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Dutch, Spain on a collision course in final
There’s nothing like a world class sporting event that happens mid-week – in the middle of the day – that gives people the perfect excuse to extend a lunch break by an hour, or, what the heck, just take the day off completely.
This week, there are two such opportunities with the World Cup semi-finals that begin Tuesday when the Netherlands and Uruguay kick it off, then on Wednesday with the marquee match-up of Germany and Spain.
Last week’s quarterfinal match-ups were amazing with the two favorites of the tournament, Brazil and Argentina, getting ousted. The proud Brazilians looked befuddled in the second half of their match as they were put in a situation they had never been in. It was that same look that the 1991 UNLV Rebels had in the late stages of their Final Four match-up against Duke.
Brazil’s loss was the first time ever they have been beaten in a World Cup match when leading at the half.
Germany has become the darling of a majority of Las Vegas bettors after the blitzkrieg they put on England and then following that up with an even better performance against Argentina. In their last two matches, they have pounded their opponents 8 to 1, which is a pretty good reason fringe soccer fans have gravitated their way.
In a sport where many Americans say it is too slow with not enough scoring, the Germans have shown an offense equivalent to that of American football’s run and shoot offense. They are quick, efficient, precise, strong, and beautiful to watch – kind of like the cars their country manufacturers.
The public is already siding with the Germans. The World Cup matches don’t get the type of large money action at Las Vegas sports books like we see with baseball, basketball or football games daily, but the small action has made some of the decisions pretty large, just because of the risk built up by the parlays.
This week’s preferred side bets by the public – a the combination the sports books will be rooting against – is Germany and the Netherlands.
The Netherlands are a goal favorite (+125) to win in 90 minutes and minus-330 favorite to win outright, according to odds posted at the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book. The only thing that could stop them is just being too overconfident like they were in the Euro Cup two years ago. They started believing all the experts’ talk about being one of the teams to beat after beating Italy and France and then lost in the quarterfinals.
This week, the same type of overconfidence could happen as Uruguay will be without Luis Suarez, one of their best playmakers, after his brilliant hand ball to save the day against Ghana resulted in a red card.
The Netherlands has yet to lose or draw a match during its five World Cup matches and the high price is warranted. Look for the Dutch to be playing the final Sunday after a 2-0 win Tuesday.
The last time we saw the Germans take on Spain was the 2008 Euro Cup Final, a match Spain won 1-0 on a goal from Fernando Torres. However, during this World Cup, Torres has been almost nonexistent. He’s one of the best players in the world and hasn’t made his presence felt yet. David Villa has scored five of the six Spain goals and will need some help from Torres to beat the Germans on Wednesday.
Spain is a slight favorite (-120) to advance, but what’s really interesting is the total in this match which has been highly influenced by the Germans scoring four goals in back-to-back games. The Hilton has 2½ under (-145) the favorite.
If betting Spain, the under is the way to go. They are not a shootout type of team and if they win, it will be in the 1-0 nature or 1-1 and win on penalty kicks. That is the way I’ll have it on Wednesday where I’ll be looking for a Spain-Netherlands final with Spain taking home the trophy.

Las Vegas Hilton
Odds to win World Cup:



World Cup Predictions:

Netherlands 2-0
Spain 1-0


World Cup Final

Spain 1-1 (Spain wins
on Penalty Kicks)

In-Running Wagering

For the next three matches there are opportunities to bet while the game is in action. Over at the Hilton they have a continuous line available for wagering on the board where you just go to the counter and make your wagers. The M Resort Sports Book has in-running wagering available through an account that you can use either on a hand-held device throughout the casino or the stationary set-up at one of the tables. There is nothing quite like betting a close match and choosing a side with all the knowledge gained from watching most of the match. Betting on a team to advance once they get to the penalty kicks is the best quick rush action any casino game can offer.

NFL Futures

I honestly can’t remember the last time I could look at an NFL Future board and see so much value as there is this year. The Hilton has the Colts favored at 7 to 1 to win the Super Bowl followed by the Chargers at 8 to 1, with the Saints and Cowboys next at 9 to 1. Every team after that is 10 to 1 or higher, including the Vikings who are within a few weeks away of getting confirmation that Brett Favre will be back.
The high odds on everyone is not only a good sign that books like the Hilton, Venetian, Lucky’s, and M Resort have some of the most liberal future odds in town, but also that there isn’t that dominant team expected for the 2010 season. We usually see the favorite in the 4 or 5 to 1 range, but this year there are a lot of uncertainties that have a domino affect on everyone else.


I will be guest hosting Sports Book Radio on ESPN 1100 AM Las Vegas from 2-3 p.m. all this week while regular host Brian Blessing is away. Tune in and let’s chat.


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