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Copa America Group A Betting – Argentina Should Roll Through Group A

Posted by Todd Shale on 6/27/2011 7:02:57 PM
copa america group a betting

Online betting players should figure that Group A in the Copa America is Argentina’s to lose, and their “B” team would probably be able to win the group. Colombia should take second place, but neither Bolivia or Costa Rica should snag a place reserved for the third-place team with the most points.

(Copa America Odds In Parentheses)

Why Bet On Argentina (+110)

La Albiceleste is, by far, the most talented side in Group A, powered by Lionel Messi, the consensus best player in the world right now. However, the Barcelona forward hasn’t been able to recreate his club form for his country, although he did have a better World Cup than people say even though he didn’t score. Argentina has an embarrassment of riches up front with Messi, Carlos Tevez, Gonzalo Higuain, Diego Milito and Sergio Aguero, and deciding who starts at forward will be a conundrum for manager Sergio Batista, who took over for ousted legend Diego Maradona. Javier Mascherano shields the back four, while Angel Di Maria will be important for drawing teams out to the wing, while the forwards go through the middle.

The defense can be shaky at times, and there are questions about the trio of keepers, Juan Pablo Carrizo, Mariano Andujar and Sergio Romero, who will likely get the nod as the starter in Argentina’s opener against Bolivia. The back four, led by 37-year-old Javier Zanetti, is getting up there in age.

Why Bet On Bolivia (+10000)

La Verde has won the Copa America once, back in 1963, and since 1997’s second-place finish, they’ve dropped out of the first round in four straight events. Forwards Marcelo Martins, Ricardo Pedriel and Juan Carlos Arce lead the way up front, while playmaker Joselito Vaca is second only to defender Ronald Raldes in terms of appearances for the national team. These three or four players will have be outlets for the defense because Bolivia is going to be defending a lot, and they’re not going to get many chances to score, so they’ll have to be efficient in order for a soccer betting upset.

However, Bolivia is ranked 102nd (97 spots below Argentina) in the FIFA rankings for a reason, and they’re just not a talented team. Their defense has allowed two goals in three of the last five matches, and giving up two goals in a soccer match can put you at a huge disadvantage, especially when you can’t score. Losing forward Joaquin Botero to retirement hurts after his brilliant World Cup qualifying campaign, and even though Bolivia racked up a few major upsets during that time, notably over Brazil and a 6-1 thrashing of Argentina, they’re too inconsistent and those wins came at home. In Argentina, it’ll be a different story.

Why Bet On Colombia (+3000)

 

Los Cafeteros are soccer betting longshots compared to Argentina, but they should still be able to come out of this group after going out in Round 1 in 2007. They won it all in 2001, and Colombia had been consistent up to the 2007 tournament. Manager Hernan Gomez looks to steady the side after taking over for Eduardo Lara, who experimented a lot and never settled on anything. The strike trio of Hugo Rodallega, Jackson Martinez and Radamel Falcao are young, talented and playing in leagues outside of Colombia, so they’ve been exposed to a higher level of soccer. Defensively, Colombia is serviceable and have kept a clean sheet in three of their last five matches, and only allowed one against World Cup champion Spain in Madrid in February. Defender Mario Lepes, at 35, may be making his final appearances in a Colombian shirt.

Unless one of the strikers break out, don’t count on Colombia to go further than the second round in the Copa America. Their midfield isn’t as good as the second-tier teams like Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay, although Abel Aguilar is a decent player. That is going to cost them in the second round.

Why Bet On Costa Rica (+15000)

Le Sele missed the 2007 tournament, but they made it to the quarterfinals in 2001 and 2004, and are looking to follow up a quarterfinal appearance at the Gold Cup. Manager Ricardo LaVolpe has injected confidence into the Costa Rica side, especially striker Marco Urena, who has four goals for his country since the turn of the year. The 21-year-old could break out in this tournament, and in Alvaro Saborio, he has an experienced partner up front. Midfielder Randall Brenes provides support, and defensively, Costa Rica looked solid against Argentina.

However, you can’t be encouraged by their 5-0 romp at the hands of Mexico in the Gold Cup, and there may be larger problems hanging over the team: defender Dennis Marshall was killed in a car accident after the Gold Cup, so you have to wonder how that will affect his teammates. He was arguably their best defender, and losing Marshall is a big blow to Costa Rica’s sports betting odds.

Copa America Group A Betting Picks: Argentina, Colombia

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