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Wednesday Props Article


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Sluggish First Halves the Focus in Wednesday’s World Cup Prop Bets

Wednesday’s betting card features Germany and Brazil, which are among the teams that promise to disappoint in the first half. But the profit won’t end at half-time with a shutout, comeback victory, and goalscorer props available for bettors to take additional advantage of.

Wednesday World Cup Prop Bets

Germany - South Korea (10 a.m. ET)

Germany needs to defeat winless South Korea and hope that Sweden doesn’t defeat Mexico with a larger margin of victory in order to advance. The public perception of Germany has become like a seesaw—shock and dismay after the opening loss to Mexico and then revitalized hope after the amazing comeback win against Sweden. The key for Germany is in finding an effective lineup. Mesut Özil, after an ineffective opener, won’t be seen again, neither will Sami Khedira, while Joshua Kimmich isn’t the threat that he was from right-back position in the 2016 Euros. Germany has come to rely on left winger Julian Draxler and even more so Marco Reus to be a consistent threat in the midfield—not to mention the clutch shooting ability of Toni Kroos, while Julian Brandt and Mario Gomez have also created scoring chances. Manager Joachim Löw’s tendency has been to bring these attacking threats off the bench when Germany was down. Gomez is particularly important because striker Timo Werner has only been effective when Gomez is in the game. Werner can create chances from outside the box while Gomez is an aerial threat inside. Without Brandt or Gomez in the starting lineup, another weak first half seems to be in store for Germany.

The Germans will probably ask Ilkay Gündogan to start for the injured Sebastian Rudy. Gündogan is a famed passer, holding the record for most successful passes in a league match against Chelsea. But he has yet to show any confidence so far Also, his defending skills are questionable and that’s really what Germany needs—it’s the reason why Löw wanted Rudy in the first place. Without Rudy, Germany lacks sorely needed protection for its backline. Jonas Hector has recovered from a cold to replace the ineffective Marvin Plattenhardt, and centerback Mats Hummels will return. However, Jerome Boateng and his respectable pace will be missed due to yellow card suspension and Löw will presumably rely on the young Niklas Süle to replace him, considering Antonio Rüdiger’s shakiness against Sweden. The tall Süle is great in the air and has nice size, but neither of those qualities matter much against South Korea. Germany has struggled in both matches against the counterattack and the Koreans, with their pace, led by Tottenham forward Heung-min Son, are even much more proficient in it than Sweden.

Everybody is unfairly hyping up Germany because its incredibly aggressive but risky strategy paid off in its come-from-behind victory against Sweden. The Germans were fortunate not to give up more goals because of a missed penalty call but also because of its vulnerability on defense and Sweden’s unwillingness to control possession and waste time with the lead and an extra man. Fortunately, Manuel Neuer is still the best goalkeeper in the world, but the Germans are still very beatable. In expectation of another weak start without Gomez and with Germany’s problems in the defensive midfield and backline, I expect Korea to achieve a shocking start. You can profit from Germany falling behind for a third straight game by betting on Korea to score first at +450 and Korea +1 in the first half at +125. The Germans thrive under pressure, so I expect them to wake up and ultimately put this game to bed. It has already discovered too many weapons off the bench such as Brandt and Gomez and excised the weak links like Özil and Khedira. You can get both teams to score at +110 and Germany to win from behind at +700. You can bet on Son to score for Korea at +333 and Reus for Germany at +125, Brandt at +200. A very underrated goalscorer prop would be the centerback Süle, who is very tall and therefore has a great size advantage against the Koreans. He could get a header off of the many corner kicks that the possession-oriented Germans will likely achieve and, if he starts. you can bet on him to score at +600.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="de"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Group F suddenly looks a bit different after that late winner...<br><br>1) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MEX?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc^tfw">#MEX</a> <br>2) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GER?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc^tfw">#GER</a> <br>3) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SWE?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc^tfw">#SWE</a> <br>4) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KOR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc^tfw">#KOR</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc^tfw">#WorldCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/wKprPjF2on">pic.twitter.com/wKprPjF2on</a></p>&mdash; FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) <a href=" ">23. Juni 2018</a></blockquote>

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Mexico - Sweden (10 a.m. ET)

The Mexicans can thank Toni Kroos that it hasn’t advanced yet, but they are still in the drivers seat with six points. Simply a draw would see them through, but they won’t leave this match up to fate. While some may argue that Sweden deserved to beat Germany, one thing worries me greatly about their performance. The Swedes had a one-man advantage, but did a very poor job of controlling possession. They lacked the leadership and individual quality to take control of the game, but that’s exactly what they will need to do against a Mexican squad that they need to beat in order to have a chance of advancing. The Swedes can’t rely on the counterattack—their quality is predicated more on size than pace— because they won’t be as effective with it against Mexico’s backline that helped shut out Germany and procure a 2-0 lead against South Korea.

Mexico boasts numerous attacking options with which to exploit Sweden’s difficulty with possession and break down its respectable defense. Striker Javier Hernandez has a goal and an assist and you can bet on him to score anytime at +187 odds. Carlos Vela has already scored and he’s also an option at +225. Sweden will have to invest more effort into its possession and its attack, which will open the game up. However, I don’t expect Sweden to be sharp especially in the first half, which is why I hesitate with the full game total. So soon after the defeat against Germany, Sweden will likely come out deflated and suffer a sluggish start. You can bet on Mexico being the first team to score at -125 and on Mexico to win the first half at +210. Sweden has some attacking talent of its own with creative midfielder Emil Forsberg and striker Marcus Berg. Whether or not Mexico is inclined towards passivity with a lead, you can bet on Sweden to win the second half on +220 and take a shot on them to win from behind at +1000. Bet365 offers Berg to score at +225 and Forsberg at +300.


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Brazil - Serbia (2 p.m. ET)

Brazil has been anything but convincing so far, mustering a draw against Switzerland and relying on two very late goals in order to upend winless Costa Rica. Brazil only needs a point to advance, but the Serbs, who need to win, won’t go down easy. Some top Brazilians have shown disappointing form, among them Neymar, whose one goal so far came in a tap-in at the end of the match with Costa Rica. Furthermore, midfielder Douglas Costa, who has one assist in the World Cup and had 12 for Italian champion Juventus, won’t play due to injury. As a team, Brazil is missing open shots, clumsily failing to execute doable passes, evincing lack of creativity in the final third and otherwise lacking sharpness and offensive flow. It’s this poor form that makes Brazil worrisome favorites, despite its prolific reputation.

The Serbs boast a defense with strong and physical players such as Branislav Ivanovic who can force Brazil’s offense to grind and struggle for rhythm. Serbia did give up two goals against Switzerland, but even the best defense can’t defend when it expends too much effort in the attack and loses its legs in the second half. In anticipation of another strong Serbian first half, you can bet on Brazil to not score in the first half at +100. With Brazil still looking for sharpness and Serbia’s doubtful ability to tough out two halves, you can bet on Brazil to win the second half at -120, win from behind at +700 and a goal to be scored after 72:59 at -120. Serbia hasn’t shown much offensively. Its best weapon is likely the head of striker Aleksander Mitrovic, who has one goal so far and scored six in nine qualifying matches. You can bet on him to score at +220. For Brazil, Philippe Coutinho has shown strong form with two goals so far. It’s the dynamic that he and Neymar are capable of showing that can break down a physical Serbian defense. You can bet on Coutinho to score at +140, Neymar at +100.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="de"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc^tfw">#WorldCup</a> Group E standings:<br><br>1) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Brazil?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc^tfw">#Brazil</a> ↔✅ 4 pts +2<br>2) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Switzerland?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc^tfw">#Switzerland</a> ↔✅4 pts +1 <br>3) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Serbia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc^tfw">#Serbia</a> ✅❌3 pts +/-0<br>4) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Costa?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc^tfw">#Costa</a> Rica ❌❌0 pts -3</p>&mdash; David Kappel (@kappilinho) <a href=" ">22. Juni 2018</a></blockquote>

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Switzerland - Costa Rica (2 p.m. ET)

The Swiss find themselves in a tough betting spot, coming off a dramatic, late-game winner and now facing an inferior opponent in winless and goalless Costa Rica. For all of Costa Rica’s struggles, its defense has surprised people, keeping Brazil in check for 90 minutes and conceding only an amazing free kick goal in its opener against Serbia. Its top defensive talent is Cristian Gamboa, who did his utmost to keep Brazil’s Neymar in check and will continue his effectivity against a Swiss midfield that, in comparison with that of Brazil, is more predicated on the stardom of a single player, namely Xherdan Shaqiri, whose second-half heroics lifted Switzerland up against Serbia. You can lay -120 for Switzerland to not score in the first half.

Costa Rica’s offensive ineptitude will likely continue against a difficult Switzerland defense that conceded only one goal in four 2018 friendlies and zero second-half goals so far. It should only be a matter of time until the Swiss grab and hang onto the lead that, with a one-point advantage against Serbia and being level with Brazil with four points, they need in order to definitely advance. You can bet on Shaqiri to score at +200. Steven Zuber has been a repeated presence in dangerous areas, so there’s value at +450 for him to score. You can bet on Switzerland to win to nil at +150 and Switzerland and under 2.5 goals at +240.


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Had to divide article into two parts for first time ever due to length. I wanted to devote more space to Germany :)

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