World Cup Thursday best bets: Switzerland to start strong
Another day, another four-match slate at the World Cup. Groups G and H will be in action as we round out the first wave of games in the group stage.
Let's take a look at our best bets for Thursday's action.
I think Cameroon is one of the worst teams in this tournament and should be attacked right out of the gate. This side struggled mightily in international friendlies leading up to the World Cup, taking just two points and scoring only twice in four games against Uzbekistan, Jamaica, Panama, and South Korea. That's hardly a gauntlet of high-caliber teams.
Cameroon does have some attacking talent - most notably Bryan Mbeumo - but it lacks the dynamic creators and passers in midfield to give Mbeumo the service and support he needs to create. I think he's going to be on an island in this game.
Switzerland isn't loaded with marquee talent. Similarly to Denmark, the Swiss rely on structure and control in midfield to get results. They should be able to do that in this contest as - outside of Frank Anguissa - Cameroon doesn't have a lot to work with in the middle of the pitch.
I don't care much for Cameroon offensively, but the side is OK defensively. Its game plan will no doubt be to play conservative soccer and hope that Switzerland fails to get Grade-A looks at the net.
If the Swiss can get out to a lead, I don't think they're the type of team that can really run up the score. They just aren't that dynamic, or quick, on the break.
I think they'll control the ball for a lot of this game and grind out a low-scoring win. Attaching the under of 3.5 to Switzerland takes the side from -130 to +130. That's how I want to attack this game.
Bet: Switzerland and Under 3.5 (+130)
I really like Serbia. The team has one of the tournament's best attacks beyond the marquee squads - which includes Brazil - and should be a thorn in the side of every opponent. I'll back the Serbs in this tournament ... but not in their opener against Brazil.
From top to bottom, Brazil appears to be the best the World Cup has to offer. The Brazilians have so much dynamic talent on the ball, a very steady and creative midfield, and perhaps the world's best goaltender in Allison.
Even against a quality side like Serbia, I don't think they'll give up a ton. Brazil will have so much of the ball that it'll be tough for its opponents to generate real volume, and that's probably necessary to put more than one past Allison.
There are no freebies in the World Cup, but Switzerland is very likely to claim three points against Cameroon.
With expectations so high, I expect Brazil to come out and put its best foot forward to ensure it doesn't lose any ground on the off.
It's possible, if not likely, that Serbia breaks through and nets a goal, but I see a 2-1 or 3-1 game here. You can get a pretty appealing price if you feel the same way.
Bet: Brazil and under 4.5 (-120)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.
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