James Holliman
James Holliman
Super Utility Guy
Holliman has honed his well-rounded sports knowledge as a writer and editor for nearly 30 years in the Tampa Bay area. He witnessed the 1970's heyday of the North American Soccer League as well as the debut of three major sports franchises and an FBS team at his alma mater. His sports interests have expanded worldwide, and as a former competitive soccer player and hack golfer, he has a profound knowledge of those sports. Holliman's betting approach is centered on crunching the numbers, but he sees the whole field and relies on his instinct. For James Holliman media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.
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James's Picks (1 Live)

World Cup | United States @ Iran | 11/29 | 7:00 PM UTC



ANALYSIS: It's do or die for the USMNT. ... Join SportsLine here to see the full pick!

World Cup | Mexico 0 @ Argentina 2 | 11/26 | 7:00 PM UTC

OVER 2.5


ANALYSIS: I fully expect Argentina to win, but -170 is too rich for my blood, so I’m looking to the goal markets, and I think there’s value here at plus money (+105). If Argentina come out firing (and not subconsciously playing not to lose), they should rack up a few goals, even against a strong Mexico defense. Hirving Lozano and Henry Martin are good enough to find at least one, and El Tri know they likely need to win to have a chance to advance again. Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez are certainly good enough to get at least two – and should get more if they are focused. With both teams likely pressing for goals, they’ll be vulnerable in the back, so I’m going over.

World Cup | Denmark 1 @ France 2 | 11/26 | 4:00 PM UTC

DRAW +250


ANALYSIS: Denmark have won the past two meetings – by a combined 4-1 in UEFA Nations League matches in June and September. These teams also played to a 0-0 draw at this stage in 2018. Denmark don’t absolutely need a victory, and France should be fine with one point here, so they’ll split the difference. I think French manager Didier Deschamps plays it a bit more conservatively after his team’s 4-1 drubbing of an inferior Australia side. The Danes have played four straight stalemates in the World Cup – one of those against Les Bleus, of course. France will greatly miss the injured Karim Benzema in this one, and I expect it to go under the total.

World Cup | Ecuador 1 @ Netherlands 1 | 11/25 | 4:00 PM UTC

Netherlands -129


ANALYSIS: Ecuador looked stronger than I expected in their 2-0 victory against Qatar, but the Dutch are in a different stratosphere. The Netherlands also won their opener 2-0, but beat a far better team in Senegal. La Tricolor looked dominant at times against the hosts, but they only managed a 6-5 edge in shots. If the Netherlands held off Senegal’s barrage, they can surely keep Ecuador at bay. With Memphis Depay looking ready to play a full match alongside Cody Gakpo and Steven Bergwijn, I expect the Dutch to win handily. I’d also lean over 2.5 goals and would play this to -150.

World Cup | Serbia 0 @ Brazil 2 | 11/24 | 7:00 PM UTC

OVER 2.5


ANALYSIS: I think this is a bargain at -135, as I expect Brazil to come out firing after seeing two powerhouses go down already. I don't think it will be Spain-Costa Rica, but I expect the Brazilians to get multiple goals. The Selecao just have too much firepower with the likes of Neymar, Richarlison, Raphinha and Gabriel Jesus. And while the Brazil defense might be the best it has ever been, Aleksandar Mitrovic or Dusan Vlahovic should crack the code at least once for the Serbs. I'd play this down to -170.