring punch up front – the question is will they be able to keep the ball out of their own net.   They also have troubles on the road against inferior opposition – but they should be good enough to get out of the group.

 

Group B

Spain               7

Chile                5

Netherlands     4

Australia          0

 

Bets in Group B:

Netherlands not to advance from group +135 (1 unit)

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#4
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:44:44 PM

Group C is the most wide open group in the tournament.  I could see an argument for any 2 teams to advance but I will take my chances on Japan and Greece.  Whats new with Greece?  Nothing.  Same old defensive team that rarely concedes and rarely scores.  But they are very difficult to break down.  In 8 of their 10 qualifying games they held the opposition goalless but they only scored 12 goals in 10 games sending them to a playoff against Romania.  They are experienced and play together during club season – so it takes some special play to break them down.  In this group – against this opposition – I just see them grinding out a qualifying spot.

 

Japan has done a 180 since 2010 – hiring a new Italian manager and abandoning the defensive style of play to better showcase the very talented midfield and strikers.  Their issue seems to now be on defense, as they have conceded far too many goals.  But this side is quietly one of the most underrated in the tournament IMO.  Look for the European club experience to come through on a very disciplined and attacking side.

 

There are high expectations on Columbia – but I think they are overpriced and overrated.  I just don’t see the talent – and without Falcao – think they will have trouble scoring goals.  Ivory Coast is unbalanced.  In attack – they are potent – Yaya Toure, Drogba, Gervinho, Bony – but their problem is always the defensive lapses that undo them.  Kolo Toure and Didier Zokora are both experienced – but all you need to do is look at their club play to see that they have huge blunders that often cost games.  The quicker sides should chew them up and they will rely on their offense to outscore their opposition.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see any 2 of the teams get out of this group…..

 

Group C

Japan               5

Greece             5

Columbia         2

Ivory Coast     2

 

Bets in Group C:

Japan to win group +420 (1 unit)

Columbia not to win group -110 (1 unit)

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#5
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:45:07 PM

Group D

 

Uruguay came out of the shadows in 2010, but in retrospect – it was no fluke.  A side that is full of talent but aging – and have players that can singlehandedly make differences and most importantly – finish chances.  They will make a deep run again.  Italy and England should battle for the second spot – and I have Italy just pipping England for the second spot.  Italy have aging veterans – but I give them the nod because of team chemistry – almost all of the players play in Italy and the whole defense is basically Juventus.  England is doing the right thing with the youth movement – but like the USA they are probably at least 4 years away from doing anything significant.  The Italy / England game from Euro 2012 went to penalties although Italy totally dominated – I see this cups game being very tight and that first game should decide who goes through.  Costa Rica – thanks for playing.

 

Group D

Uruguay          7

Italy                 5

England           4

Costa Rica       0

 

Bets in Group D:

Uruguay to win group +190 (1.5 units)

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#6
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:45:23 PM

Group E:

 

France is loaded with talent, and ready to put the memories of 2010 behind them.  Man for man a very strong squad – balanced – and experienced.  They also benefit from a relatively easy group draw.  Lots of creativity in the midfield that will feed plenty of chances to a lethal strike force.  And adaptable – this side can play many formations and be successful.  France will make a run.  The Swiss are of course overrated – how can they be one of the eight number one seeds – but I think they can still get through the group.  Made up of almost no real “Swiss” players – this team can actually create chances which has always been their achilles heel.  Their thanks for coming in second in this group will be a matchup against Argentina in the second round.

 

Group E

France             9

Switzerland     6

Ecuador           3

Honduras        0

 

Bets in Group E:

France to win WC +2500 (1 unit)
France to win group -130 (3 units)

France / Switzerland to advance +110 (.5 unit)

France to reach quarterfinals +100 (1 unit)

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#7
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:45:41 PM

Group F

 

“Argentina has the most individual talent in the tournament.  The are loaded with players who have big game experience, and they have playmakers that can single handedly take over games.”  That is a direct quote from my 2010 WC preview – and I seen absolutely no reason to change it. Coming in now with a real tactician (instead of Maradonna in 2010) Sabella – should make a big difference.  Argentina were swept out of 2010 by Germany in a 4-0 game where they were lost – like an all star team that was just brushed aside by a cohesive machine.  The talent on this side is the best in the tournament – the depth is crazy – and they are playing on their home continent.  They will be around at the end – I just don’t like getting only +450 or so – so I will wait and pick my spots.  High scoring Bosnia edges out Nigeria for the second spot, and Iran will be happy just to be there.

 

Group F

Argentina        9

Bosnia             4

Nigeria                        4

Iran                  0

 

Bets in Group F:

None

quote
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#8
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:46:14 PM

Group G:

 

The USA are my team.  In fact, they are the only team I am a “fan” of in any sport.  I follow them closely – support them – and am hopeful for the day we are competitive on an international level.  This team is just not there yet.  In fact, this team is a major step backwards from our previous decade or so of teams.  The talent level is just not there – besides the goalkeepers – we have basically nobody who plays in Europe at a competitive level who can be considered anything more than a role player.  Cameron, Diskerud, Jones?  Please.  And even our stars – Bradley, Dempsey – were merely average overseas.

 

The WC draw was on Dec 6.  That was when we found out we have Germany, Portugal, and Ghana in the US group.  Most head coaches are hired for 1 WC cycle at a time – it is very rare to have a contract for the next world cup cycle before the one you are in is over.  On Dec 14, Jurgen Klinsman signed a new deal to take him through 2018 and the next WC.  Why is this important?  I firmly believe that there was a conscious decision made in that week that said that 2014 is all but impossible to get out of that group and lets build to 2018.  That’s why Landon Donovan was dropped.  That’s why the US kept players like Julian Green and Aron Johansson.

 

The US does not present a goal scoring threat – and wont be able to stop anyone from getting chances either.  The Ghana match will be close – but the Portugal and Germany matches should be no contest and the US goes home with either zero or one point.  Portugal and Germany duke it out for the group, and both advance.  Ghana still too inconsistent on defense.

 

Group G

Germany         7

Portugal           7

Ghana             3

USA                0

 

Bets in Group G:

Germany / Portugal to advance -120 (1 unit)

USA to finish last +120 (1 units)

USA under 2.5 points +110 (2 units)

quote
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#9
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:46:46 PM

Group H:

 

I think Russia has great value here.  Belgium has great talent – but has become a betting darling and I think is overpriced.  Russia quietly has all of the factors of a team that can make a run – everyone plays in the Russian league and the players are all very familiar to each other and the talent level is very good.  Algeria should also play above the expectations.  S Korea is really struggling on all sides of the ball. 

 

Group H

Russia              7

Belgium           5

Algeria             4

S Korea           0

 

Bets in Group H:

Russia to win group +240 (1.5 units)

S Korea to come in last +220 (1 unit)

quote
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#10
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:47:08 PM

That makes the bracket look like:

 

Groups:

A1.  Brazil

A2.  Croatia

B1.  Spain

B2.  Chile

C1.  Japan

C2.  Greece

D1.  Uruguay

D2.  Italy

E1.  France

E2.  Switzerland

F1.  Argentina

F2.  Bosnia

G1.  Germany

G2.  Portugal

H1.  Russia

H2.  Belgium

 

Round of 16:

Brazil over Chile

Japan over Italy

France over Bosnia

Germany over Belgium

Spain over Croatia

Uruguay over Greece

Argentina over Switzerland

Portugal over Russia

 

Quarterfinals

Brazil over Japan

France over Germany

Spain over Uruguay

Argentina over Portugal

 

Semifinals

France over Brazil

Argentina over Portugal

 

Finals

Argentina over France
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#11
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:47:22 PM

Pre-tournament bets summary:

 

Croatia to Advance +115 (1.5 units)

Mexico to finish last +270 (.5 unit)

Netherlands not to advance from group +135 (1 unit)

Japan to win group +420 (1 unit)

Columbia not to win group -110 (1 unit)

Uruguay to win group +190 (1.5 units)

France to win WC +2500 (1 unit)
France to win group -130 (3 units)

France / Switzerland to advance +110 (.5 unit)

France to reach quarterfinals +100 (1 unit)

Germany / Portugal to advance -120 (1 unit)

USA to finish last +120 (1 units)

USA under 2.5 points +110 (2 units)

Russia to win group +240 (1.5 units)

S Korea to come in last in group +220 (1 unit)

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#12
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:48:39 PM

I will be around all tournament posting for every game I hope.  I will use this thread for all game posts.... 

I wish everyone a very profitable WC....

Enjoy.

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#13
Posted: 6/5/2014 7:52:39 PM
Appreciate the analysis, vanzack.  Thanks and good luck. 
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#14
Posted: 6/5/2014 8:05:09 PM
This thread will hit the over of 10k views.
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#15
Posted: 6/5/2014 8:05:41 PM

Van:

Do you want me to move this to the world cup section or keep here?

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#16
Posted: 6/5/2014 8:16:23 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by djbrow:

Van:

Do you want me to move this to the world cup section or keep here?

I posted it here because the WC forum isn't listed on the menu.  I know I got there before, but I don't know how - and honestly - unless you guys link it on the forum index nobody will ever find it.

So lets leave it here - but if you guys do put the WC forum on the forum index menu - and people are using it over there - then we can move it.  I just don't want to post there and have threads here asking about where it is.

Thanks DJ

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#17
Posted: 6/5/2014 8:18:21 PM

DJ - I looked again and I see the WC forum if you click on sports forums in the pull down menu.

But in the pull down menu itself - if you go up to community / sports picks - all you see is soccer (no WC).

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#18
Posted: 6/5/2014 8:31:54 PM
Van: 

Do me a favor then and create a thread there saying your wc thread is here. Otherwise, we will have 50 threads there saying where is van 
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#19
Posted: 6/5/2014 8:42:15 PM

Can you get the powers that be to put the WC forum in the menu?  That would probably solve everything.

Its not just my thread - but you can already see there are several WC threads in the soccer forum.  It would be a shame to split them all.

I agree that we all should be in the same place - but covers just needs to make it known where to find them - and step one is putting that special WC forum in the menu.

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#20
Posted: 6/5/2014 8:56:48 PM

Hey Vanzack, glad to see you posting for the WC.

 

I recently read thru your manifesto and hot seat threads. Very interesting.

I had a few questions for you, if you don't mind answering. I'll ask them in the hot seat thread, if you have time. Otherwise, no big deal.

 

Good luck in the World Cup.

Go USA.

 

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#21
Posted: 6/5/2014 8:59:41 PM

I'll see what can be done Van.

Look forward to the games, less than a week away. Focused on  through Sat. though.

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#22
Posted: 6/5/2014 9:15:38 PM
Vanzack,     Some interesting thoughts. Appreciate the time and effort you put in. I think you over valued Portugal, and under valued your USA team. Also like South Korea to make some waves. And that is part of the appeal to such an international extravaganza, anything can happen, and usually does. I look forward to seeing your game by game picks. 

BOL 
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#23
Posted: 6/5/2014 9:32:16 PM
Great Work Vanzack!
Much Appreciated!
Good Luck!  
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#24
Posted: 6/5/2014 9:54:11 PM
Will u be posting plays on the games 1 day in advance because i am currently in europe on a 6 hr time difference and the betting shops close 4pm in usa eastern time , thanks and gl 
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#25
Posted: 6/5/2014 10:58:17 PM

Van......

Great to see you........your posts and professionalism are truly a breath of fresh air. Thank you so much for posting your ideas, thoughts, etc

I generally mostly pluck out a few halftime totals.....but two plays early....

 

The top African team will be Nigeria at +280...

The top Rest of the World category team Japan at +125

 

I will be peeking in to see how all are fairing.....

Thanks Again

Cheers

Investinsports

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