Tuesday marks the first day of the final leg in the World Cup Group stage. To avoid unfair advantages, the two remaining matches in each group will kick-off at the same time.
This means a decision will be reached in Groups A and B Tuesday. Mexico, Uruguay, France, and Argentina are the big names in competition.
The first matches of the day are Mexico vs. Uruguay and France vs. South Africa. France is basically eliminated from the tournament, unless they can pull off a miracle. They have to beat South Africa big and need help from either Mexico or Uruguay.
The matchup between Mexico and Uruguay poses an interesting situation. Both teams will secure a berth in the Round of 16 with a draw. Should one of the teams win, they could get eliminated, if the French win and score enough goals.
This brings back memories of the matchup between Austria and West Germany in the 1982 World Cup that changed the rules for future World Cups. The teams knew that a 1-0 victory by Germany would put both teams into the next round of the tournament.
Germany attacked relentlessly at the beginning of the match and scored at the ten-minute mark. After that, the teams kicked the ball around aimlessly for the remainder of the game in an unspoken agreement to keep the score 1-0. Both sides qualified for the next round.
The FIFA changed the rules of the World Cup, having all deciding matches of the same group start at the same time, but Mexico and Uruguay still know that a draw will help both of them advance.
The only reason for either team to play for the win is to avoid facing Argentina in the Round of 16. The runner-up of Group A faces the winner of Group B. While Argentina hasn’t clinched the Group B victory, it is very likely that they will finish on top of the group.
If Uruguay and Mexico drew the match, Mexico would end up in second place, so El Tri will most likely play for the win. Uruguay can draw and still finish atop the group. This is a tough one to put your money on, because no one can know if there will be an unspoken agreement between the teams or not.
The bookmakers favor a draw over a win by either team, and I would stay away from the match.
France will come out at a frantic pace and try to score as many goals as possible. They are four goals behind Mexico in goal difference, the first tiebreaker. They are even further behind Uruguay, as the Uruguayans sit at +3 and France at -2.
Expect a win by France here, and most likely a big one. While they have struggled at this World cup, they are far more talented than South Africa, and they will do anything they can to advance. 5Dimes offers France at +110, and I would jump on that. The over 2.5 at +126 offers great value too.
Not as many story lines are involved in the Group B matches, but Greece has a chance of pulling a huge upset here. If they beat Argentina – and that’s a BIG if – they can advance to the Round of 16.
Argentina hasn’t clinched a spot in the Round of 16 yet, but their six points and +4 goal difference will allow them to advance even if they lose. They just can’t lose big.
I think Greece will put up a good fight, but Argentina is too good for them. If you feel lucky, bet on a draw at Bookmaker with a chance to win $261 on a $100 bet.
Nigeria and South Korea face off in the other match. Nigeria has struggled and South Kore has surprised, and I expect this trend to continue.
South Korea is the slight favorite, but you can still get good money for them. Go to 5Dimes for a +154 line.