South America World Cup

South America World Cup Qualifying

South America World Cup qualifying resumes on March 23, and we have you covered here at GMS.

With 12 matches in the books, six matches remain for each team in the qualifying round. Brazil has opened up a four-point advantage at the top of the table on second-place Uruguay.

The top four teams at the end of the stage will gain automatic entry to World Cup 2018 in Russia. The fifth place team will be further tested with a playoff scenario against the playoff winner from the Oceania Zone in November.

As per my usual routine, let me reveal the table through the first 12 matches that have been played. From there, I will show the lines we have to work with from Diamond, our trusted site for all your betting needs.

Teams MP W D L GF GA +/- Pts

Brazil 12MP 8W 3D 1L 28GF 9GA +19 27

Uruguay 12MP 7W 2D 3L 24GF 11GA +13 23

Ecuador 12MP 6W 2D 4L 22GF 16GA +6 20

Chile 12MP 6W 2D 4L 21GF 17GA +4 20

Argentina 12MP 5W 4D 3L 14GF 12GA +2 19

Colombia 12MP 5W 3D 4L 15GF 15GA 0 18

Paraguay 12MP 4W 3D 5L 11GF 17GA -6 15

Peru 12MP 4W 2D 6L 18GF 20GA -2 14

Bolivia 12MP 2W 1D 9L 10GF 31GA -21 7

Venezuela 12MP 1W 2D 9L 14GF 29GA -15 5

There will be five matches taking place in South America World Cup qualifying on March 23. It is time for some lines, so let’s see what action we can find on the board.

Colombia vs Bolivia
3-Way 1×2 Lines:
Colombia -615
Bolivia +1565
Draw +730

Handicap/Spread:
Colombia -2 -115
Bolivia +2 -105

Total 3:
Over -120
Under +100

Paraguay vs Ecuador
Paraguay +150
Ecuador +205
Draw +220

Paraguay 0/Pk -135
Ecuador 0/Pk +115

Total 2:
Over -130
Under +110

Uruguay vs Brazil
Uruguay +220
Brazil +135
Draw +235

Uruguay 0/Pk +130
Brazil 0/Pk -150

Total 2.5:
Over -105
Under -115

Argentina vs Chile
Argentina -185
Chile +615
Draw +300

Argentina -1 -110
Chile +1 -110

Total 2.5:
Over +100
Under -120

Venezuela vs Peru
Venezuela +145
Peru +205
Draw +235

Venezuela 0/Pk -120
Peru 0/Pk +100

Total 2:
Over -150
Under +130

I was going to start with a different match, but as soon as I finished the lines something jumped out. In the match with Venezuela and Peru, I think we are getting a gift from the line setters. Venezuela is a complete disaster, and Peru is right in the thick of the chase to qualify for Russia.

I think we all see Peru in the 8 hole seemingly out of contention and, my goodness, it will still take quite a run for them to even get close. Argentina is currently holding on to the fifth and final position that offers a chance to qualify, and even that fifth spot as I mentioned, will still require more football to find themselves in Russia.

Will Peru end up in Russia? Uh, not a chance to be honest, but they do play both Venezuela and Bolivia, which should give them six points. The problem might come when they face Uruguay, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia in their other four remaining fixtures. Considering they are behind all four of those teams, Peru will need surprise victories and big upsets that will not likely come this year.

But when it comes to this round of South America World Cup qualifying matches, I see Peru at even money on the Draw no Bet handicap, so even if they do settle for a point, it won’t hurt a bit. A draw could essentially be the first dagger in Peru’s hopes for Russia, so let’s hope they find three points here, and helps us out for now.

Suggested Play:
Venezuela vs Peru
Peru 0/Pk Draw no Bet Handicap @ +100

Now I can get back to where I originally wanted to start, and oh boy, have we got two huge matches!

Uruguay is hosting Brazil, and Argentina is NOT going to be welcoming Chile to Buenos Aires!

With the recent back-to-back Copa America tournaments taking place in 2015 and 2016, Argentina and Chile played in each of the two finals of those events. As most of you know, I covered almost the entire 2016 Copa America tournament on our Diamond Sportsbook You Tube channel. I wrote, produced, and did all the narrating for the videos we put up for the Copa, so I am more than familiar with these two.

Chile, of course, won the 2015 Copa America in their homeland, and last year the United States played host to the event that saw Chile earn back-to-back Copa titles.

Argentina does, however, hold an edge over Chile in South America World Cup qualifying. The two teams met on March 24 for matchday 5, and Argentina came away with a 2 – 1 win in Santiago, Chile. All three goals were scored before the first half-hour of the match, and neither club could find the net for the remaining 65 minutes.

I think we are all anticipating what a match this could be, and you damn well know the Argentinian crowd is going to be all kinds of hyped for Chile’s appearance. It has actually been a while since Chile has been to Argentina. The last time the two met here was in 2011, when qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Oh, that reminds me!

World Cup Cover

Remember when that issue came out? There is this guy named Ej Garr who profiled 10 of the 32 teams in the World Cup for that magazine. HI! You are now able to find me here, writing about World Cup, Champions League, Europa League, MLS, Italian Serie A, and all sorts of football around the globe!

Man, I love that cover, and that was so fun to be seen world wide for my writing. Sorry, I had a reflective moment there, but that’s okay!

Back to this match, because who does not anticipate a goal or two, or three in fact being scored?

I honestly couldn’t get this play in fast enough, because I could not believe the price. I was expecting this total to be a straight 3, and when I saw 2.5 and only even money on the offer? Oh goodness, me oh my! There is just no way these two can afford to leave anything on the table. Chile and Argentina are a single point apart in the South America World Cup qualifying table. Not to mention that neither team is even remotely close to clinching a path to Russia. We are talking about a fourth and fifth place matchup, where fourth place is an automatic bid to the dance, and fifth place, as mentioned, will require extra football to end up in Russia.

Keep in mind, Ecuador and Chile are tied with 20 points in third and fourth place, while Colombia, Paraguay and Peru are right on Argentina’s (19 pts) fifth place tail. Essentially, six points separates third place from eighth place with a lot of football to be played. Also keep in mind, that the next round of matches in South America World Cup qualifying, comes just five days after this round.

With that said, I am again offering a suggested play on the total, because I see 2 – 1 as a reasonable result. With a decent price attached to the action, the play makes sense to me, and holds enough value in my opinion.

Suggested Play:
Argentina vs Chile Over 2.5 @ +100

I see Pinnacle actually offers +106 on that action. Not bad!

That other big match is certainly worthy of a discussion as well.

Brazil and Uruguay take up the top two spots in the South America World Cup qualifying table. There is no trophy or hardware to be earned for winning the group outright, other than simply guaranteeing your appearance in Russia.

I don’t know if the line setters are trying to walk us into playing this 1 – 1 draw, but it sure does feel like it when you read in between the lines. I guess when you have been doing this for as long as I have, you see and feel things from looking at lines and props on team totals, scoring etc.

The ‘Both Teams to Score’ prop is sitting at -145 or so, depending on what book you are looking at. Yet here we are looking at a 2.5 to stay Under at -115? That doesn’t line up right to me at all, so I am going to try to defy the line setters, and catch them napping at the wheel!

Suggested Play:
Uruguay vs Brazil over 2.5 @ -105

Now it is time to buckle up, because I have three days of European World Cup qualifying articles to break out.

Thanks for taking the time to check out all of my World Cup articles this week, and of course I will leave you with…

In Bocca Al Lupo! Make it Rain!

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.

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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