Take physic, pomp

South American World Cup Futbol Qualifiers

Yay!! South America lives and breathes futbol this weekend, as the World Cup qualifiers are back after their long break. All eyes will be on Maradona’s first serious match in charge of the national team versus Venezuela, but there’s plenty more goodstuff on offer.

Longer-term readers of this humble corner of cyberspace may remember that Otto gave himself a $100 virtual pool of cash to bet on the first phases of the tourney last year…and promptly lost it all. So I awarded myself another hundred virtual dollars…and lost them all again. So now you are clear that I TOTALLY SUCK AT SPORTS BETTING, here are the matchups and prices (supplied by UK bookmaker Ladbrokes). I’m risking fate by adding another hundred to my imaginary bankroll and I’m going to try and pick a value bet or two (be clear that I don’t bet for real…I really, truly suck at this and don’t waste my own cash). Here we go!

Uruguay 5/4…….Draw 9/4…….Paraguay 9/4

Argentina 1/6 ……….Draw 6/1……… Venezuela 14/1

Ecuador 16/5 …….. Draw 9/4 …………. Brazil 8/11

Colombia 8/15 ……. Draw 11/4………… Bolivia 11/2

Peru 13/8 …………Draw 23/10…….. Chile 13/8

Comments: Argentina will win but the price is way too short to offer value. Uru vs Para is two good teams and a lot in play and imho way too tough to call. Colombia has been in bad form, but Bolivia away from home is a weak team too, so anything could happen in that match.

Therefore I’m going to concentrate my cash on the other two matches. Ecuador and Brazil is fancy for a draw at 9/4, basically the weaker Ecuador needs a win and the stronger Brazil doesn’t and will settle for a point away from home. As for the other match, Chile at 13/8 looks a very big price to me and the best value of the weekend. Peru is a truly mediocre national side, but this time around Chile has serious designs on claiming a place at the finals in South Africa next year. Marcelo Bielsa has got the team working well and there’s new, quality young blood, too.

So my bets are:

$70 on Chile to win @ 13/8 (theoretical return $183.75)
$30 on Ecuador and Brazil to draw @ 9/4 (theoretical return $97.50)

And let’s see how we get on.

UPDATE: Argentina 4, Venezuela 0. And oh my stars, this guy is good:

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