South Africa surprised in the World Cup opening match and drew with Mexico. They kept the unbeaten streak of host-teams in openers alive, almost beating El Tri. South Africa had a great chance to win the match in the final minute, but Katlego Mphela’s shot bounced off the near post.
Mexico’s keeper Oscar Perez looked lost at times and needs to step up his game if the Mexicans don’t want to take an early out in the group stage.
Uruguay gave France a tough fight and gained a point in a 0-0 draw. The French tried, but couldn’t score and Uruguay was focused on keeping their sheet clean rather than scoring. All four teams are tied with one point in the Group A standings after Day 1.
The second day of the World Cup will feature three matches. Competition opens at 7:30am ET when South Korea faces Greece. The two bigger games follow later in the day. Argentina faces Nigeria at 10:00am ET, and the United States play England at 2:30pm ET.
The matchup between South Korea and Greece is one to stay away from as a bettor. Neither of the teams has played exceptionally well in their qualifiers, and this will probably be a close call. There is no real favorite, and a draw is just as much a possibility as a win by either team. Most online sportsbooks have Greece as the narrow favorite, but there just isn’t any value in any of the wagers.
The second match of the day will be a lot more interesting. Argentina comes into this group as the heavy favorite, but Nigeria isn’t a bad team. The Argentineans have arguably the World’s best player on their side in Lionel Messi. The forward scored 34 goals in 30 matches with Barcelona last season, and is among the favorites to win the Golden Boot, awarded to the player that scores the most goals at the World Cup.
Nigeria plays a more defensive style than most other African teams, and they will look to get a draw out of the matchup with Argentina. They have been playing great soccer lately and might be able to surprise the Argentineans.
I wouldn’t go so far as to pick Nigeria beating Argentina, but if you think they can hang on for a draw, Pinnacle is the place for you to go. They offer a +352 line on a tie. 5Dimes and Bodog will pay you $330 for your $100 bet, if the game is tied after 90 minutes. I think this offers good value, as the Nigerians have shown that they can surprise big teams at the World Cup, when they beat Spain 3-2 in 1998.
The matchup between England and the United States might be the biggest match in the Yanks’ history. And they have a chance to actually get a point out of this one. The English squad has been playing great soccer under new manager Fabio Capello, but the players are known to struggle keeping their nerves in check on soccer’s biggest stage.
They come into the World Cup with one of the World’s most dangerous strikers on their side in Wayne Rooney. The 24-year-old has scored 25 goals in 60 caps for the Three Lions. He scored 26 times in 32 goals with Manchester United.
The US are hoping for a draw behind Landon Donovan and a strong midfield. DaMarcus Beasley and Clint Dempsey will try to spark a strong attack with Jozy Altidore, and recent surprises Hercules Gomez and Edson Buddle.
I think the Yanks can surprise with a draw, and if you’re with me, go to 5Dimes for the best value at +330.