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The South America World Cup Qualifiers: Round 14

Gosh, nearly forgot that this afternoon is round 14 and I haven't posted this yet. Ok, so here we go and after last week's semi-fail (the big bet lost thanks to a crappy Argentina and a good Colombia defence, but the small bet won thanks to a decent Peru performance) our cash piggybank is down to a mere $100.55 and we're showing less than a dollar profit for all this hard work.

But hey, only money right? So here we go with the round 14 match-ups, with betting odds from Ladborkes dot com as always. Afterwards the thoughts and then the bets:

Colombia 4/11         Draw 7/2               Peru 8/1
        Ecuador 6/4           Draw 9/4            Argentina 9/5
Venezuela 13/8            Draw  9/4           Uruguay 13/8
Chile 1/4                    Draw 9/2           Bolivia 11/1

Gosh these are either super-tough or unbettable.

You could I suppose bet the ranch on Chile beating Bolivia because even 1/4 looks reasonable value, but weird things happen in this world and I wouldn't like to feel responsible for anyone's house getting foreclosed due to a bad bet call. Yup they're way likely to win, but if Bolivia (as is likely) go to Santiago with 10 in defence and Chile can't find a way through or a final touch or three fail them...

The hottest contest is the improving Venezuela versus the underperforming Uruguay, because both are gunning for the important 5th spot and a chance to go to the finals via the play-off (with the 5th in the Asia group, if memory serves). Neither will want one point, both want three. Uruguay is the incognito here because if they hit form the team is simply world class, but up to now they've been misfiring. Venezuela is a good team these days, long gone is the epithet of South American whipping boy team and after beating Colombia in their last home match they'll like their chances here.

Argentina goes to the altitude of Quito Ecuador without Lionel Messi in the starting line-up and traditionally Argentina doesn't perform well up the Andean mountains, either. Ecuador lost a couple of players due to yellow cards and injury during their 1-0 loss to Peru last time, but nobody vitally vital and they're a different kettle of fish at home.

Colombia versus Peru has the makings of the surprise result. For sure Colombia has to be favourite, but they've lost their two first choice central defenders for this match (yellow cards vs Argentina last time). Peru played well against Ecuador, no ifs and no buts. They go to Colombia as outsiders for the match but the odds on offer above are value-laden.

So to the bets:
  • $20 on Ecuador to beat Argentina at 6/4, total potential return $50. I think the altitude (big plus for Ecuador, negative for Argentina), the lack of Messi and the comfort of knowing that they're already virtual certainties to get to the finals will do for Argentina. 
  • $10 on a Colombia/Peru draw, at 7/2, total potential return $45.
And let's see how we get on.

UPDATE: I suck at this. Colombia ran rings round Peru, with two goals in the first half and easy containment of the clearly inferior team in the second. Meanwhile, Ecuador could only draw with Argentina which means both my bets went down the drain. This leaves the treasury position at a very thin looking $70.55 to take to the next two fixtures in September.