by Kevin Stott | > Germany (-½ -135, 2½u -160, Las Vegas Hilton) vs. Croatia (9 a.m. PT, ESPN2/ESPN Classic/ESPN Deportes): Germany is among the top echelon of teams in this tourney but Croatia, which defeated Austria, is nothing top sneeze at. Because the Germans have Lukas Podolski (8 goals qualifying) – who tallied both goals against Poland – Miroslav Klose (7) and Michael Ballack (4) as scoring threats along with Jens Lehman in net, GERMANY -½ is the side to look at here in what will be a competitive game. But because the Germans defeated a game Polish (2-0) team while Croatia edged the host Austria – likely in the tourney only because of that host status – the advantage goes to Germany. And taking the UNDER 2½ is advised here, as the first five games of this wonderful soccer tourney all went under with an average of only 1.2 goals per game with at least one team putting up a "nil" (zero) in all of those matches. Prediction: Germany 1-0, maybe 2-0.
Poland (-½ +130, 2u -115) at Austria (11:45 a.m. PT, ESPN2/ESPN Classic/ESPN Deportes): Much respect to Poland (0-1) who gave Germany (1-0) a run for their money in Sunday’s match in Klagenfurt. Austria is ranked No. 101 by Fifa, the worst of all teams in Euro 2008, and, as mentioned above, likely would not even be in this tourney had it not been selected as a co-host nation. Therefore, backing POLAND -½ is the thing to do here as the only way they have a chance to get out of the group stage starts with a win against Austria here. Also, backing the UNDER 2 is recommended as Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc is very talented and played great against Germany despite the final tally.
EURO 2008 RECORD: 7-3-2