Argentina survives, faces France next

By Jeff Fogle  (VSiN City newsletter) 

June 26, 2018 11:18 PM

Argentina rides into the World Cup knockouts on a goal in the final minutes. Recaps, previews, look-aheads…plus headlines and trend updates from a busy night in baseball coming up in VSiN City.

World Cup Soccer: It might have looked Messi, but Argentina survives to play another game

Three of Tuesday’s four games largely lacked drama. Argentina/Nigeria had enough all by itself. It wasn’t a thing of beauty from start to finish…but…what a finish! We start with that thriller…

Argentina 2, Nigeria 1

Total Shots: Nigeria 9, Argentina 8

Shots on Goal: Nigeria 3, Argentina 4

Corner Kicks: Nigeria 3, Argentina 5

Possession Pct: Nigeria 35%, Argentina 65%

Estimated Goals: Nigeria 0.6, Argentina 1.1

Argentina knew it needed a win to get into the knockouts, trailing both Croatia and Nigeria entering the day. Nigeria would get in with just a tie barring a wild result from Iceland. Lionel Messi scored in minute #14 to put Argentina on top. Felt for a moment that the pre-tourney power had finally found itself. You can see from the game stats, though, that Argentina only controlled possession time. Nigeria would net the equalizer on a penalty kick in minute #51 early in the second half. It stood tied until minute #86 when Marcos Rojo made Diego Maradona and his countrymen giddy. 

Just a 9-6 win on shots on goal plus corner kicks for the heavy favorite. Michael Caley’s expected goals showed a half-goal victory (see those on the fly on twitter @Caley_graphics). Argentina still not playing to market expectations. Much less pressure coming up as an underdog against France in the Round of 16. 

Croatia 2, Iceland 1

Total Shots: Iceland 17, Croatia 13

Shots on Goal: Iceland 6, Croatia 2

Corner Kicks: Iceland 10, Croatia 5

Possession Pct: Iceland 41%, Croatia 59%

Estimated Goals: Iceland 1.1, Croatia 0.9

More of a tune-up than a game. Iceland sure was frantic about launching shots, jamming 17 attempts into just 41% of possession time. Even game in terms of what was being created. Croatia picked up a goal on a penalty kick. Seems like this tournament would have been 75% Unders without those. Croatia safely through to the easier half of the knockout bracket against Denmark. 

France 0, Denmark 0

Total Shots: Denmark 5, France 11

Shots on Goal: Denmark 1, France 4

Corner Kicks: Denmark 4, France 2

Possession Pct: Denmark 38%, France 62%

Estimated Goals: Denmark 0.1, France 0.3

The result both teams wanted. A 90-minute nap. Expected goals were almost non-existent, so you can see how little was happening on attack. Congrats to Nigel Seeley and followers for his call on the draw, and the exact 0-0 score at a high payoff in his New York Post spot for us. Great to see everyone enjoying his appearances on “Follow the Money” with Mitch and Pauly throughout the World Cup. Both teams through to the next round, well-rested. 

Peru 2, Australia 0

Total Shots: Australia 14, Peru 4

Shots on Goal: Australia 2, Peru 3

Corner Kicks: Australia 8, Peru 3

Possession Pct: Australia 53%, Peru 47%

Estimated Goals: Australia 0.8, Peru 0.3

Somehow Peru scored two goals while only creating 0.3 goals. Great shots from low percentage positions. Australia was much more aggressive about earning corner kicks (part of that due to playing from behind). Not a lot of excitement in the early Group C slate. 

Now, snapshot previews of Wednesday’s games. Three-way lines are from the Westgate by way of our odds page. Money lines (where draws are refunded) are from an offshore composite.

*Mexico -0.3 goals over Sweden

Three-way: Mexico plus 130, Sweden plus 215, draw plus 230

Money line: Mexico -145, Sweden plus 133

*Germany -1.9 goals over South Korea

Three-way: Germany -600, South Korea plus 1500, draw plus 650

Money line: Germany -2000, South Korea plus 800

Goal line: Germany -2 goals (South Korea -118, Germany plus 110)

*Brazil -1.0 goal over Serbia

Three-way: Brazil -210, Serbia plus 575, draw plus 340

Money line: Brazil -550, Serbia plus 350

Goal line: Brazil -1 goal (Brazil -105, Serbia plus 101)

*Switzerland -0.8 goals over Costa Rica

Three-way: Switzerland -155, Costa Rica plus 560, draw plus 240

Money line: Switzerland -525, Costa Rica plus 325

Goal line: Switzerland -0.75 goals (Switzerland -116, Costa Rica plus 106)

The market says Mexico/Sweden is the game of the day. Though favorites are having a lot of scoreboard sweats of late. Mexico not safely in yet despite two victories. 

Here’s a quick update of estimated “market” Power Ratings on a goal supremacy scale for teams still finishing out group play. Group E and F play today. Group G and H play Thursday.   

Group E: Brazil 2.6, Switzerland 1.7, Serbia 1.6, Costa Rica 0.9

Group F: Germany 2.6, Mexico 1.9, Sweden 1.6, South Korea 0.7

Group G: England 2.4, Belgium 2.3, Tunisia 1.0, Panama 0.3

Group H: Columbia 2.0, Japan 1.6, Senegal 1.6, Poland 1.4

Updating the brackets. France opened just under -0.25 goals vs. Argentina in that exciting Round of 16 matchup. Early three-way from the Westgate is France plus 135, Argentina plus 230, draw plus 210. The winner of that game will be favored over the winner of Uruguay and Portugal. 

Croatia is getting a lot more respect vs. Denmark than it did in a lame duck spot over Iceland. Croatia opened about -0.6 goals over the Danes, suggesting near market perception parity now between Croatia and Argentina after lessons learned from group action. On the three-way, Westgate showing Croatia -120, Denmark plus 400, draw plus 225. Croatia is slated to play Spain in the quarterfinals if form holds in the openers. 

Top Quarter

1A Uruguay (2.0) vs. 2B Portugal (2.0)

1C France (2.5) vs. 2D Argentina (2.3)

Second Quarter

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

1G (Belgium or England) vs. 2H (Japan, Colombia, or Senegal)

Third Quarter

1B Spain (2.5) vs. 2A Russia (1.8) 

1D Croatia (2.3) vs. 2C Denmark (1.7)

Bottom Quarter

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

1H (Colombia, Senegal, or Japan) vs. 2G (England or Belgium)

I pushed Spain and Russia up a tick just because it feels like the market would have more clearance between Spain and Croatia than what I was showing. This is a good faith effort to capture the market. We’ll see where the line comes if form holds. Saw a media entity hyping Uruguay/Portugal some sort of super-duper global power game. Proof that whoever said that wasn’t aware of futures prices or market ratings. Those teams will not rank in the top eight once the brackets are full, though one will reach the Elite Eight thanks to a fortunate draw. 

Don’t forget to watch “Russia 2018: The Tournament Show” Wednesday afternoon on VSiN. We hope you’ve been finding all of our World Cup coverage across the full spectrum of VSiN programming and publications informative and entertaining. 

Tuesday MLB: Yanks’ tanks still flattening opposing offenses; Unders now 19-2 last 21, “Yanks and Under” combos have swept 13 of last 21 games

You know the drill…starting pitchers hand off to the bullpen, offense gets enough on the board to make it comfortable. Wash, rinse, repeat for three weeks.

NY Yankees (-185) 6, Philadelphia 0 

Total Bases Plus Walks: New York 20, Philadelphia 8

Starting Pitchers: Severino 7 IP, 0 ER, Arietta 5 IP, 3 ER

Bullpen: New York 2 IP, 0 ER, Philadelphia 4 IP, 0 ER

Some unearned runs when Arietta was on the mound. Yanks didn’t even need their studs in the eighth and ninth innings with such a big lead. Yanks are now 52-25 on the season. Phillies fall to 41-36. Let’s update yesterday’s chart…

13 Yankees and Under combinations

1 Yankees and Over combination

6 Opponent and Under combinations

1 Opponent and Over combination

That’s over the last 21 games. Over/Under count by itself is 2-19 to the Under. Luis Severino continues to perform like he’s broken sports betting (because he’s the ace of a staff that gets run support and hands off to a great bullpen). Yankees are 15-2 in his 17 starts, which is the equivalent of -750 on the money line. He always “seems” expensive, but has been a steal to this point in the season. 

Also in Interleague action Tuesday…

*Washington lost again, falling 0-1 early in the afternoon at Tampa Bay. Lingering effects of that tough travel situation. Nats now 8-15 their last 23 games. From June 10, Washington’s offensive scoring line has been 0-0-5-5-0-6-2-9-0-4-2-3-8-0-0. Double goose-eggs for bookends. An average of 2.93 runs per game, with eight of 15 performances registering two runs or less. 

*Milwaukee (-220) held serve atop the NL Central with a 5-1 win over Kansas City.

In the American League…

*Seattle (-140) beat Baltimore again. Tuesday it was 5-3. Beginning April 24, Seattle is 34-13 when not playing Houston, Boston, or the NY Yankees. Will be hard to deny the Mariners a Wildcard if they keep anything resembling that up. 

*Houston (-240) played another Under at home (after a couple of Overs), beating Toronto 7-0. Now 2-5 to the Under the last seven at Minute Maid, 16-25-1 to the Under for the season.

In the National League…

*Arizona (-160) won at Miami 5-3. Diamondbacks are 13-5 their last 18 games, and 9-2 their last 11 road games. Has the home humidor helped turn them into “road warriors” like Houston? 

*Cincinnati (plus 120) won at Atlanta 5-3. Too many bettors are sleeping on this recent Reds form. That’s now 8-1 the last nine games (including a sweep of the Cubs), 25-19 since a dismal 8-27 start to the season when everyone thought they were tanking. (Well, at 3-18, everyone was SURE they were tanking!). Nowhere near a “Big Red Machine,” but…for the moment…a little engine that could. 

WNBA: Something’s wrong with the New York Liberty 

Questions started to arise when the New York Liberty lost a home game by 15 points to the Las Vegas Aces as a 10-point favorite. Now, it’s a full blown straight up and market collapse. We start our Tuesday briefs with New York’s home loss to Phoenix. We won’t run box score summaries this evening because all the early finishers were blowouts again. 

*Phoenix (-3.5) won at New York 83-69. That makes the Liberty log look like this the last seven games…

New York (-10) only beat Indiana 78-75 (missed by 7 points)

New York (-10) lost to Las Vegas 78-63 (missed by 25 points)

New York (plus 7) lost at Minnesota 85-71 (missed by 7 points)

New York (-6) beat Atlanta 79-72

New York (-1.5) lost at Las Vegas 88-78 (missed by 11.5 points)

New York (plus 10.5) lost at Los Angeles 80-54 (missed by 15.5 points)

New York (plus 3.5) lost to Phoenix 83-69 (missed by 10.5 points)

One cover by one point. A combined miss of 75.5 points over seven games means NY is averaging a double-digit non-cover! You can see that defense has been a huge problem. Teams who know what they’re doing are getting to 80. Market has reacted…but not with enough alacrity.

*Washington (-4) beat Connecticut 92-80. The Connecticut Sun is another team that’s hit the skids. They’d been priced at the top of the league for a while. But this is now five losses in the last six games. And, the market showed Washington as the superior neutral court side with that point spread of -4. We made a big adjustment in our estimated “market” Power Ratings (coming up). 

*Minnesota (-7.5) beat Seattle 91-79. Lynx back on track after a surprisingly slow start. 

Here’s a new set of Power Ratings based on Tuesday night’s point spreads. Those are point differentials between each team. Use three points as a standard home court advantage when projecting future lines. 

85: Minnesota, Los Angeles

83: Phoenix, Washington

82: Connecticut

81: Seattle

80: Dallas

79: Atlanta

77: New York

75: Las Vegas

73: Chicago, Indiana

Arena Football: Dan Raudabaugh of the defending champion Philadelphia Soul off the injured list

VSiN’s AFL guru Jonathan Von Tobel alerted VSiN City to the news that quarterback Dan Raudabaugh has been activated for the Philadelphia Soul. He has missed much of the season with an injury. There were concerns that he might not be back for the playoffs. Now he’ll be in uniform with two weeks to go in the regular season. 

Three teams still vying for the #1 seed in the playoffs with two games to go. Philadelphia (6-4) hosts Baltimore (7-3) Saturday at 7 p.m. in a must-win Soul scenario for that top spot. Albany (6-4) visits Washington (1-9) Friday at 7 p.m.

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