Joffe’s World Cup Challenge, Finals Edition: Time to Go All In
Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Paul Pogba (6), Samuel Umtiti (5).
- Despite going winless in the semifinals, we have officially reached the last stage of the World Cup and #JOFFIFA
- I might not be the best person to speak on third-place matches, as my standards are very low when it comes to pride and team sports.
It took the entire tournament, but I learned something today from the trolls on #GamblingTwitter: Betting on PK, -0.5 in soccer is the same as betting on -0.25.
If you remember, in my first post of this great adventure, I said — and I quote — “Soccer is not my thing — and I certainly don’t pretend to know a great deal about it — but luckily I have my soccer-loving friends and the incredibly knowledgeable staff at The Action Network to help me navigate the tournament.”
So, yeah, BREAKING NEWS: When different books indicate an Asian handicap in different ways, I get a little confused. Sorry, not sorry.
I am a little sorry about my semifinals performance, though. I really thought my three bets were gonna come through — which is why I bet almost half of my remaining bank roll.
England blew it, Belgium let me down, and now we have to sit through a Croatia-France World Cup final. Yes, these are the two best teams, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Oh, and how could I forget about the third-place playoff between England and Belgium. Money aside, I’m unsure why any player would show up for this shindig.
But I might not be the best candidate to speak about playing for pride in team sports. I was on my high school JV basketball team — at 5-foot-2 I wasn’t even the shortest player — and I believe our record one year was 1-11. In fact, our lone victory was by forfeit when the other school’s bus got stuck during a flood (we were very proud of that win).
Anyway, I’ve still got a decent stack of cash left to burn through in these last two games, and we’re goin’ all in.
Current balance: $260.74
Belgium vs. England
10 a.m. ET, FOX, Saturday
High school sports aside, I have no idea which of these two soccer teams cares more about winning tomorrow. Both came into the tournament with similar odds to win, so it’s not like either is trying to prove anything, right? I’m also unsure which squad will care less about scoring or defending, which means I have no idea if this game will go over or under.
I’ll be rooting for England, I think, in theory, but Belgium is the better team? Maybe? Let’s be honest: I really don’t have any idea what happens here.
So this definitely sounds like a game I should bet 60 real dollars on, right?
The pick: $60 to win $52.17 on Belgium -¼ AKA PK, -½ (-115) — thanks #GamblingTwitter, you’re the worst
France vs. Croatia
11 a.m. ET, FOX, Sunday
The championship game will be either boring or great. I’m not sure there’s an in between. France is so incredibly talented, but Croatia have defied the odds. Perhaps they have some magic left.
I’ve also made a couple of prop bets, including a guy from each team with the lowest odds to score a goal, because … why not?
The real winner of this game will be my Aussie cousin who will be visiting and day drinking so that I don’t feel so bad doing it by myself.
- $100 to win $92.59 on France ML (-108)
- $15 to win $60 on France 1-0 Correct Score (+400)
- $15 to win $120 on Croatia 1-0 Correct Score (+800)
- $5 to win $150 on Presnel Kimpembe (FRA) to score a goal (+3000)
- $5 to win $165 on Sime Vrsaljko (CRO) to score a goal (+3300)