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Thursday World Cup Projections: How to Bet Spain, Germany Matches & Best Bets

Thursday World Cup Projections: How to Bet Spain, Germany Matches & Best Bets article feature image
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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

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