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Friday World Cup Projections: Value on Uruguay, Swizerland & Game Totals

Friday World Cup Projections: Value on Uruguay, Swizerland & Game Totals article feature image
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DeFodi Images/Getty. Pictured: Casemiro.

The last day of the group stage at the World Cup is upon us as Group G and Group H battle it out for the final spots in the knockout phase of the tournament.

Brazil and Portugal are both near-locks to finish at the top of their respective groups. Each team is also guaranteed to progress to the knockout rounds. However, second place is up for grabs in both groups, with the remaining three teams in each group still alive.

My projections simulate each game 250,000 times and are powered by my colleague BJ Cunningham‘s offensive and defensive power ratings for each team. Using his power ratings, I use something called diagonal-inflated bivariate poisson to simulate the scoring distribution for each game.

Here’s what my projections say about Friday’s games.

Friday World Cup Projections

All bets are 1 unit unless stated otherwise

Group H: Ghana vs. Uruguay (10 a.m. ET)

 

  • Uruguay are 63.7% favorites to win according to my simulations.
  • Uruguay were unlucky to lose to Portugal.
  • Both teams checked in with 1.3 xG in that match.
  • Ghana beat South Korea despite a -0.16 xG differential.
  • Ghana’s result was also better than xG suggested agianst Portugal.
  • A draw doesn’t benefit Uruguay — they are in must-win mode.
  • The market has adjusted too far, so let’s back the favorites.
  • Best Bet: Uruguay ML (-132 via BetRivers)
  • Bet to: -145

Group H: South Korea vs. Portugal (10 a.m. ET)

 

  • Portugal are 62.5% favorites to win according to my simulations.
  • South Korea must win, while Portugal can rotate players.
  • That means I like South Korea’s chances more than my projections suggest.
  • South Korea’s desperation to win increases the likelihood for goals to be scored.
  • Combine that with some thin value on the over 2.5 per my projections and I’m happy to take the high side of the total.
  • Best Bet: Over 2.5 (-108 via FanDuel)
  • Bet to: -110

Group G: Serbia vs. Switzerland (2 p.m. ET)

 

  • Switzerland are 45.1% to win according to my simulations.
  • Serbia must win to advance.
  • Serbia will need to press for a goal so there’s more reason to lean toward a higher score.
  • I’ll happily back the over here.
  • Books are making a Serbia win the plurality result, but my simulations don’t show that.
  • If Cameroon beat Brazil, Switzerland probably need to win since Cameroon are likely to win the tiebreaker.
  • I’ll happily back the Swiss here, who I have as the better team.
  • Best Bets: Over 2.5 goals scored (+105 via Caesars), Switzerland ML (+180 via Caesars)
  • Bet to: -120 and +160 respectively

Group G: Cameroon vs. Brazil (10 a.m. ET)

 

  • Brazil are 78.8% favorites to win according to my simulations.
  • Brazil are likely to rest and rotate players with first place essentially locked up.
  • Cameroon must win to advance.
  • Brazil have the best defense in the world and have allowed only 0.5 xG total throughout this World Cup.
  • Cameroon’s attack isn’t as good as Serbia or Switzerland.
  • Brazil have no need to run up the score and can play a conservative game.
  • Simulations have the under at 50.4%.
  • Best Bet: Under 2.5 (+117 via BetRivers)
  • Bet to: +105

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