World Cup Friday best bets: Uruguay to get 1st win vs. Ghana
The World Cup group stage concludes on Friday with four meaningful games; none of the sides set to take the field have been eliminated.
Let's take a look at the best way to attack the slate.
Ghana (+190) vs. Uruguay (-175)
Uruguay has been a disappointment thus far, claiming just one point through two fixtures while failing to score a single goal.
Even so, the Uruguayans have a very real shot of advancing to the round of 16 if they can claim three points against Ghana. I expect that to happen.
Although a lot of Uruguay's players have passed their best-before dates, there's still plenty of talent on the roster.
Luis Suarez and Darwin Nunez make for a very dangerous attacking duo up top, one that can cause a world of problems for Ghana's shaky backline.
Ghana has allowed 3.8 expected goals in the World Cup, which is by far the highest total in Group H. The next closest team - South Korea - has allowed only 2.2 expected goals. That's a large gap.
At times, Uruguay has looked slow and out of sync on the ball, but a date with Ghana could be just what's needed to get back on track. Even if the Uruguayans play the same bland style, there'll undoubtedly be a few big chances coming their way against this Ghana team.
Converting on one or two should be enough to get the job done, given how Uruguay has played defensively. While Ghana has had its moments with the ball, this Uruguay side is fairly stout. No team in the group has done a better job of limiting expected goals against.
In a win-or-go-home situation, look for Uruguay's big guns to come through and help grind out a win to (likely) keep its tournament hopes alive.
Bet: Uruguay and Under 4.5 (+100)
Serbia (+150) vs. Switzerland (+175)
Switzerland plays a pretty tight, compact style that generally doesn't lend itself to many goals at either end of the pitch. A game against Serbia might be the one thing that could change that.
Serbia has a ton of attacking talent and must win this game to have any chance of advancing beyond the group stage. The Serbians will likely leave no stone unturned and press every chance they get to create offense.
With the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Tadic, and Dusan Vlahovic, among others, it's hard to envision this team going gung-ho for 90-plus minutes and not finding the back of the net.
There's plenty of reason to believe - win or lose - Switzerland will do the same. Serbia is an unmitigated disaster without the ball, routinely being picked apart by any and all opposing attacks.
The Serbians have conceded a whopping 4.6 expected goals through two fixtures, which is the highest per-game average in the tournament. They are very loose defensively.
With Serbia having so much attacking talent and incentive to push (even if ahead), there should be a lot of chances in this game. Look for both teams to bag at least one.
Bet: Both teams to score (-120)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.
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