World Cup Betting Guide: 6/16 Picks & Odds Report

Steven Suarez

Monday, June 16, 2014 12:57 PM GMT

Cristiano Ronaldo tries to lead Portugal to a win over Germany, Iran takes on Nigeria and the USA will make their 2014 World Cup debut in another full day of soccer action. Which two games do we feel hold the most sports betting value?

Germany vs. Portugal
Not a bad way to start off the day, right?

Group G begin with a bang, with the top two favorites to advance going at it in the opener. Current soccer betting odds reflect well on Germany, as they're the favorites at close to even money. Portugal can be backed at +275 to +300, with a draw listed at +250. 

The Germans are one of the top overall favorites in the tournament. They have reached the knockout stages in seven consecutive World Cups and finished third both in 2006 and in 2010. In the 2012 European Championship, they lost in the semi-finals after finishing as the runners up in 2008.

Coming into this edition of the World Cup, Germany is ranked second in the FIFA rankings. After a couple shaky performances against Poland (0-0) and Chile (2-2), the Germans finished off their preparations by thumping Armenia 6-1 in their final tune-up friendly.

As for Portugal, who exited in the Round of 16 in 2010, they check in as the fourth-best team in the world according to FIFA. They beat Ireland (5-1), Mexico (1-0) and Cameroon (5-1) and drew against Greece (0-0) in their World Cup warm-ups this summer.

Looking over the odds for Monday's clash in Salvador, we're having a hard time not taking Germany at such a good price. They may not have a guy like Ronaldo who can totally take over a match, but Miroslav Klose (69 goals in 132 appearances) has been a goalscoring machine at the international level and Thomas Muller, Lukas Podolski, Andre Schurrle, Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Mario Gotze are all more than capable of chipping in with goals as well.

In the end, we think that better balance will help Germany to a massive opening win.

Pick: Germany -105 

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Iran vs. Nigeria
The level of soccer will take a nose-dive in the afternoon after Germany and Portugal are done battling it out. 

Why's that? Well, neither Iran or Nigeria are really known for their prowess on the pitch, and both teams may adopt conservative tactics in order to get at least a draw out of this, the Iranians especially.

The soccer betting odds are on Nigeria's side, as they're listed as low in quite a wide range, starting at -115 and going up to as high as +130 at a couple of the top sportsbooks. Iran is the clear-cut underdog at approximately +350, with a draw ranging from +225 to +250.

With Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina the two obvious favorites to advance out of Group F, a win for either Nigeria or Iran could make things very interesting. The Argentinians are practically a lock to advance, but it would put some extra pressure on the Bosnians, that's for sure.

However, we're not very confident in either of these teams at the moment and will therefore steer clear of a money-line play for our soccer picks. We've seen both teams in action in recent weeks and couldn't find a lot to be impressed about, at least when it comes to attractive attacking soccer. The Nigerians looked off the pace against the Americans in that 2-1 loss a couple weeks ago.

So, we've decided that we're going to head towards the total and back a well-disciplined defensive performance and safe tactical formations out of both sides, leading to a cashed ticket for the UNDER.

Goals have been hard to come by for both of these underdogs and we expect that to continue on Monday afternoon. To close out our soccer picks of the day, we're hoping to see two or fewer goals in Curitiba.

Pick: UNDER 2.5 goals

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