World Cup soccer will be at its most entertaining on America’s birthday when underdog Colombia squares off against favored Brazil looking to knock the host nation out of the 2014 World Cup.
Better yet, this match if offering up a ton of value for soccer betting enthusiasts that are looking to cash in over the course of the coming holiday weekend.
Brazil vs. Colombia Betting Line
Line: Brazil (-½ -130) vs. Colombia (+½, +110)
Over/Under Total 2½
Click here for more World Cup betting odds.
Brazil may be favored in this match, but they’re just 2-0-2 in four matches and have scored just eight goals through four matches. Of course, the Brazilians have allowed just a pair of goals along the way, while taking a healthy 17.5 shot attempts on average each match.
After beating Croatia 3-1 in their Cup opener, Brazil played Mexico to a nil-all draw before pounding the snot out of overmatched Cameroon 4-1 in its Group A finale. Brazil then narrowly escaped South American rival Chile in their Round of 16 matchup, winning in an overtime shootout 3-2 on penalty kicks after completing regulation tied 1-1.
The Brazilians can give most of their thanks for reaching the quarterfinal round to goalkeeper Julio Cesar, the Man of the Match in their win against Chile, but this team has also been flirting on the brink of disaster, committing a whopping 65 penalties and eight yellow card penalties, far above the cup averages of 49.4 penalties and just 4.7 yellow cards.
World class forward Neymar has scored four goals in four matches, but clearly hasn’t gotten the kind of assistance he’s needed this tournament, with the team’s other two star players, Fred and Oscar, both going M.I.A. for long stretches, if not entire matches.
— LiveFootball (@livefootball) July 1, 2014
To make matters worse, Neymar could very well be playing this match at less than full strength after suffering a thigh injury during their now-epic battle against Chile and the team’s second-best defender, midfielder Luiz Gustavo, will be suspended after picking up a second yellow card against Chile.
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said his team expects things will get tougher with each match they play.
"In every match, the difficulties are escalating," the coach said.
As far as Colombia is concerned, they’ve watched – along with the rest of the world – as 22-year-old midfielder James Rodriguez has gone from being virtually unknown outside of his own country, to becoming one of the game’s best – and most recognizable – young players today.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez compared Rodriguez to Diego Maradona after his incredible volley goal led Colombia to a 2-0 win in their Round of 16 showdown earlier this week.
"For me, special talents are those who do things that are completely out of the ordinary," said Tabarez. "Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, James Rodriguez – they do things because they have certain gifts that make them special."
Rodriguez, the Man of the Match three times already, has scored a World Cup-leading five goals on just 15 shot attempts while throwing in two assists for good measure. Rodriguez has shown some serious versatility too, scoring three goals with his left foot, one with the right foot and another on a header.
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) July 1, 2014
Colombia has used an overpowering offensive attack to rout Greece 3-0 in its Cup opener before going on to beat Ivory Coast 2-1 and then rout overmatched Japan 4-1 in its Group C finale. The Colombians then scored two or more goals for the fourth straight match by shutting out Uruguay 2-0 on Monday in its Round of 16 matchup as Rodriguez struck twice. His five goals currently have him leading the race for the World Cup Golden Boot, ahead of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Germany’s Thomas Muller, who all have four goals apiece.
While Rodriguez has been absolutely unbelievable, Colombia has been far more than a one-man gang, getting outstanding contributions from strikers Teofilo Gutierrez and Jackson Martinez, who have combined for three goals between them. Winger Juan Cuadrado has also added a goal and four assists to date to lead the World Cup in that category.
Colombia has scored 11 goals to rank second in that department to The Netherlands while ranking second to Belgium in goals allowed with just two.
My Brazil vs. Colombia Betting Line Pick:
I really like Colombia to win this match and bounce Brazil out of the 2014 World Cup. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to realize that Colombia has been better than Brazil in every aspect of the game over the course of their respective World Cup runs and I don’t think this match will show anything different from what we’ve already seen out of these two clubs.
The fact of the matter is that James Rodriguez has been better than Brazil’s Neymar over the course of this 2014 World Cup tournament and he has received far better and more consistent support from his teammates. Colombia wins this one outright as they are the better team in every aspect.
Colombia 3 – Brazil 1