Saturday June 28th, 2014

Two South American teams will be through to the quarterfinals, while two other South American teams will go home after Saturday.

Such is the reality of two round of 16 games where all teams are from the host continent. Action kicks off with Brazil looking to keep its World Cup dreams alive against Chile and resumes later with Colombia favored against Uruguay.

Brazil vs. Chile

Brazil is a -200 favorite (wager $20 to turn a $10 profit) to win the game in 90 minutes plus injury time, with Chile going off at +500 to win and +350 to force extra time. Brazil is a -375 favorite to advance over Chile at +250. The total is set at 2.5 goals.

Neymar was as spectacular as advertised in the group stage, scoring two goals in both of Brazil's wins over Croatia and Cameroon. The team had plenty of chances to score against Mexico, too, but a brilliant effort by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa kept Brazil off the score sheet.

But Chile is an extremely tough draw for Brazil as an opening game.​ After Netherlands crushed Spain 5-1, Chile knew it was going to get the defending champion's best effort in the following game, and it rose to the challenge, defeating Spain 2-0 to eliminate the champions and advance into the knockout stage. 

In addition to having more crowd support than many other teams in this tournament, Chile has the strongest attack Brazil has faced yet. It's is also battle tested with games against Spain and Netherlands while Brazil's group was a bit softer.

Brazil will still have the majority of the crowd on its side and is the superior team on paper, but it must play its best game yet to win this one.

Colombia vs. Uruguay

Colombia is going off at -110 to win on Saturday without extra time. Uruguay is +300 to win, +250 to send the game to extra time. Uruguay is going off at +160 to advance to the quarterfinals while Colombia pays -210. The total is set at 2.5 goals.

Colombia breezed through Group C in impressive fashion, defeating Greece 3-0, Ivory Coast 2-1 and Japan 4-1. Even without superstar striker Radamel Falcao, Colombia's offense was electrifying, averaging three goals per game.

Meanwhile, for Uruguay, what should have been a celebration of advancing out of the "group of champions" has been overshadowed by the Luis Suarez biting incident. After making headlines for the right reasons with two goals in a win over England, Suarez became the center of attention after the 1-0 win over Italy due to biting an Italian defender.

Suarez has been suspended from soccer for four months starting immediately and will miss the rest of the World Cup.  

 Uruguay already played one game without Suarez -- he missed the first game of group play due to an injury -- and his absence was felt, as Uruguay looked lost in a 3-1 loss to Costa Rica. The team had only two goals in three games from players other than Suarez, and will need to find some offense in a hurry going up against the dangerous Colombian side.

 

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