Thursday World Cup Projections: How to Bet Spain, Germany Matches & Best Bets
Richard Sellers/Getty. Pictured: Jonas Hofmann.
The World Cup projections for Thursday feature two games with extremely close projections, and two games with a heavily favored team.
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.
With that said, let’s see how to approach betting the Group E and Group F finales.
Thursday World Cup Projections
All bets are 1 unit unless stated otherwise
Group F: Croatia vs. Belgium (10 a.m. ET)
- Croatia are 36.9% to win according to my simulations.
- Prior to the World Cup, Belgium would have been favored here, but lackluster performance have moved them below Croatia.
- Belgium just about must win to advance while Croatia advance with a win or draw.
- My projections are right in line with the market, so I’ll pass on this game.
Group F: Canada vs. Morocco (10 a.m. ET)
- Morocco are 33.1% to win according to my simulations.
- This is the tightest game of the group stage per our power ratings.
- Although Canada have been eliminated, they’ll still want to achieve their first ever World Cup result.
- If it’s tied late, the teams may take it easy as they both achieve their goal.
- The market is still giving us value on Canada even if we inflate the draw probability.
- Best Bet: Canada ML (+275 via BetRivers)
- Bet to: +250
Group E: Japan vs. Spain (2 p.m. ET)
- Spain are 76.8% favorites to win according to my simulations.
- Spain will almost surely advance.
- Japan will likely need at least one goal, as any German win means Japan will at least need a scoring draw or a win to advance.
- Spain may want to grab a goal to lock things up, but after that there’s no need to press.
- Thus, a 2-0 Spain win and 1-1 draw are the two most likely outcomes.
- Since I’m not showing value on 2-0, let’s bet on the 1-1 draw for half a unit.
- Best Bet: Correct score 1-1 (+850 via FanDuel)
- Bet to: +850
Group E: Costa Rica vs. Germany (2 p.m. ET)
- Germany are 80.0% favorites to win according to my simulations.
- They are in must-win mode and may need to score multiple goals if Japan score.
- Pressing could lead to an unlikely Costa Rican counterattack goal.
- It’s also possible Costa Rica hold down the fort in a nil-nil draw.
- I’ll put 0.2 units on a 0-0 draw and 0.3 units on a 1-1 draw.
- For a safer bet, let’s take Germany under 3.5, which I’m showing happens 72.6% of the time.
- Best Bet: 0-0 (+3700 via FanDuel), 1-1 (+2700 via FanDuel), Germany Under 3.5 (-150 via DraftKings).
- Bet to: +3300, +2000, and -175 respectively