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The South America World Cup Qualifiers: Round Three

Matchday three is upon us today, with the World Cup qualifiers starting to take a bit of shape and some interesting matches on the card this afternoon. After today we have round four early next week and after that a big break til round five, so we'd better make the most of the two rounds.

Here are today's game, with odds as usual supplied by Ladbrokes dot com:

Argentina (1/8) Draw (7/1) Bolivia (18/1)
Uruguay (4/7) Draw (13/5) Chile (11/2)
Colombia (4/7) Draw (11/4) Venezuela (5/1)
Paraguay (4/6) Draw (5/2) Ecuador (9/2)

And now the bets, as we draw upon the $86 left in the pot after our round two strike-outs. Today's are difficult matches to call as the trick is to search for value, not just obvious winners (e.g. even the current mediocrity of the Argentine national squad should have no problems in rolling over a very weak Bolivia...and the odds reflect that). So on due consideration we're going to plump for the decently improving Venezuela to take at least a point back home after visiting Colombia, a team that can beat the world on a good day and slump to embarrassing defeats versus much lesser lights on others. We're going to bet $15 on the Venezuela win and another $15 on the draw, which means we walk away with a decent profit if either comes in and we lose $30 if Colombia beats our ride. So the theoretical bets are

$15 to draw Colombia - Venezuela, price 11/4, potential return $56.25
$15 to win Venezuela, price 5/1, potential return $90

This leaves $56 in the pot for next week just in case we crap out. And let's see how we get on.

Update: Jeesh, Argentina were just awful.

Update 2: Venezuela managed to equalize against Colombia, the match finished 1-1 and our tiny corner or the world made a profit on the theoretical betting. This puts us with $112.25 in the pot going to next week's round. And by the way, Uruguay made mincemeat of Chile with all four goals coming from Luis Suarez.