World Cup remains hard to predict

It’s been a wild World Cup so far, and if you’ve been betting the underdogs you’re a happy guy right now. Traditional powers like Spain were booted, and Italy got screwed on a lame red card and a biting incident that was missed by the officials, highlighting just how difficult it has been to predict the outcome.

So keep that in mind when you’re about to bet on sports at Sure, some traditional powers are winning as well, as Argentina looks pretty damn good with Messi pumping in goals. Brazil keeps winning, but they’ve looked pretty mediocre so far. Still, if you predicted a Brazil/Argentina final things are shaping up that way even with all the upsets so far.

Still, the games have been pretty amazing, and today’s win by the Netherlands over Mexico provided plenty of drama. Mexico seemed to have it in hand, but then the Netherlands got a late equalizer, followed by a controversial penalty kick in extra time. Mexican fans have to be livid, but the late call in the box could have gone either way. Casual soccer fans have been mocking this aspect of the game, and it’s true that the officiating in the World Cup is dreadful as usual. But the same happens in American sports – remember the refs giving Dwyane Wade every call imaginable to give the Miami Heat the 2006 NBA Finals? These things happen.

I heard on Twitter that one better took 50-1 odds on Holland with five minutes left, so he gets a gold star along with plenty of cash for that bold call.

The question now is whether some of the upstarts like Costa Rica and the United States can keep winning. The US has a tough game against Belgium, but then they;ll have to face might Argentina if they make it to the next game. I suspect the odds will be stacked against them, which for the bold offers an intriguing opportunity. But how far can the madness go? Can the US beat an Argentina team with Messi? Hopefully they’ll get the chance.