Saturday, August 18, 2018
Asian World Cup

Asian World Cup Qualifying – Round 3

Asian World Cup qualifying continues on March 23, as the 3rd Round of action resumes.

Two groups of six teams are all that remain, as four-and-a-half bids will be awarded from Asian World Cup qualifying bracket.

Let’s take a look at where we are in the group tables entering Thursday’s 3rd Round.

Group A
Teams MP W D L GF GA +/- Pts

Iran 5MP 3W 2D 0L 4GF 0GA +4 11

Korea 5MP 3W 1D 1L 8GF 6GA +2 10

Uzbekistan 5MP 3W 0D 2L 5GF 3GA +2 9

Syria 5MP 1W 2D 2L 1GF 2GA -1 5

Qatar 5MP 1W 1D 3L 3GF 6GA -3 4

China 5MP 0W 2D 3L 2GF 6GA -4 2

Group B
Teams MP W D L GF GA +/- Pts

Saudi Arabia 5MP 3W 1D 1L 9GA 5GF +4 10

Japan 5MP 3W 1D 1L 8GF 5GA +3 10

Australia 5MP 2W 3D 0L 8GF 5GA +3 9

UAE 5MP 3W 0D 2L 7GF 6GA +1 9

Iraq 5MP 1W 0D 4L 6GF 8GA -2 3

Thailand 5MP 0W 1D 4L 3GF 12GA -9 1

There have certainly been some surprises in the Asian World Cup portion of qualifying. China being winless and at the bottom of Group A has plenty of media outlets talking about their lack of success. Iran and Australia are the last remaining teams without a defeat on their ledger entering Thursday’s matches.

Now that the teams have all played once in group play, they turn around and play each other again over the next five rounds. This stage of Asian World Cup qualifying will come to a close on September 5, which lead to the 4th round in October.

The top two teams from each group will advance to the World Cup in Russia.
The two third-place teams from each group will play a home and home series to decide who participates in the final stage of Asian World Cup qualifying. The winner of that tie will move on to a playoff home and home series between the CONCACAF representative, and that will ultimately decide if a fifth team from Asia finds their way to Russia in 2018.

So far, it is a three-team race in Group A for the top-two spots, and a four-team race in Group B.

We need matches and lines to discuss where we can find some betting action, so let me get that up now.

China vs South Korea
3-Way 1×2 Lines:
China +255
S. Korea +125
Draw +215

China +0.5 -140
S. Korea -0.5 +120

Total 2:
Over -125
Under +105

Syria vs Uzbekistan
Syria +375
Uzbekistan -115
Draw +235

Syria +0.5 -105
Uzbekistan -0.5 -115

Total 2:
Over +100
Under -120

Thailand vs Saudi Arabia
Thailand +335
Saudi Arabia -115
Draw +255

Thailand +0.5 -105
Saudi Arabia -0.5 -115

Total 2.5:
Over +100
Under -120

Iraq vs Australia
Iraq +455
Australia -145
Draw +255

Iraq +0.5 +125
Australia -0.5 -145

Total 2.5:
Over +105
Under -125

United Arab Emirates vs Japan
UAE +315
Japan -110
Draw +245

UAE +0.5 -110
Japan -0.5 -110

Total 2:
Over -145
Under +125

Qatar vs Iran
Qatar +245
Iran +130
Draw +210

Qatar +0.5 -155
Iran -0.5 +130

Total 2:
Over +115
Under -135

As you may have come to expect, I am going to touch on a few totals in this round.

The first match of the day kicks off at Helong Stadium in Changsha, China. China plays host to South Korea, and the first thing that hit me was the thought of a few goals being scored. I hadn’t even opened the board yet to check the lines, but the thought of how the first meeting went was what stuck with me. That second half was crazy when they played in Seoul back in September. The two combined for four goals in the last half hour of the match, although it was a relatively quiet match until the first goal came. The only goal that was scored before the hour mark, came in the first half that was credited as an own goal for South Korea.

I know the juice on this total to go over the 2 is set at -125, but what the hell do I care? No, it is not my favorite line in the world, but we are talking about two goals here, not a common 2.5. If they draw 1 – 1 and neither side can find three points, at least we simply get our cash back and live to bet another day.

Suggested Play:
China / S. Korea Over 2 @ -125

It is time to suggest a line move in the match between Japan and UAE, because goals are coming kids!
You see above that Diamond offers -145 on the straight 2 to go over, but why play with that?
That is not a user-friendly line to say the least, so move it on up Weezie! Yeah, you better be up on your Jeffersons, if you expect to get that one!

Honestly though, UAE loves home cookin’ and can certainly score in front of their fans. It was 2 – 1 in the first meeting, as UAE found two goals of their own on the road in that contest at Saitama Stadium last September.

Revenge is best served up sweet, so I am just going to watch and hope that we see a 2 – 1 contest, although I will employ the safety net.

I see the Over 2 & 2.5 handicap at nearly even money, and that is why I am suggesting the line movement up on the total.

Suggested Play:
UAE / Japan Over 2 & 2.5 AH @ -105

In what I consider to be one of the strangest lines of the round, we see top of Group B Saudi Arabia, traveling to Bangkok to face Thailand. That same Thai squad that hasn’t managed to find a win in group play, is now going to take something from this match?

That deserves a nice, big, fat all-caps response! NO CHANCE!

There is no way that Thailand is taking even a single point from this contest, and to see Saudi Arabia at -115 makes me smile.Three more points are headed the Saudi’s way on Thursday, and that will improve their points to 13 in group B.

Play it accordingly.

Suggested Play:
Thailand / Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia 3-Way 1×2 to Win at -115

This is just one of a handful of posts I will have for this week in World Cup qualifying. You can expect South America and all three days of European qualifying articles here at Get More Sports from yours truly!

Enjoy: In Bocca Al Lupo!

To get in on the action, get over to Diamond for all your soccer related betting options.

About EJ the Rainmaker

EJ Garr has been a freelance sports writer and handicapper for more than 20 years. He appeared as a featured writer in Beckett's Magazine for the 2014 World Cup. An experienced radio host, he also lends his voice to the radio shows on the Sports Palooza Radio Network, which includes a weekly segment dedicated to the NY Cosmos.

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