2018 World Cup Group Betting Recap: Underdogs Profitable, Thanks Mostly to Korea

2018 World Cup Group Betting Recap: Underdogs Profitable, Thanks Mostly to Korea article feature image

The Highlights

  • At 18-1 on the moneyline, South Korea’s upset over Germany was the biggest in recent World Cup history.
  • Germany’s elimination was great for sportsbooks since they were among the most-bet teams to win the tournament.
  • Underdogs earned +13.47 units on the moneyline in group play despite winning just 12 of 48 matches.

The group stage of the 2018 World Cup is now complete after 48 games were played in 15 days.

Here’s a look at all the betting results including trends, biggest payouts, point totals and more.

Underdogs were profitable during the group stage, earning +13.47 units. However, those results may be a bit misleading since South Korea’s win over Germany accounted for +18.5 alone. Betting on all other underdogs lost about 5 units.

Of the 48 matches, 24 went over the closing total and 20 went under (4 pushes).

Biggest Moneyline Upsets:

South Korea (+1850) vs. Germany
Mexico (+580) vs. Germany
Iceland-Argentina Draw (+444)
Saudi Arabia (+425) vs. Egypt
Spain-Morocco Draw (+415)
Japan (+400) vs. Colombia

South Korea’s upset over Germany was one of the biggest in a World Cup in recent memory. Germany needed a win to advance in Group F but couldn’t even score a goal, losing 2-0.

The Germans were on the losing end of the two largest payouts during the group stage, and their lone victory came on a last-second goal to beat Sweden, who won the group.

Group Standings and Payouts:

The biggest surprise was obviously Germany (+2500) finishing last in Group F. It was the first time they missed out on the knockout round in their World Cup history (16 straight tournaments).

Sweden finishing first at +700 odds was the biggest shocker in terms of group winners. Croatia (+210) and Colombia (+120) were the other underdogs to top their groups.

There weren’t many surprises for teams to advance as Japan (+150), Mexico (+120) and Switzerland (+100) were the only non-favorites to make the Round of 16.

Group Points O/U:

There were 16 teams that went over their total and 16 teams that finished under.

Argentina were the most fortunate to advance. They finished 2.5 points below expectations but still made the Round of 16. Spain finished 1.5 points below expectations but still won Group B.

Iran were the unluckiest, going over their point total by 2.5 points but failing to advance in a group with Spain and Portugal.

Highest Scoring Group:

Group G finished with the most goals (24). Group A was next with 17 goals while Group C combined for a low of just 9 goals.

A: 17
B: 15
C: 9
D: 15
E: 14
F: 13
G: 24
H: 15

Group G was the +300 favorite to be the highest-scoring group and it wasn’t even close. In fact, it already had the highest total of any group before playing the final matches on Thursday.

Will every team score a goal at the World Cup? Yes (-160)

The “Yes” on this prop bet cashed after Costa Rica scored in the second half of their third group game vs. Switzerland. They were the last team to score a goal, but all 32 managed to get at least one.

There have been 122 goals so far during the tournament. The Over/Under was listed at 159.5 before it started, and there are 16 matches remaining.

Knockout games get a little bit tighter, but the current scoring pace is trending toward the over.