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