|Date & Time||Wednesday June 18, 2014, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Netherlands -440
In the first World Cup matchup on Wednesday, Netherlands and Australia will battle it out early in the day for a big matchup in group B.
Netherlands has had the most surprising performance of the tournament, shocking Spain by a score of 5-1. The Netherlands weren’t intimidated whatsoever and ended up scoring four goals in the second half to really make an early statement in the World Cup. Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie are probably playing the best soccer of their career right now and form a tandem that is out to prove the Spain beat down was no fluke. Of course, it could start with this matchup right here.
Australia wasn’t nearly as impressive in its opening game, losing to Chili 3-1 and putting itself behind the eight ball. The young team looked like the task was too large for much of the match until it started to play with a little more aggressiveness later in the second half. Mathew Leckie has been talking a big game leading up to this match, as he believes Australia has the speed to expose Netherlands on the wings. Australia does have a combination of speed and youth, but it has to get off to quicker starts in matches to build the much needed confidence.
Netherlands should have no problem winning the match, which would explain the insane line at -440. However, there is a good chance we see a bit of a letdown in this spot. Netherlands is coming off arguably its biggest win in World Cup history and now is in the driver’s seat to advance to the next round. Australia isn’t an opponent worth waking up for in this spot.
Australia is the more desperate team and will play that way. I don’t think it leads to a win, but I think this match will be closer than expected.