World Cup weekend best bets: Poland to rebound, earn 1st win
We have a fun four-game slate to look forward to on Saturday. While there are a few marquee fixtures on the schedule, the most value lies in two specific matches.
Let's dive into it with a pair of best bets.
Tunisia (+115) vs Australia (+260)
Nov. 26, 5:00 a.m. EST
Australia is one of the worst teams in the tournament. The Socceroos simply don't have anything they can hang their hat on to get results on the world's biggest stage.
The team doesn't possess the talent necessary to exchange chances with opponents, lacks the finishing ability to convert on the handful of opportunities it does get in slower-paced affairs, and isn't nearly good enough defensively to suck the life out of games.
We saw that firsthand in the tournament opener against France. Yes, that is a tough opponent for any side, but France is missing a lot of firepower due to injury, so it's very concerning that they still walked over the Aussies to such an extent - France posted a downright ridiculous +3.5 expected goal differential.
Getting a draw from that game and showing a real pulse should give the Tunisians plenty of confidence heading into this match. With a win, Tunisia has a very real shot at getting through the group stage - and the players surely know that.
I think Tunisia will be able to control a lot of the play and create some dangerous looks in the box. If the team can convert one or two, that should be enough to get three big points.
Bet: Tunisia (+115)
Poland (-135) vs Saudi Arabia (+360)
Nov. 26, 8:00 a.m. EST
The Saudis only had three shot attempts in more than 90 minutes of play. By contrast, Argentina generated 15, six on target, and won the expected goal battle by more than two tallies.
Hats off to Saudi Arabia for taking advantage of its opportunities, but the squad struggled to create and prevent chances. Getting significantly out-chanced is not a recipe for success, especially for a team at a disadvantage against every opponent.
Even if the form isn't great, Poland still has a big talent advantage to fall back on. Lewandowski and Piotr Zielinski, in particular, should be able to make noise against a porous defense.
Poland also knows it needs to win at least one of its next two games. Given a date with Argentina is looming - and the fact Messi and Co. will need a positive result from that contest - the Polish will no doubt be aggressive in hopes of bagging a much-needed victory.
Expect Lewandowski to open his World Cup account with a big performance.
Bet: Poland (-135)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.
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