World Cup Knockout Stage Projections: Brazil Favored
Pictured: Brazil supporters celebrate at the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group G football match between Cameroon and Brazil. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)
The knockout stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup are set.
That means it's time to take a fresh look at my projections to see which teams are favored to take the trophy back to their country, and which teams are dark horses to win it all.
Here's how things stack up heading into Saturday's opener between the Netherlands and USA.
World Cup Projections
Brazil, according to my simulations, are favored to win the World Cup with a 26.2% chance to lift the trophy. That equates to +285 fair odds.
Spain, come in second at 16.4% with fair odds at +510.
They barely edged out England, who look to win the title for the first time since 1966. Per my simulations, they are the second-most likely team to win at 15.4%, which comes in right at +555 odds.
Defending World Cup champion France are fourth as they look set to square off against England in the quarterfinals, should both advance. They are the last team above 10% and are at 12.0%, or +740 as fair value.
Argentina rounds out the top five at 8.8% (+1005).
The Dark Horse
Of the teams outside the top 10 in World Cup win probability, Japan are the most likely make a run into the semifinals.
Japan's first-round matchup is against a Croatian side that are certainly vulnerable. They would then likely face World Cup favorites Brazil who may not have star player Neymar.
Japan have just over a 6.7% chance to make the semifinals, which equates to +1395 as fair value.
What About the USA?
The Americans actually sit in a pretty nice spot, picking up a Netherlands team that was actually outperformed in the group stage in expected goals.
If they get past the Dutch, Argentina is likely next up. Again, the USA are a bit fortunate, as the Albiceleste struggled in the group stage as well.
By virtue of having no team with more than a 10% chance in its quarter of the bracket, the Americans have approximately a one-in-six chance of making the quarterfinals and just over a 1-in-20 chance of advancing to the World Cup Final.
If things break exactly right, the US would lift the World Cup trophy for the first time ever about 1.7% of the time, a fair value of +5800 per my simulations.