Wednesday June 25th, 2014

France and Argentina have punched their tickets into the next round with two wins apiece, but need a result Wednesday to lock up the top spot in their respective groups.

The Argentines are huge chalk against Nigeria while France is a small favorite against Ecuador.

Bosnia-Herzegovina is the only team in action that has been eliminated from the knockout round, but it is favored against Iran.

Group F: Nigeria vs. Argentina

Argentina is a -200 favorite to beat Nigeria on Wednesday. Nigeria would pay +700 on an upset and +290 to play to a draw. Argentina is a -1.0 favorite on the two-way line at -105 over Nigeria +1.0 at -115.

The total is set at 2.5 goals.

Argentina has not looked sharp through its first two games, narrowly escaping with a 2-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina and a 1-0 win over Iran. Both games were decided on brilliant goals by Lionel Messi, who has played extremely well thus far without much of a supporting cast. That will need to change if Argentina has any aspirations to make a deep run in the tournament.

Nigeria pulled off a surprise win over Bosnia-Herzegovina to put itself in position to advance with a draw in this game or help in the other Group F game.

Prediction: 3-1 Argentina

Group F: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran

Bosnia-Herzegovina is a +115 favorite over Iran, which is going off at +225 to win with the draw paying +250. On the pick'em line, Bosnia-Herzegovina is -180 over Iran at +150. The total is set at two goals, with the Over favored at -180 over the Under at +150.

Bosnia-Herzegovina followed up a sparkling effort against Argentina with a dud in its 1-0 loss to Nigeria. Iran meanwhile looked great against Argentina, holding the Argentinian attack at bay all game long until Messi struck in injury time.

The recent results make this matchup look much closer on paper than originally anticipated.

Prediction: 2-0 Bosnia-Herzegovina

Group E: Ecuador vs. France

France is a -130 favorite Tuesday over Ecuador. Ecuador is going off at +350 to win, +280 to force a draw and +110 on the +0.5 line. The total is set at 2.5 goals.

France has been one of the quiet surprises of the tournament, winning its first two games in blowout fashion with a 3-0 win over Honduras and a 5-2 win over Switzerland. The one thing working for Ecuador in this game is the fact that France doesn't have much to play for.

With a +6 goal differential, it would take a total meltdown to finish outside of first place in the group. France is clearly out to avenge its poor performance in 2010 and has done a great job of doing that so far.

Prediction: 2-1 France

Group E: Honduras vs. Switzerland

Switzerland is the biggest favorite of the day at -250 going up against Honduras, which is +750 to win and +360 to draw. On the two-way line, Switzerland is a -1.0 favorite at -140 over Honduras +1.0 at +115. The total is set at 2.5 goals.  

Switzerland had a terrible performance against France, but is still very much alive for a spot in the knockout round. With a win or draw and some help from France over Ecuador, the Swiss would advance. Honduras is looking for its first point of the tournament.

Prediction: 4-1 Switzerland

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