Soccer Picks: New Zealand vs. Mexico World Cup Qualifiers

Nila Amerova

Monday, November 18, 2013 1:59 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 1:59 PM UTC

Join us as we preview the second leg between New Zealand and Mexico in search of valuable soccer picks.

Mexico salvage World Cup bid

Soccer odds
are in full swing for the second leg of the tie between New Zealand and Mexico, which is set to kick off on Wednesday, with Mexico firmly in the driver’s seat. What began as a horrendous 2013, is now a distant memory as Mexico appears to be well and truly Brazil bound. All that is left is to rubber stamp their 5-1 victory in the opening leg at home with another solid performance in Wellington, New Zealand.

Although the match was dubbed a veritable David vs. Goliath battle on paper, El Tri’s form was a far cry from their football giant credentials going into the match. So nobody could have predicted such a commanding performance, even if the odds makers were listing El Tri as the whopping -550 favorites to win the first leg outright at Bet365. Not even the crowd at Estadio Azteca expected such a comprehensive display, mildly interested as they were in the proceedings at the start.

So frustrating have El Tri’s disappointments been this year that it was a trial for the home crowd to muster up any enthusiasm for the game. And for the first half hour, several hits and misses, the growing discontent was palpable. El Tri’s fortunes looked grim – a self-fulfilling prophecy determined to continue down a treacherous path to not make the World Cup in Brazil.

When the scoring deadlock was finally broken by Paul Aguilar in the 32nd minute however, it was as if the floodgates all of a sudden burst open. El Tri ignited, along with the crowd. Ole, Goliath awoke. They began to fire at all cylinders and for the first time (to the delight of all and sundry) they continued to find the back of the net with abandon. David could only look on dejectedly as hope for Brazil steadily faded in the wake of each and every goal – what later New Zealand media dubbed the “massacre at the Azteca.”

New Zealand vs. Mexico betting tips and picks

Now as Mexico looks ahead to the second leg of their tie, firmly installed as the solid favorites at -220 soccer odds to win outright among sportsbooks, they can do so comfortable in the knowledge that plans for Brazil (and samba lessons) are an almost certain go.

A 5-1 deficit is an impossible dream for New Zealand indeed; even if the away goal lends a sliver of hope, they would need to score four goals all the while denying El Tri a score in the match in order to draw level on aggregate and revive hope. Widespread opinion concurs the chances of that happening are slim to none.

So Brazil might be off the cards but pride still is on the cards. One has to believe that New Zealand, with nothing to lose now and everything to gain, will come out with a better game plan against Mexico. 

The monumental task aside for the time being, betting on a New Zealand win in the second leg is not an unthinkable choice for your soccer picks at +600 odds at Bet365. New Zealand can win this match, a result that would go some way towards salvaging pride as well as winning back New Zealand football fans. Or they might even force a draw that is trading at +333 soccer odds and that would be held a respectable outcome.

But what if it does happen? That is, the impossible dream realised. Granted erasing a four-goal advantage is no mean feat, but if they did, it would be the story for the ages: a realization of the David vs. Goliath billing. A heady thought indeed.

Let’s not forget that up until last week El Tri were floundering, in the midst of an existential crises exacerbated by the revolving coaching door. Certainly, they ignited at the Azteca and that bodes well for the return leg. But what if their fortunes were to reverse just as quickly as they were ignited?  

What we’ve learned about the El Tri this year is that nothing can be taken for granted where they are concerned. In other words, if they take the 2nd leg for granted they could pay the price of complacency, especially if their offensive might decides to be a no-show in Wellington. The point here being was the first leg a one-off only?

If the opposite was a nation of an established football pedigree, this idea would gain more traction. As it is New Zealand, only diehard Kiwi fans would entertain it.

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Soccer Betting Verdict: Cooler heads and odds makers alike point to a Mexico win as the best soccer pick simply because they are in pole position for Brazil. We can’t argue with that. So go on if you’re inclined towards Mexico.

For our part however we’re going with Kiwi pride here and taking New Zealand to win at +600 soccer odds to win outright at Bet365. The price is too good to ignore. And well we’re not entirely convinced Mexico’s performance wasn’t a one-off either.

As to the overarching predicament: whether the Kiwis win big enough to actually turn the table on Mexico? That is another matter entirely and it remains to be seen. A long shot. But it would be a great story. 

Soccer Free Picks: New Zealand to win outright at +600 odds

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