World Cup Tuesday best bets: Poland to hit the ground running
Tuesday will be the World Cup's first full slate, as we have four games to look forward to between Groups C and D.
Let's look at two that stand out with our best bets.
I think this Mexico team is destined to disappoint at the World Cup. There are too many question marks and concerns surrounding the club.
Mexico isn't exactly entering the tournament on a high. It won only two of its last seven international friendlies, losing to Paraguay, Colombia, and Sweden. The team earned just one point - while being blanked twice - against Ecuador and Uruguay, the two squads it faced to qualify for the World Cup.
There are reasons to be concerned about Mexico in the attack. Hirving Lozano should be a real threat with the ball, but it's fair to wonder about his running mate Raul Jimenez. The latter has appeared in only one game - as a substitution - since the end of August, and he struggled mightily to generate offense prior to getting injured. Expecting Jimenez to hit the ground running on the sport's biggest stage probably isn't realistic.
If the offense can't pull its weight, and then some, Mexico will be in big trouble. The backline will be a real concern, especially against a team like Poland. Robert Lewandowski can expose even the smallest of mistakes, and Poland has plenty of talent in midfield to get him the service he needs.
I expect Lewandowski to make noise in this game and help Poland claim three big points to start things off on a high.
Bet: Poland (+180)
I really like Denmark, but there's not much value in backing it straight up on the moneyline. So we'll get a little creative and back it to win the first half and game.
Denmark doesn't possess much in the way of dynamic, game-breaking talent, but it's a very, very good team. The Danes are structured, can make opponents pay on set pieces, and have a strong midfield that impacts the game on both sides of the ball.
It's not the kind of side that will win a contest 5-0 and run you off the pitch. Denmark likes to control the game in midfield, convert that into a goal or two, and suffocate the opposing team's attack by dominating the ball and keeping possession.
That's part of why I believe this is a better path than backing the Danes to win by multiple goals.
Another reason is Tunisia's style of play. The club offers next to nothing in possession and struggles to break opponents down and create chances. Good looks on goal will undoubtedly be few and far between against Denmark.
Tunisia will sit back, try to absorb pressure, and keep its structure as long as it can. I expect the Danes to break Tunisia down, and they'll have every opportunity to do so with how much they'll dominate possession. However, Tunisia isn't the kind of team that will make it easy and spoon-feed Grade-A chances to opponents. It'll try to slow the game and keep it within striking distance for as long as possible.
I expect Denmark to net one in the first half and grind out a victory in a contest that'll probably be more one-sided than the scoreline suggests.
Bet: Denmark halftime/fulltime (+146)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.
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