World Cup Previews: Group C Finishes With Algeria/Slovenia, Group D Opens Up

12 June 2010

Germany last training session before first match against Australia during Fifa world cup 2010 in Durban, South Africa, 120610 (Credit Image: © Action Press/ZUMApress.com)
What a day I have had. 9 total hours of driving time, watching 2 matches from an incredible atmosphere in Boca Raton, Florida, and having no voice left to speak with. I'll write about that experience tomorrow, but it's time for Jeff and I to give our betting tips.

Before we do so, it's time to review how the two of us have done.
After Jeff got a clean sweep today, he now has 3 wins, 1 loss, and 1 no result.
After Johnathan's 2 wins and a loss Saturday, I am also sitting on 3 wins, 1 loss, and 1 no result.

Note: If we're using the handicap line, we will include what the spread is. If it spread is 0, a draw will mean no result. If we use the Over/Under line, just add the total number of goals scored in a match. Please note that this will all be based on the scoreline at Full Time (90 minutes). For betting purposes, only the result after 90 minutes are counted. Our odds are courtesy of Centsports.

7:30 am on ESPN: Algeria v Slovenia
Johnathan Starling
: If there is one thing Algeria has plenty of to burn, it's speed. If there is one thing most of the world's nations could glean from Slovenia, it's their organization. To me, this boils down to the eternal question of 'can Algeria's speed get behind Slovenia's organization?' Frankly, I don't think they can. Slovenia will allow Algeria to get themselves out of shape and when it's all said and done, Slovenia should probably end up comfortable winners in the manner South Korea did on Saturday. My bet is on Slovenia to win outright at +115.
Jeff Hash: I have to be honest, there isn't a lot to like about either of these teams in my mind.  Algeria, since qualifying, finished 4th in the African Cup of Nations, but only won twice in doing so, and then took a heavy loss in Ireland.  Slovenia, meanwhile, has just had wins over Qatar and New Zealand, both of whom they hosted.  The two teams only got through via playoffs late in qualifying, but there common link was defense: Algeria allowed eight goals in 13 qualifiers, while Slovenia allowed six in 12.  With not much else to go on, my pick will be under 2.5 goals at -190.  Weak?  Yes, but about the only sure thing in my mind.

10:00 am on ESPN: Serbia v Ghana
Johnathan Starling: This is a match-up against two sides that are not on the best of form. Serbia is either not scoring goals, or having to rely on winning shootouts, which is something you will not win many of at the World Cup. Ghana, since Michael Essien's injury, look way too disjointed. I'll be honest; if there was any game so far that I'd flat out say don't bet, it's this one. However, not sticking my neck out there just isn't my style. Since I think this game is going to end in either a 0-0 or a 1-1 draw, the only pick I can make with any hope of being right is under 2.5 goals at -175.
Jeff Hash: So, which Serbia will be present in Pretoria: the one that edged out France to top their group in World Cup qualifying, or the one that saw themselves lose to New Zealand and draw Poland during their buildup?  The answer to that question will determine the outcome, as Ghana minus Essien seem to be unable to hold the game in their own hands.  Since I think the result is so heavily dependent on one side over the other, my gut is to go with them.  My pick for this game will be Serbia to win outright at +105.

2:30 pm on ABC: Germany v Australia
Johnathan Starling
: I don't see what the big fuss is about this match. Australia hasn't looked good in their build up: in fact, their coach has taken plenty of shots at his team because of it. Germany, on the other hand, just keep rolling along. Yes, the injuries suffered pre-tournament were worthy talking points. However, the thing not talked about at all is the fact Germany's replacements are young, hungry, and add a refreshing quality that I felt the side has needed for the better part of a year. As I can't figure out if this game will end 2-0 or 3-1 to Germany, my bet is on Germany -1 at -140.
Jeff Hash: I know yesterday I hinted at my belief that the Asian teams will be making an impact in this tournament.  But unlike South Korea, this is not the opponent you want to start with.  Australia's main problem will be the fitness of their top players, most of whom have missed time in the buildup.  There's also no surprise element to help the Socceroos like last time, and no Guus Hiddink either.  Germany have won their last five cup openers, and I feel confident in this being six.  I join John in picking Germany minus one at -140.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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