The excitement has been abundant during Copa América Centenario 2016's group stage, from braces to blowouts and everything in between. The betting has been hit-or-miss, with Peru the only hit in last week's edition of the Gambler's Guide, and as things are heating up, we're getting a good look at which countries are in form and which have their backs against the wall. With that, we look to exploit the information for a little extra beer money for the knockout stage.
Now, for the usual intro.
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For the uninitiated, odds are generally presented in three forms -- a "spread," a "moneyline," and a "total."
The spread is the goal difference expected. For example, if the spread for Orlando City is +1.5, you'll want them to win, draw, or lose by one goal to win the wager. Losing by two or more goals would result in losing the wager.
A moneyline is simple -- odds are presented, and you select the outcome you expect -- Team A win, Team B win, or Draw. The total is the total number of goals scored this game.
Odds are presented with a number preceded by either a + or a -. When the number is presented after a +, this means that selection is an underdog. The number following the + is the amount of money the odds pay out for every $100 risked. When the number is presented as a -, this means that selection is a favorite. The number following the - is the amount of money you will need to risk for odds to pay out $100.
To improve your odds, you can always play what's called a "parlay." With this option you can select winners across multiple games, and watch your payouts soar. The risk, however, is if you miss any one contest on your parlay, you've lost the entire bet.
(Note: These odds were pulled from BetDSI, and may not reflect lines posted by your sportsbook of choice.)
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Copa's Group D is giving money away this weekend, though the odds aren't favorable. Chile (-580) meets Bolivia (+1750) while Argentina (-550) squares up with Panama (+1800).
Chile is coming off a 2-1 loss to Argentina and in need of a positive result. Bolivia, as you'll remember, just watched Blas Perez beat them with a brace at Camping World Stadium. With all due respect to Perez, Chile has this forward by the name of Alexis Sánchez that should be very fun to watch.
Panama has some momentum on its side after snatching three points from Bolivia. Argentina simply outmatches Panama's roster from top to bottom. With the stars Argentina brings to the pitch, this could get Brazil vs Haiti ugly.
Alone, these teams offer next to no value.
The Pick: Parlay Argentina and Chile.
Colombia (-177) has secured its spot atop Group A, earning six points in the opening two matches over the U.S. and Paraguay. If the U.S. fails to secure a spot by the time Costa Rica (+545) plays, there's a chance Los Cafeteros could make some magic.
If stealing a win against Colombia is too much for you, you could always look at the +1 spread (-115).
The Pick: Cosa Rica against the spread.
Argentina and Chile will definitely be part of my play this weekend. I'm also looking at Brazil (-210) against Peru (+725). The two countries sit on top of Group B, though that could easily change after Ecuador (-650) faces Haiti (+1600) two hours before first kick. It is really hard for me to see Brazil missing knockout play in this tournament, and I expect them to come out strongly after Ecuador secures its spot.
The Pick: Parlay Brazil and Ecuador
Easy Money --- 7-12
Feeling Lucky --- 3-14
My Play --- 14-17