World Cup Betting Picks: Brazil vs. Chile

World Cup Betting Picks:  Brazil vs. Chile

The group stage of the 2014 World Cup is coming to an end and now it gets serious as the knockout stage begins. In this preview we’ll take a look at a Round of 16 game between Brazil and Chile. Brazil is, of course, the host team and won Group A with 7 points off of 2 wins and a draw. Chile finished second in Group B.

Brazil won their group without a loss but the reality is that they didn’t look very impressive in doing so. They were outplayed for much of the opening game against Croatia and needed some crooked officiating to turn in around in the second half. They were shut down by Mexico in a scoreless draw getting completely outplayed in the process. Their most convincing win was a 4-1 victory over Cameroon, a team that quit competing before their plane took off for Brazil. The sum total of all of this is that Brazil remains a question mark and it’s hard to predict what will happen as they step up in class. There are definitely some signs worthy of concern–the defense has been Brazil’s biggest liability for several years and looked disorganized and porous during the group stage. They had some good luck particularly against Mexico and their defensive liabilities haven’t hurt them yet. Their attack didn’t look particularly good either with the exception of Neymar’s individual play.

Chile has sent their best team in years to this World Cup and they looked solid in group play against a tough set of opponents. Chile beat a feisty Australian team 3-1, defending champions Spain 2-0 and lost to Portugal 2-0. Some suggest that just making the knockout stage is a ‘moral victory’ but it’s doubtful that a very competitive Chile side will just be content to be in the final 16. Chile is an aggressive, attacking team with Alexis Sanchez the biggest individual threat. They’ll also get top flight midfielder Arturo Vidal (who plays for Juventus in Serie A) back in the lineup after he missed the last game due to injury.

Tough game to handicap due to Brazil’s lack of challenging competition in their opening round. Both teams defenses’ are a liability but Chile has the more methodical and well organized offense. Brazil’s best chance of winning is to play a focused, disciplined game but that’s nothing to count on. We’ll take Chile on the handicap line and play this game ‘Over’ the total.