Copa America – Uru- Meets Para- in Battle of the -Guays

Uruguay (+115) vs. Paraguay (+300), Draw (+225)

The winner of today’s Uruguay versus Paraguay matchup will clinch a berth in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Copa America. The loser will have to wait and see if they will advance as one of the top-two third-place finishers. The South American rivals will clash this afternoon at La Portada Stadium in Chile (3:00 PM Eastern).

Paraguay are tied with Argentina at the top of Group B (1-1-0, 4 pts) but would lose a tiebreaker to La Albiceleste. Paraguay played Argentina to a 2-2 draw in the first fixture and then got past Jamaica 1-0 thanks to a horrible blunder by the Caribbean team’s goalkeeper.

While the win over Jamaica – arguably the weakest side in the tournament – was less than convincing, the Paraguayans were happy to get the full three.

“We needed to win to be calm in our next matches … It was tough, but it’s important to win and we’re happy with the three points,” captain Roque Santa Cruz told Eurosport.

Meanwhile, Uruguay – the defending champs – have struggled offensively without striker Luis Suarez, who was banned from the tournament after biting Giorgio Chiellini in the 2014 World Cup. The Charruas are on three points after beating Jamaica (1-0) and falling to Argentina by the same score. Uruguay couldn’t put one past Argentine keeper Nelson Ibanez despite keeping the tournament favorites on their heels for most of the game.

Without Suarez, Uruguay doesn’t look like a team capable of repeating as tournament champs. They entered the tournament at 16/1 to take the title, but haven’t justified those odds so far.

In the head-to-head trends, Uruguay has dominated Paraguay recently, going 2-2-0 in the last four, including 2-0 and 3-0 victories. Paraguay’s last win in the series came all the way back in 2007. Even without Suarez, Uruguay are the better side and should emerge with another victory.

Pick: Uruguay (+115).

Frank Lorenzo

MTS co-founder Frank “Let It Ride” Lorenzo has been betting on sports since he was legally allowed to do so. (Did he do so before then, too? No comment.) He enjoys very strong coffee, neon lights, and passing on his wealth of betting knowledge to anyone who will listen.