The Highlights

  • Germany lose … again.
  • Group H is (almost) anyone’s game.
  • The real winner of England vs. Belgium may actually be the loser.

What if I told you at the beginning of the World Cup that Germany, the favorites coming in, the defending champions, a group of stars, needed only to beat a team with the second-longest odds in the field to advance out of the group stage?

As you probably know by now, not only did Germany fail to cover my bet at -2, they lost by a deuce. I didn’t want to bet this game, but I should have said “screw it” and taken the South Korea moneyline.

Oh well.

Thursday marks the last day of the group stage and the last day of my conservative betting, so I’m hoping these wagers go better than Wednesday’s, because my confidence is at Tiger Woods circa 2016 levels.

I’m still in this thing, though, and I feel momentum shifting back to #JOFFIFA’s favor.

Current balance: $351.08

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What you need to know about Group H:

  • Poland is out.
  • Japan is in with a win or draw.
  • Senegal is in with a win or draw.
  • Colombia is in with a win and could be in with a draw if Japan lose.

Japan vs. Poland

10 a.m. ET, FS1

Poland are playing for nothing. I’m not sure if they’ve mentally checked out of the tournament, but I’m 100% sure Japan haven’t. The Japanese need a win or draw to advance, and while they could still advance with a loss, they’d be putting their fate in the hands of Senegal and Colombia. I don’t know if Poland show up or not, but I know Japan will.

The pick: $15 to win $21.75 on Japan moneyline (+145)

Senegal vs. Colombia

10 a.m. ET, FOX

Colombia destroyed Poland and can advance with a win. I like Senegal and want to root for them, but I think Colombia is the better team. Depending on my mood, I’ll add another bet in the morning, but for now my money’s on the country that produced Pablo Escobar.

The pick: $15 to win $12.00 on Colombia -0.5 (-125)


What you need to know about Group G:

  • Belgium and England have already advanced and are playing for the top seed.
  • But finishing as the top seed may actually be the worse outcome.

Panama vs. Tunisia

2 p.m. ET, FS1

Both teams are out, so it’s a hard game to bet (at least for me).  Panama have been so thrilled just to be in the tournament that they’ll put forth their best effort, but I think Tunisia is the better team, so I’m rolling with them.

The pick: $15 to win $12.50 on Tunisia -0.5 (-120)

England vs. Belgium

2 p.m. ET, FOX

This is the weirdest game of the tournament. The second-place finisher gets a much easier draw in the knockout round, so it may come down to both teams trying to lose. With that in mind, I’m banking on neither team playing aggressively and taking the under.

But then … my emotions took over. I got silly and decided that England may want to lose so much that they’ll be forced to score an own goal. I have no idea if this is something a team would do, but it’s my last bet of the group round so YOLO!

The pick: $15 to win $11.54 on under 2.5 (-130)
The pick: $10 to win $18.50 on Belgium moneyline (+185)

Follow Lauren Joffe on Twitter
@thespinzone