2014 World Cup Betting: Argentina vs. Switzerland Picks & Odds

Steven Suarez

Thursday, June 26, 2014 2:51 PM GMT

Thursday, Jun. 26, 2014 2:51 PM GMT

Messi was the catalyst for Argentina in their unbeaten run through the group stages. They'll match up against Switzerland in the first round of the knockout stages, with oddsmakers releasing some very interesting lines. Check out our soccer odds pick inside.

Odds Overview
The soccer betting odds haven't been out too long and there's of course still plenty of time for more movement, but for now Argentina has been installed as a -200 favorite. Switzerland enters holding a tag of +650 to +700 depending on the site.

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Argentina
Group B wasn't expected to be much of a challenge for Argentina, and while they didn't exactly crush everyone that stepped in their way, they still managed to get the maximum nine points from their three matches.

The Argentinians started off with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina and then overcame Iran (1-0) and Nigeria (3-2) to book their spot as the number one seed out of the group.

In the group finale against the Nigerians, Messi did what he does best: making an impact by scoring two goals in the victory. His first came on a clean-up opportunity in the box and his second was a fantastic free kick just before the stroke of halftime. Argentina would hang on for the win after another go-ahead goal early in the second half, this time from Marcos Rojo.

If you've been counting, that's now four goals in three matches for Messi. He's had his say in each of his country's three wins so far and won't want this streak to end, that's for sure.

Sergio Aguero had to be replaced due to injury in the last victory and it remains to be seen if he'll be fit enough to start on Tuesday. Luckily for coach Alejandro Sabella, he's got plenty of options at his disposal, though Ezequiel Lavezzi figures to be the one to benefit. The main focus for Argentina ahead of this Round of 16 showdown, however, should be on improving their defensive solidarity.


Switzerland
It was a bit of a roller-coaster ride for the Swiss in the group, as they picked up two wins and one loss.

It started with a 2-1 win over Ecuador, with Seferovic's goal in stoppage time giving Switzerland the three points and a dream start to their Group E campaign.

Five days later, the Swiss were humbled in a big way by the big, bad French. It was a one-way show from the beginning and Switzerland couldn't hang in a devastating 5-2 defeat.

You've got to credit Switzerland for the grit they've shown, though. They could have come out flat against a Honduras side that thrives on slowing matches down however possible, but they didn't. The Swiss ran out as 3-0 victors to earn their position in the next round.

Now Switzerland has a chance to do something very special: knock out one of the tournament favorites in front of tens of thousands of their own supporters. The Swiss are used to being pinned as underdogs – will it work in their favor against Messi and company?


World Cup Pick
The Argentinians couldn't have really asked for a much better draw in the tournament so far. They had relatively easily competition in the group and now have one of the easier opponents in the Round of 16 too.

It's all relative though. Unfortunately for Argentina, they've looked very suspect defensively and that could ultimately cause their downfall later on in the tournament.

We don't think it'll make much of a difference against the Swiss. The Argentinians should be able to get the job done in front of what should be another home-like atmosphere – they've got Messi firing on all cylinders, much more threatening attacking play, and momentum on their side. Side with the favorites.

World Cup Pick: Argentina 3 Switzerland 1

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