When I started writing this, Belgium were down 2-0 to Japan and I was planning my funeral and/or retirement from betting. In a desperate act I tweeted this:
Belgium, hear me out: you have 25 minutes to put the FUCKING BALL IN THE NET against a team that COULDN'T BEAT POLAND
— Lauren Joffe (@thespinzone) July 2, 2018
And not two minutes later, THEY GOT THE BALL IN THE NET! Three times, actually. And I went from thinking both my bets were DOA to winning one and half-pushing the other. It was an incredible 25 minutes. Japan’s goalie had some insane saves, but at the end, Belgium played lights out and beat them to advance. I was physically exhausted after the game (side note: I should be in better shape).
The morning game was not as forgiving, as Neymar and his dramatic writhing (and goals) meant a 2-0 win over Mexico.
Current balance: $392.00
Sweden vs. Switzerland
10 a.m. ET, FS1
I like these Swedes. Switzerland nearly killed me at the end of the group stage with their tie against Costa Rica, and while they’re technically the favorites to win, they’ve got some suspension issues. Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schär are out, and three more players are one yellow card away. I’m pretty sure I hate the Swiss, so I’m gonna keep riding that train … even if it ends up crashing.
The pick: $30 to win $31.50 on Sweden to advance (+105)
Colombia vs. England
2 p.m. ET, FOX
I am so all-in on England here. I think they’re better than Colombia, and they’re also healthier than Colombia. If James Rodriguez doesn’t play (and I’m not sure he will), then keeping up with Kane and Co. will prove too much. Also, I’m rooting for my English ancestors, as they’re the only bloodline I have left in this tournament. I wish I had a little Colombian in me, but unfortunately that only happens when I sip my morning coffee …
The pick: $30 to win $23.81 on England PK, -.5 (-126)