clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Gambler's Guide to Copa América Centenario 2016's Opening Weekend

New, comment

I know. You're bummed. You're thinking, "With no MLS, how am I going to make extra money?" Relax, bro. Copa is the answer.

It has been two weeks since we last gathered around the picks of the Colorado Rapids and the Over for the OCSC-Impact game, and by now, you surely need your fix. With Major League Soccer slowing down for the 2016 Copa América, we take a look at some of the matches this weekend.

Now, for the usual intro.

* * *

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.

The moneyline is my personal favorite. 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." A favorite of mine, 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.)

* * *

Easy Money

Peru (-200) are big favorites matching up against Haiti (+600), despite the turnover that sees Claudio Pizarro, Jefferson Farfan, and Juan Manuel Vargas left off of head coach Ricardo Gareca's lineup this year. In fact, 13 of 20 outfield players have fewer than 10 caps, including seven that have one or zero caps.

They'll trot out their 4-3-3 formation with Flamengo star Paolo Guerrero spearheading the attack against 71st-ranked Haiti. The Patrice Neveu-coached squad will be making their Copa debut, though not much is expected from them.

The Pick: Peru.

Feeling Lucky?

The USMNT (+190) first squares up with Colombia (+165), a club with real high-level talent. James Rodríguez and Juan Cuadrado represent Real Madrid and Juventus, respectively, and look to use that experience against the world's elite to represent for their country.

Stateside, we've seen young talent like John Brooks, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic, Bobby Wood and DeAndre Yedlin really establish themselves in coach Jurgen Klinsmann's roster. Jurgen is likely to have the defense sit back much of the game, bringing on Nagbe and other reinforcements late looking to capitalize on a tired Colombian back line. If you like that plan, this might not be a bad bet to take.

The Pick: USMNT.

My Play

While it's true they're missing a ton of players, I like the way Brazil (-110) looks against Ecuador (+350). Dunga takes a lineup missing Neymar, David Luiz, Oscar, Silva and Kaká against an Ecuador club that will be missing Felipe Caicedo, but I believe Brazil has the depth to overcome the absentees. I'm looking for Hulk and Willian to shine in this one.

The Pick: Brazil.

2016 Record

Easy Money --- 6-12

Feeling Lucky --- 3-13

My Play --- 14-16