Monday, June 28, 2010
A very chalky round of 16.
In the round of 16, known as los octavos in Spanish, the first place finisher in one group plays the second place finisher from a different group. Odds should favor the team that finished first, and that's how it's played out in five out of six of the matches so far.
When did it not work out? Here's a hint. The United States won their group.
There are only two more matches tomorrow, and while it makes sense to favor the first place teams, one never knows. Paraguay won their group because Italy sucked so bad, but they are playing the upstart Japanese, who were expected to finish last in their group, but instead surprised both Denmark and Cameroon, and only lost to the Netherlands 1-0. In the other game, Spain plays Portugal. The Spanish should be favored, but they are a team that often shines but fails to win the whole enchilada, and some people are impressed with how dominant Portugal was against North Korea.
I'm going to go out on a limb. The Portuguese are good at beating up on cripples, but that doesn't mean the Spanish. Spain by at least two goals in regulation.
I'll go out on another limb. I'll vote against the chalk and send Japan into the quarterfinals, based on the fact that Japan had two wins and one loss, while Paraguay played it safe, winning once and drawing twice. Japan wins in regulation.
You heard it hear first. Go put all your money on it, unless you have already read the posts with the label Matty Boy - Investment Advisor to the Stars*.
In which case, save your money. You betta off.