A result worth crying about -- unless you backed Croatia

By Jeff Fogle  (VSiN City newsletter) 

June 21, 2018 10:48 PM

Croatia crushes Argentina! Plus, more from the World Cup, Major League Baseball, the NBA Draft…and good news for sports bettors in Tunica and Biloxi as we close out another hectic week in VSiN City. 

World Cup Soccer: Argentina on the verge of elimination after 3-nil loss to Croatia 

The result wasn’t exactly a shocker given all the turmoil facing the Argentines in recent weeks, and their poor opening result in the 2018 World Cup (a 1-1 tie vs. Iceland). Plus, Croatia was a popular upset call from observers in the know up and down VSiN broadcast programming in the days leading to the encounter. Still, few were expecting THIS!

Croatia 3, Argentina

Total Shots: Argentina 10, Croatia 15

Shots on Goal: Argentina 3, Croatia 5

Corner Kicks: Argentina 5, Croatia 2

Possession Pct: Argentina 58%, Croatia 42%

Estimated Goals: Argentina 0.9, Croatia 2.2

Argentina only managed 10 total shots, after launching the ball 27 times in its tie vs. Iceland. And, “estimated goals” as calculated by soccer analyst/writer Michael Caley was extremely one-sided. It’s hard to dominate that stat to such a degree unless it’s a contender against an also-ran. Comparable margins so far in the World Cup…

Croatia 2.2, Argentina 0.9

Belgium 1.9, Panama 0.5

Uruguay 1.7, Egypt 0.4

We’re not ready to say that Argentina has fallen that far down the rung. But…their performance today was consistent with teams who are that far down the rung. (Remember that Caley posts xG data for every World Cup game on his twitter account @Caley_graphics.)

Here are the updated Group D standings

*Croatia 6 points (Iceland left)

*Iceland 1 point (Nigeria and Croatia left)

*Argentina 1 point (Nigeria left)

*Nigeria 0 points (Iceland and Argentina left)

Iceland plays Nigeria Friday. Iceland could win the group by winning out. Argentina needs some help and a win over Nigeria to advance to the knockouts. Croatia is very well-positioned to win the group and play in the softer, lower half of the brackets.

Earlier in the day…

Denmark 1, Australia 1

Total Shots: Denmark 10, Australia 14

Shots on Goal: Denmark 5, Australia 5

Corner Kicks: Denmark 3, Australia 5

Possession Pct: Denmark 48%, Australia 52%

Estimated Goals: Denmark 0.6, Australia 0.4

Solid performance from the defensive-minded Socceroos. They actually won our “shots on goal plus corner kicks” stat 10-8, and hung very tough in flow of play. Looks like a tie was the right result. First point of the tourney for the Aussies. Denmark has four points thanks to its earlier win over Peru. 

France 1, Peru 0

Total Shots: France 12, Peru 10

Shots on Goal: France 4, Peru 2

Corner Kicks: France 5, Peru 3

Possession Pct: France 44%, Peru 56%

Estimated Goals: France 1.9, Peru 0.3

France was much more dominant in terms of creating dangerous chances than the raw stats would have suggested. Just a 9-5 win in “shots on goal plus corner kicks,” and only two more shots overall. But, you can see it was a rout in Caley’s math. Similar in scope to Russia/Saudi Arabia and Belgium/Panama. 

With the weekend here, a slew of games will be played before we come back to recap Monday. Here’s an updated look at estimated “market” Power Ratings based on late changes in game odds. Serbia is now a slight favorite over Switzerland in Group E. Some of the projected routs have constricted back in a way that’s lifted a few of the dregs from where we had them earlier in the week. 

Group A: Uruguay 2.0, Russia 1.8, Egypt 0.8, Saudi Arabia 0.0

Group B: Spain 2.4, Portugal 1.9, Morocco 1.2. Iran 1.0

Group C: France 2.5, Denmark 2.0, Peru 1.6, Australia 1.5

Group D: Argentina 2.4, Croatia 2.1, Iceland 1.4, Nigeria 1.4 

Group E: Brazil 2.7, Serbia 1.6, Switzerland 1.5, Costa Rica 1.1

Group F: Germany 2.6, Mexico 1.8, Sweden 1.5, South Korea 1.0

Group G: Belgium 2.3, England 2.1, Tunisia 1.0, Panama 0.4

Group H: Columbia 1.9, Poland 1.6, Senegal 1.6, Japan 1.4

Now, a quick peak at how the brackets are shaping up for the knockouts. We went in further depth yesterday. A quick refresher as you start the weekend. For now, we’ve penciled in Croatia as the Group D winner. Important theme to emphasize is that the top half is going to be much more loaded with pre-tourney powers than the bottom half if Germany can’t figure out a way to catch Mexico from behind. 

Top Quarter

1A (Russia or Uruguay) vs. 2B (Portugal or Spain)

1C (France) vs. 2D (Argentina, Iceland, or Nigeria)

Second Quarter

1E (Brazil) vs. 2F (Germany or Mexico)

1G (Belgium or England) vs. 2H (????)

Third Quarter

1B (Spain or Portugal) vs. 2A (Uruguay or Russia)  

1D (Croatia) vs. 2C (probably Denmark)

Bottom Quarter

1F (Mexico or Germany) vs. 2E (Switzerland or Serbia)

1H (????) vs. 2G (England or Belgium)

Don’t forget to watch VSiN programming in the morning for broadcast updates as the games are being played. Then, check out “Russia 2018: The Tournament Show” Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons for a recap of team and individual player props from a market perspective. 

MLB Thursday: Yankees finish sweep of Seattle

The New York Yankees have become a relentless machine the past few weeks. Seems like we’re writing up the same game story almost every night. Even against quality opposition (we only write up games matching teams with winning records, or in the “Magnificent 7” that we feature on Mondays), the blueprint is the same…

*Get a few runs on the board

*Starting pitcher holds down the fort into the sixth inning

*Robertson, Betances, Chapman, high fives

Even with a relative scoring explosion in early innings today (Yanks led 4-2 in the top of the second inning), it was Under #15 in the last 16 games, and win #17 in the last 21 games.

NY Yankees (-185) 4, Seattle 3

Total Bases Plus Walks: Seattle 17, New York 19

Starting Pitchers: Paxton 5 IP, 4 ER, Severino 5.2 IP, 3 ER

Bullpen: Seattle 3 IP, 0 ER, New York 3.1 IP, 0 ER

James Paxton if the Mariners has had some home run issues this season, even while posting stellar stats. He allowed a pair of two-run homers early. That was all the Bronx Bombers would need. 

The Yankees are now 14-2 in Luis Severino’s starts. That’s the equivalent of -700 on the money line. While it seems crazy to suggest THAT should be his typical price…he IS likely to hold down the fort for six innings…and he IS likely to get run support from this offense…and he IS backed up by (when ahead) by these three lethal arms… 

David Robertson

Just one earned run allowed in his last 12 appearances, with a 14-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Dellin Betances

No earned runs and only two hits allowed in his last 15 appearances (!), with a 30-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Aroldis Chapman

Just one earned run and six hits allowed in his last 19 appearances, with a 27-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio (and 22 saves overall for the season).

“Yanks and Under” as a combo has swept in 11 of New York’s last 14 games. 

Yankees move to 50-22 on the season as they embark on a six-game road trip to Tampa Bay and Philadelphia. Seattle falls to 46-29, now 3.5 games behind Houston in the AL West. Gut check weekend in Boston on tap for the Mariners. 

One other Thursday game matching teams with winning records…

Milwaukee (-115) 11, St. Louis 3

Total Bases Plus Walks: St. Louis 14, Milwaukee 24

Starting Pitchers: Martinez 4 IP, 5 ER, Suter 7 IP, 2 ER

Bullpen: St. Louis 4 IP, 0 ER, Milwaukee 2 IP, 1 ER

Milwaukee scored a slew of unearned runs. That’s how the Brewers could turn 24 bases into 11 runs (should have been more like six), and why the Cardinals bullpen looks like it had a good game.

Milwaukee moves to 44-30, one game ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central. St. Louis falls to 38-35, now 5.5 games back. In betting terms, Milwaukee is second-best in the NL this season at plus 14 units. Atlanta leads the senior circuit at just over plus 16 units. Third best is Arizona way back at plus 8 units. 

If we assume that the Cubs are going to close well enough to win the Central, the opinion of futures markets, and hinted at strongly by a league leading run differential…

Chicago Cubs plus 95

Atlanta plus 73

Milwaukee plus 57

Arizona plus 53

LA Dodgers plus 52

Washington plus 47

…then the playoff watch for the Brewers will probably involve the Wildcard race. As of now, each of the three divisions has real contenders for the only two Wildcards available in the NL. 

NBA Draft: Few surprises as young phenoms find their pro destination Thursday night

We didn’t spend any time previewing the draft here in VSiN City because there wasn’t much analytically to sink our teeth into in terms of team choices. Plus, this was mostly an “overseas” betting event rather than one on US soil. We’re sure you NBA fans enjoyed comprehensive broadcast coverage through the week, including mock drafts by our hosts. 

If you were out and about Thursday evening, here’s a quick peak at the top 10 picks…

Top 10 NBA Draft Picks

1…DeAndre Ayton (Arizona) by the Phoenix Suns

2…Marvin Bagley III (Duke) by the Sacramento Kings

3…Luca Doncic (Slovenia) to the Dallas Mavericks (from Atlanta)

4…Jaren Jackson Jr. (Michigan State) by the Memphis Grizzlies

5…Trae Young (Oklahoma) to the Atlanta Hawks (From Dallas)

6…Mo Bamba (Texas) by the Orlando Magic

7…Wendell Carter Jr. (Duke) by the Chicago Bulls

8…Collin Sexton (Alabama) by the Cleveland Cavaliers

9…Kevin Knox (Kentucky) by the New York Knicks

10…Mikal Bridges (Villanova) by the Philadelphia 76ers

It’s widely expected that Doncic in Dallas will have the most dramatic immediate impact as an NBA-ready star. We’ll talk more about the league’s newest members when Summer League begins in Las Vegas just after the July 4 holiday. 

CFL: Thursday night football sees Ottawa open season with a blowout win

So much for post-bye rustiness. The rest of the CFL got a head start on the Ottawa Redblacks this season. But, it was the Saskatchewan Roughriders who were sloppy and out of sorts in this week’s edition of “Thursday Night Football” north of the border. 

Ottawa (-2.5) 40, Saskatchewan 17

Total Yardage: Saskatchewan 345, Ottawa 459

Yards-per-Play: Saskatchewan 6.8, Ottawa 7.5

Rushing Yards: Saskatchewan 94, Ottawa 114

Passing Stats: Saskatchewan 17-32-3-251, Ottawa 26-36-1-345

Turnovers: Saskatchewan 4, Ottawa 1

Both teams had interception return touchdowns. So, this was more like a 33-10 game in terms of offenses moving the ball. The road dog lost quarterback Zach Collaros to an undisclosed injury in the first half. He was on the sidelines in street clothes after intermission. 

Ottawa is 1-0 on the season. Saskatchewan falls to 1-1 after beating Toronto at home last week. Odds at the South Point for the rest of the weekend…

Friday: Winnipeg (-3) at Montreal (Blue Bombers with backup QB)

Friday: Hamilton (plus 6.5) at Edmonton

Saturday: Calgary (-3.5) at Toronto

Bye: British Columbia

Here’s our first crack at estimated “market” Power Ratings. We’ll use the standard three points for home field advantage. 

85: Calgary

84: Edmonton

81: Ottawa, Toronto, Saskatchewan

80: Hamilton

77: British Columbia, Winnipeg (with Streveler)

71: Montreal

Those are very soft. It’s hard to know for sure where BC and Montreal should rate because they played each other last week, and Montreal’s facing a backup QB this week. Winnipeg will be around 83-84 when regular quarterback Matt Nichols is able to return to the lineup. 

If you’re not very familiar with the CFL, Hamilton is the home of Johnny Manziel. He’s still a backup QB. Fans in the US (particularly ESPN!) are hoping he’ll be in the lineup soon. 

Sports Betting: Mississippi ready go live by July 21

All the obstacles have been cleared for the state of Mississippi to go live for sports betting about a month from now. More details available in this article by Dustin Gouker of Legal Sports Report

Many of you in the Southeast have probably visited Beau Rivage in Biloxi on the Gulf Coast…about a 90-minute drive from New Orleans, or the Gold Strike in Tunica…an hour’s drive from Memphis. Given the lack of initiative for legal sports betting in other Southern states, those will be the showcase locations in the Sun Belt for quite some time. 

VSiN Business Center

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Have a great weekend!

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