Japan vs Spain Odds, Pick | Women’s World Cup Preview

Japan vs Spain Odds, Pick | Women’s World Cup Preview article feature image

Visionhaus/Getty. Pictured: Spain Women’s Soccer.

Japan vs Spain Odds

Monday, July 31
3 a.m. ET
Japan Odds+333
Spain Odds-118
Over/Under2.5 (+135 / -175)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(+120 / -163)
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.

Japan and Spain have both been two of the most dominant teams in the Women's World Cup competition to this point. Both have secured a place in the knockout stage with two easy wins and now Spain and Japan will face off for the group title on Monday. The scenarios are simple. Japan win the group with a win while Spain win the group with either a win or draw.

These two nations are the two top scorers in the entire field with eight (Spain) and seven (Japan) goals, and neither have conceded in two matches against Costa Rica and Zambia. Even though some had tabbed Zambia as a potential surprise team to advance, both squads had no issues dispatching them. No team has come close to matching their xG created output either, which should make for a tight and appealing contest when they meet on Monday.

Japan an Interesting Team to Track

Japan weren't viewed in the top tier of tournament title contenders entering this tournament, and it's important that we don't overreact to a measly two-game sample against inferior opponents. With that being said, Japan's underlying numbers are second-best in the entire tournament. No defense has allowed fewer xG and chances, and only Spain have created more. Japan rank second in passes completed into the penalty area and second in crosses.

They've only conceded eight penalty area touches in the first 180 minutes of this tournament – the only team to allow single digits. The extent to which Japan have been able to tilt the field is extremely impressive and shows that nothing from those two games was a fluke. It does bring into question how good the quality of competition really was, given Japan's inconsistent form leading into this tournament.

The underlying data wasn't poor for Japan overall, but losses to Brazil, USA and Denmark comprised three of their final six matches prior to the World Cup. Japan made a tactical switch to push their wing backs up the pitch more to generate more attack and play in a more defined back three system instead of a back five. That could be a potential contributor to the increased attacking quality, and it could also be exploited by Spain at the other end.

Spain Displaying High Level Capabilities 

Spain have been the best team at the World Cup thus far based on all underlying numbers. They rank No. 1 in passes, carries and crosses into the penalty area. The possession and ball progression machine has been unstoppable as they've now produced 9.1 xG and scored eight in two matches.

When you combine it with the talent of the players on the field and the form coming into the World Cup, you could make a convincing case that the Spanish should be the World Cup favorite right now in the betting markets. Spain had their off-field issues surrounding the manager, but those concerns have not manifested in any way now that the tournament has begun.

Spain beat Denmark by two, Norway by two and China by three. None of those three teams would be considered elite, but if you combine those performances with their 2022 form, you see why Spain are so dangerous.

This is the same Spain that outplayed Germany and England at the Euros in 2022 and then beat both the United States and Japan in friendlies in the fall. The attacking firepower means that even if Jorge Vilda rotates and rests his top attacking players, the replacements are more than capable of producing at somewhat comparable levels.

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Japan vs Spain Pick

The biggest question with Spain wasn't their attacking quality, but rather their defensive solidity when forced to play without the ball a bit more. The defenses of both of these two teams have not been tested because of the lack of quality from the opponents thus far, but that changes in Monday's contest.

Spain have consistently played a high-event style of soccer under Vilda and Japan are more than comfortable adapting their style and tactics to play with and without the ball. Bigger matches are ahead for both teams and squad rotation could hinder this from being a truly wide open match, but the total is still too low in my view given the quality of attackers at both ends.

I'd bet plus-money prices on both teams to score and on over 2.5 goals given that the goals in this World Cup are starting to regress upward after a slow start to scoring.

Picks: Over 2.5 (+130 or better) | Both Teams to Score (+120)

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