USA vs Germany Betting: Don’t count on a “Biscotto”

usa-germany-no-tieOne of the biggest discussions going into Thursday’s match between Germany and USA revolves around both teams making a gentlemen’s agreement to play for a draw. Such a move would benefit both teams, with Germany clinching the Group G title and the Americans advancing to the knockout stage. Moreover, both teams could use the rest after a bruising round of group play games. So if you’re thinking of doing some betting on USA vs Germany, a tie might be a good option, right? Especially since the head coaches, Jurgen Klinsmann and Joachim Loew (pictured left and right), are friends, correct?

Don’t count on it! Comments on both sides indicate that this match will be just as intense as any other that we’ve seen so far in the 2014 World Cup. Klinsmann even seems to think that his underdog US team has a chance at toppling the giants from Germany. “Both teams go into this game and want to win the group,” Klinsmann said. “We want to go at Germany and get three points and be in the drivers seat for the round of 16. I am sure we will see in four days a very exciting match in Recife. I think coming now is a lot of respect from our opponents.”

The German-born coach also recalled how his team never stopped playing hard in CONCACAF qualifiers, despite sewing up first place in CONCACAF before their final match against Panama. “The US is known to give all they have in every single game – otherwise Mexico wouldn’t be here,” Klinsmann said in regard to defeating Panama so that Mexico still had a shot at making the Cup.

per-mertesacker-germanyGerman players don’t seem very keen on a tie or giving a half effort either. After all, first place in Group G is on the line in this match, and both teams could still possibly be eliminated altogether, though it’s very unlikely for Germany. Defender Per Mertesacker made a point of bringing this up to the media. “It’s kind of a knockout game for both teams,” said Mertesacker. “Obviously, after today, we’re looking forward to that game. We want to make less mistakes and show our whole potential.”

Showing their potential will be a huge motivator for Germany since they were surprised by an athletic Ghana team during a 2-2 draw. Even still, many people are convinced that the USA vs Germany match is headed for a draw thanks to history.

Biscotto Scenario

The soccer world has a term for two teams lollygagging through a match so that they can produce a result that’s beneficial to both – Biscotto. This word means “cookie” or “biscuit” in Italian, but it also refers to a couple of teams working together to produce a desired result.

biscotto-soccerThe oft-cited Biscotto example in the case of USA and Germany is a 1982 World Cup match between West Germany and Austria. The latter had already qualified for the knockout round while West Germany needed a victory by one goal to advance. So the Germans went up by one goal and both sides soft-played from then on out – eliminating Algeria and Chile in the process.

Denmark and Sweden also did the same thing to eliminate Italy at Euro 2004. They played to a 2-2 draw, which pushed both of them on to the knockout round while sending the Italians home on goal differential. So the concept of a Biscotto is definitely not made up in the soccer world.

Not Always planned

Of course, Klinsmann continues to dismiss any notion of coming to such an agreement with his friend and former assistant coach Loew. But it is worth mentioning that Biscottos don’t always arise from a prearranged deal. Sometimes teams will get deep into a match while tied, then start slowing the game down and/or playing softer to avoid injuries and further fatigue.

But until that happens, count on both Germany and USA playing as hard as they can in their final match of group play. Both sides have a lot on the line and will be looking to further prove themselves to the world by winning this much-hyped game.

USA ties Portugal – Contemplating Scenarios to Advance

team-usa-group-of-deathWe and countless other news outlets had discussed last night’s big match between USA and Portugal from many different angles. On one side, you had the young, but scrappy Americans who were coming off a big 2-1 victory against their rivals, Ghana. Then there was Portugal, a normally powerful team with the world’s best player, Cristiano Ronaldo. Unfortunately, Ronaldo was banged up and three important Portuguese players missed the game with injuries/red cards. So who won this much-discussed match?

Well, it’s very possible that you’ve seen that it ended in a 2-2 tie. There was nothing anti-climatic about this tie, though, as Ronaldo floated a beautiful pass to Silvestre Varelain, who headed the ball in with less than a minute of stoppage time remaining. Despite Ronaldo’s excellent pass to give Portugal a glimmer of hope of reaching the knockout round, it wasn’t his best effort.

He missed several good opportunities to score a goal, including one where he got ahead on the right side of the flank, only to cut himself off from a better shot and miss wide right. There were several other chances where he just couldn’t put the ball in the net. To anybody who was watching the game, it was clear that the Real Madrid’s knee problem limited his impact.

If you want to talk about missed opportunities, though, USA missed big time in not winning this match. Nani pushed a shot past a falling Tim Howard to put Portugal up early in the match The score would remain 1-0 until Jermaine Jones nailed a beautiful hooking shot from outside of the box. With less than 10 minutes left in regulation, Clint Dempsey used his midsection to score what had the feel of a match winner.

ronaldo-usaAfter several squandered opportunities by Portugal, it looked as if the Red, White and Blue would win their second match in a row and automatically advance to the knockout round. However, that’s when Ronaldo found Varelain for a last-second goal.

It was a hot, humid game that was filled with mistakes on both sides. Of course, one might give these teams a pass considering that Manaus, which is located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, reached 84 degrees with 70% humidity. The heat was so bad that officials called for a water break before halftime, the first time that this has happened in the history of the World Cup.

That said, USA could have a tougher time recovering for when they face Germany on Thursday, June 26th. So you might want to take this factor into account for USA vs Germany betting. Now, let’s take a look at some scenarios that American fans should be hoping for if their team is to advance to the knockout round.

Current Group G Standings

Germany: 1 W, 1 D, 0 L; 4 Points, +4 Goal Differential
USA: 1 W, 1 D, 0 L, 4 Points, +1 Goal Differential
Ghana 0 W, 1 D, 0 L, 1 Point, -1 Goal Differential
Portugal 0 W, 1 D, 0 L, 1 Point, -4 Goal Differential

USA can advance with a Win or Tie against Germany

For the US, it’s simple: win or tie and you’re in. Of course, it won’t be so simple because they’re facing a German team that some predict will win the 2014 World Cup. Don’t count on Germany taking it easy either in the third and final group play game either because they have a lot at stake. Assuming they win or tie, they’ll face a second-place finisher from another group. You can certainly bet, though, that USA won’t be rolling over for a more talented squad.

USA can advance with a Loss and Ghana/Portugal Tie

Nobody dreams of backing into the next round. However, the US would take such a scenario given the German team that they’re facing. Assuming Portugal and Ghana tie, the Americans would be into the knockout stage no matter what.

USA can advance with a Loss and beating the Winner of Ghana vs Portugal on Goal Differential

This is another not-so-glamorous scenario because it again involves USA losing. But assuming the Germans do win, USA will be hoping for the winner of the Ghana/Portugal match to finish worse on the goal differential. The best-case scenario would involve the Portuguese winning because they’re five goals behind the US in this statistic. If Ghana wins and USA loses, the Ghanaians would have a very realistic chance to advance. Check out the math on this below:

Ghana wins by 1, USA loses by 1 – Most goals scored is the tie-breaker
Ghana wins by 2 or more, USA loses – Ghana advances
Ghana wins by 1, USA loses by 2 or more – Ghana advances

As you can see, the margin is slim for the United States if they lose and Ghana wins. Of course, we certainly can’t count out Portugal from jumping the US either. Ronaldo and his side won a game against the North Koreans by a score of 7-0 in the 2010 World Cup. But then again, Ghana is definitely no North Korea…

Any way you put it, the Americans would definitely do themselves a huge favor by simply winning or tying their next match against Germany. This is no small feat, that’s for sure. But it’s not completely out of reach either for a team that desperately wants to advance to the knockout round.