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Spain vs Costa Rica Odds, Pick | Best Bet For World Cup Match

Spain vs Costa Rica Odds, Pick | Best Bet For World Cup Match article feature image

Eric Alonso/Getty. Pictured: Pedri.

  • Spain square off with Costa Rica in the World Cup on Wednesday.
  • Is there betting value in the lopsided fixture?
  • BJ Cunningham breaks down the match and offers his best bet.

Spain vs. Costa Rica Odds

Wednesday, Nov. 23
11 a.m. ET
Spain Odds-700
Costa Rica Odds+1800
Over/Under2.5 (-163 / +130)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(+175 / -250)
Odds via bet365. Get the latest World Cup odds here.

Spain kick off their World Cup campaign on Wednesday when they take on Costa Rica.

They come in as one of the favorites to win the World Cup and have all the talent in the world to do so. Spain were knocked out of the Euros in the semifinals by Italy, but Luis Enrique's side come into the tournament with some of the best underlying numbers in Europe across World Cup Qualifying and the Euros.

Costa Rica are now making their third straight World Cup appearance by finishing fourth in the CONCACAF hexagonal. They beat New Zealand 1-0 in the intercontinental qualifying playoffs to get here, but this is one of the least talented squads in the entire World Cup field as a lot of the players that led them to the 2014 quarterfinals are now in their mid to late 30s.

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Spain a Real Tournament Contender

There is an argument to be made that Spain are the best team in the world. Spain’s underlying numbers have been the most impressive in Europe since the 2018 World Cup. At the Euros and in World CupQ, Spain averaged 2.17 xGF and 0.80 xGA per 90 minutes. Only England had a better xGD per 90 in Europe. 

Spain are incredibly possession-dominant and intricate, but they are also outstanding in their build-up play. It’s one of the reasons why they led the Euros with 16.7 xG despite playing one less match than England and Italy.

Much like Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, this team completely overwhelms opponents, as Spain are the most accurate passing team in this tournament. It's hard to get the ball off of them and they are incredibly intelligent in their runs to create big scoring chances. They are likely going to hold over 70% possession in this match, so the question is will they be able to break down Costa Rica's low block? 

Luis Enrique has so much talent at his disposal, especially in the midfield with the likes of Rodri, Pedri, Gavi, Carlos Soler, Sergio Busquets and Koke. That type of midfield can control the ball, progress it up the field and defend in transition just about as well as anybody in this tournament, so they should be able to thwart away any type of counter attack that Costa Rica will throw at them. 

Costa Rica Fortunate to be at World Cup

Costa Rica are by far the luckiest team to be in the World Cup. They rode the coattails of Keylor Navas all the way through CONCACAF qualifying and eventually beat New Zealand in a playoff to get to this point, but now they actually have to face elite offenses. 

If you want the definition of an xG over-performer it’s Costa Rica. They went all the way through World Cup Qualifying with a +6 actual goal differential, but a -4.43 expected goal differential.

The reason for that is because their defense ran insanely hot on the back of Navas playing out of his mind in net. Costa Rica allowed only eight goals over the entirety of World Cup Qualifying, but they allowed their opponents to create 20.03 xG. In six matches against their three toughest opponents – USA, Mexico, and Canada – Costa Rica created just 5.17 xG while allowing 7.2 xG.

In terms of their roster construction, this is the oldest team in the World Cup. Almost half of their roster is over the age of 30 and additionally over 70% of their roster is playing in the Costa Rican Primera Division. 

When you hear the term “park the bus,” that is exactly what Costa Rica do and it's what they will do against Spain. That may work against Panama and El Salvador, but facing one of the best midfields in the world, it's hard to see Costa Rica even getting one clear cut chance in this match. 

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Spain vs. Costa Rica Pick

Spain are a massive favorite in this match and for good reason, given they are facing a roster that is primarily playing in the Costa Rican Primera Division and is over the age of 30. 

The luck is going to run out at some point for Costa Rica and playing against the best offense in Europe, at least in terms of xG, is the perfect time to bet on it running out.

I have Spain's spread projected at -2.94, so I love the value on them at -2.

The Pick: Spain -2 (-120)

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