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The South America World Cup Qualifiers: Round Four

After yesterday Friday's triumphant $26.25 net profit thanks to Venezuela's draw versus Colombia we spring into Las Eliminatorias round four bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and full of cocky arrogance heartwarming confidence. So without further ado, here are the matches on the slate for Tuesday November 15th with the betting odds as usual stolen from Ladbrokes dot com:

Venezuela (4/7) Draw (5/2) Bolivia (4/1)
Colombia (5/2) Draw (11/5) Argentina (10/11)
Ecuador (4/6) Draw (9/4) Peru (7/2)
Chile (11/10) Draw (11/5) Paraguay (5/2)

And now the bets. These are tough matches to call and tight odds offered too, with the bookmakers not giving much away. Bolivia will be thinking that if they can grab a draw in Buenos Aires they can do the same in Caracas, Colombia will fancy their chances against the continued mediocrity of Argentina but also know that the Argentines could wake up at any moment and thrash the living daylights out of any team on the planet. Chile were rotten against Uruguay but a completely different side when they play in Santiago (as Peru found out to its dismay in round two). Peru has never visited Quito and won a competitive match. Not once.

As usual though, it's price value we're after more than anything else and on that score, Peru to visit Ecuador and win, priced at 7/2, doesn't look bad. Ecuador were flat against Paraguay last night, showed little ambition and a lack of defence-beating moves. Meanwhile, Peru's defence isn't the best around but it is more disciplined these days. They also look good and fast on the break and have star quality going forward thanks to the combo of Farfan, Pizarro, Guerrero and Vargas (I particularly like Farfan's game). It won't be an easy match but it's likely to be an exciting one with goals probable at both ends and as such (and considering that world-class front line firepower) Peru has its chance in an open-ended affair. So the theoretical bets are

$8 to draw Ecuador - Peru, price 9/4, potential return $26
$14 to win Peru, price 7/2, potential return $63

In other words, we're risking just $22 of our $112.25 pot because all these games look very trappy. With that twenty-two dollars we're betting most on a Peru upset win and then covering the draw to give a tad of insurance. If all fails and Ecuador wins, we'll be left with $90.25 in the kitty for another day. And let's see how we get on.