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Saturday Props Article


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Lack of Goals in Saturday’s Knockout Games Won’t Hurt Your Prop Betting

Saturday’s World Cup card features two knockout games where goalscorer props lack their usual value. But don’t miss out on the other prop betting opportunities.

Saturday World Cup Props

France - Argentina (10 a.m. ET)

It’s easy to dismiss France’s last match, a 0-0 dud with Denmark, as atypical because France had already qualified for the next round. But the fact remains that France, in three group games, has managed only one goal that wasn’t a penalty or own goal. Meanwhile, Argentina has struggled to reconcile with defenses surrounding Messi in order to force other players to step up, but could score enough against the no-name defenses of Nigeria and Iceland. Against its one tough challenge, Croatia, Argentina was shut out.

France is led in the back by Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane who distinguishes himself with his aerial defending and his pace. He is so fast, that he could run down Dortmund’s famed speedster Patrick Aubameyang. Samuel Umtiti, of Barcelona, is known for consistently winning duels with the attacker. Djibril Sidibe returned from injury to play full-back against Denmark. Sidibe is a big deal because he led all French defenders in clean sheets kept during qualification.

Take away the tactical changes of Argentina’s manager that contributed to Croatia’s 3-0 romp and the gross goalkeeping errors that helped Iceland score and set the tone for Croatia, and it becomes clear that Argentina’s defense is also tough. Manchester City center-back Nicolas Otamendi leads Argentina’s defense. Otamendi is famed for his high aerial duel win percentage—a major strength against the likes of French striker Olivier Giroud who loves to climb for headers-- and pass accuracy.

If anyone scores, there’s nobody better to invest in than Argentina’s Lionel Messi who is always a threat and who finally broke his scoreless streak with his goal against Nigeria. You can bet on him to score at +150. Since Messi is an unreliable penalty taker, having missed four of his last seven PK’s, and is too short to be an aerial threat, consider laying -150 for the first goal method to be a shot. In expectation of a low-scoring affair, you can bet on the under 2 goals at +150, which is a stronger option than laying chalk with no, both teams don’t score. Anticipating Argentina to triumph, you can bet on only Argentina to score at +400, which makes sense especially with goalkeeper Willy Caballero on the bench, and Argentina and under 2.5 goals at +450.

Portugal - Uruguay (2 p.m. ET)

Uruguay’s defense has kept six straight clean sheets. The key to making it seven straight will be to stop Portugal’s Ronaldo, who has scored four of his team’s five goals. Uruguay is led in the back by Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin, who achieved the third-highest defensive score in La Liga. In the Group Stage, he has achieved the most clearances, and the highest number of tackles won and aerial duels won. The last statistic is particularly important considering Ronaldo’s strength in the air. Furthermore, Sebastian Coates proved to be a suitable replacement for Jose Gimenez in the back. He was reliable in clearing and overall defending. Uruguay has openly professed its focus to avoid fouling Portugal close to the box. As long as Ronaldo doesn’t get a free kick opportunity—which is hard to convert, anyways— Portugal can’t rely on anybody else to get a goal.

There is little good to be said about Portugal’s defense. I was impressed with Uruguay’s offensive build-up against Russia. Importantly, forward Luis Suarez is heating up with two goals in his past two matches. Nevertheless, I am wary of going „over“ the total because, in both games before advancing, Uruguay showed its proclivity for grinding affairs. They were more open and attack-oriented against an untested and undermanned Russian defense in a game that didn’t really matter. This tactical change was smart because it helped the form and momentum of different Uruguayan attackers. But, in a serious match, I expect Uruguay to return to its preferred style of play.

Bet365 offers +150 for a seventh straight clean sheet from Uruguay. In anticipation of a Uruguayan triumph, you can bet on them to win to nil at +300. The must-bet goalscorer is the in-form Luis Suarez. You can bet on him to score at +162 and for him to score in a 1-0 Uruguay win at +1500. The more modest Uruguay and under 2.5 goals is available at +350.


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Thank God only two games a day to deal with. Fucking hard to think about four games and then do baseball. Hopefully sharper here.

Article writing is hardest with soccer because it's hard to find stats. Had to look for analysis, scouting reports that talked about strength in aerial duel, lots of aerial duels won etc., stats were harder to find. I could find that stuff for the Prem, I guess I need to learn how to search soccer stats in Spanish and French. Didn't try German but, well, won't need to ffs.