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Wednesday World Cup Projections: Best Bets Include Spain, Japan & More

Wednesday World Cup Projections: Best Bets Include Spain, Japan & More article feature image

DeFodi Images/Getty. Pictured: Takumi Minamino.

The 2022 World Cup is halfway through the first round of games in the group stage, and there have been some surprising results so far.

Saudi Arabia upset Argentina 2-1 as a +2200 underdog on the moneyline. However, my projections gave Saudi Arabia a 6.6% chance to win, which equates to fair odds of +1415 on the moneyline.

Other unexpected results included a first-ever World Cup scorline of 6-2. That of course came in Group B where England handled Iran with ease.

These tail-end outcomes happen more often than we think, and that's why it's important to use appropriate statistical modeling to capture the full range of outcomes that are possible

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.

So, what do my simulations say for Day 4 of the 2022 World Cup as Group E and Group F take center stage? Let's find out!

World Cup Projections

Group F: Morocco vs. Croatia (5 a.m ET)

  • Croatia are a 51.1% favorite to win according to my simulations.
  • However, the location advantage may play to Morocco's favor.
  • We chose not to bake in a regional or location advantage as a judgement call.
  • Even though simulations favor Croatia, this is probably a good spot to pass.

Group E: Spain vs. Costa Rica (8 a.m. ET)

  • Spain are an 83.9% favorite to win according to my simulations.
  • This is the most lopsided projection of the group stages.
  • Spain have a large goal scoring tail with a 32.1% chance to score 4 or more goals.
  • Best Bet: Spain to score four or more goals (+260 via FanDuel)
  • Bet to: +240

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Group E: Germany vs. Japan (11 a.m. ET)

  • Germany are a 58.2% favorite to win according to my simulations.
  • However, the Japan moneyline represents the best betting value.
  • My simulations have Japan winning 14.3% of the time.
  • Best Bet: Japan ML (+700 via PointsBet)
  • Bet to: +650

Group F: Belgium vs. Canada (2 p.m. ET)

  • Belgium are a 51.8% favorite to win according to my simulations.
  • Canada have a 48.2% chance at grabbing points.
  • I'm showing value on Canada to win and draw at this price, so your best bet is on the spread.
  • Best Bet: Canada +0.5 (+150 via DraftKings)
  • Bet to: +130
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