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Sunday World Cup Projections: Spain, Costa Rica Among Bets to Make

Sunday World Cup Projections: Spain, Costa Rica Among Bets to Make article feature image
Credit:

Eric Alonso/Getty. Pictured: Pedri.

All good things must come to an end.

Our winning streak is over after a brutal Saturday in which the writeup picks lost 5.28 units. In addition, I lost another unit by adding half-unit bets on 0-0 and 1-1 for the final scoreline between Argentina and Mexico.

That puts things at +6.72 units for the World Cup and a 33.5% ROI. Not bad.

In case I make any more bets outside of this daily piece and you don’t want to miss them, make sure to follow me in the Action App.

Looking ahead to Sunday, soccer powers Spain and Germany clash in the final match of the day that features Groups E and F.

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.

Let’s dive into my simulations for Sunday’s FIFA World Cup games.

Sunday World Cup Projections

All bets are 1 unit unless stated otherwise

Group E: Japan vs. Costa Rica (5 a.m. ET)

 

  • Japan are a 53.3% favorite to win according to my simulations.
  • Costa Rica are one of the weakest teams in the World Cup and generated no offense against Spain in a 7-0 loss.
  • Meanwhile, Japan upset Germany despite losing the xG battle by 1.6 goals.
  • This recency bias has swayed the market, placing value on Costa Rica.
  • Let’s take Costa Rica to cover the spread, plus a half unit bet on the moneyline.
  • Best Bets: Costa Rica +1.5 (-165 via Caesars), Costa Rica ML (+900 via PointsBet)
  • Bet to: -200 and +625 respectively

Group F: Belgium vs. Morocco (8 a.m. ET)

 

  • Belgium are 49.4% to win according to my simulations.
  • Morocco played Croatia to a nil-nil draw, with both teams recording 0.5 xG.
  • Morocco have four players who were born in Belgium, so there is strong motivation on both sides to play their best.
  • There’s thin value on Belgium on the moneyline at +105, but it’s too thin to bet.
  • There’s no value on the total, so this game is a pass.

Group F: Croatia vs. Canada (11 a.m. ET)

 

  • Croatia are 42.6% to win according to my simulations.
  • They outplayed Belgium but lost 1-0 after Canada missed a penalty.
  • While Canada are an underdog, their over-performance in combination with Croatia’s underperformance leads me to think Canada should play better than my simulations suggest.
  • That makes me like a draw even more than the 33.1% that my simulations imply.
  • Best Bet: Draw (+240 via DraftKings)
  • Bet to: +230

Group E: Spain vs. Germany (2 p.m. ET)

 

  • Spain are a 59.1% favorite to win according to my simulations.
  • In three European Championship games against teams in Germany’s range, Spain allowed only 1.07 xG against.
  • In three Euro 2021 games against teams in Spain’s range, Germany averaged only 1.64 xG.
  • Spain were shutout only once in 25 competitive matches this World Cup cycle.
  • I’m showing value on 2-0 for Spain at +1300, so I put one-quarter unit on that.
  • Books are overrating Germany, so there is plenty of value in backing Spain.
  • Best Bet: Spain ML (+135  via BetMGM), Spain over 1.5 goals (+114 via FanDuel), Correct Score 2-0 (+1300 via Caesars)
  • Bet to: +120, +100 and +1200 respectively

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