After a slick performance against Japan on Saturday, Kris Fernandes backs Brazil to advance to the next round with a win against a Mexican team that has struggled in 2013.
The dominant victory over Japan was precisely what Brazilian head coach Phil Scolari had hoped for. The 3-0 result over the Asian champ sets Brazil up comfortably as it gets set to take on Mexico on Wednesday with a 3pm EDT kickoff.
It was no major surprise that Neymar scored the opener and no shock that it was done early on. Scolari has a taste for setting the tempo right from the start and though the Mexicans offer a different challenge, expect Brazil to win the halftime/fulltime pick -- which is just under evens at 1.95.
The 1x2 win for the hosts is a paltry 1.33, so ignore that and take a look at the handicap offerings.
Brazil has scored at least two goals in all but one of its eight matches this year, and as a result the Brazil -1 win is at 2.05, still a bit lower than what I was hoping for, but much better value that than the outright. That same handicap ending in a draw (Brazil would win the game by a goal) is listed at 3.75.
The correct scorer market sees a trio of Brazilians -- Neymar, Fred, and Hulk -- all offered below 2.00 to score at any point in the match. The odds naturally go up when it is for the opening or closing goal of the match which sees 4.50, 5.00, and 5.50, respectively, for the three attackers. Before you ever make a correct goal scorer pick, particularly the opening scorer offering, always remember to wait close to kickoff to ensure that your preferred selection is in the starting 11.
I prefer the correct score results only in terms of payout value as the hedging options allow for some flexibility. For example, a 2-0 result for Brazil is slated for 7.50 while the 2-1 result is at 8.00. Given Javier Hernandez's quality up front, that could very well crack. Brazil has won its last pair of games against Japan and France by 3-0 results, and that mark to hit for a third straight game is at 9.50.
However, in order for Chicharito to score, Mexico will need to give a much better account of itself than it has as of late. The Mexicans have only one win in ten games this year, and Hernandez's penalty was their only goal in their last three games. The unlikely win for El Tri is listed at 9.00, while the outright draw is at a chunky 5.00.