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World Cup Projections: Analytics Behind Valuable Argentina vs France Bets

World Cup Projections: Analytics Behind Valuable Argentina vs France Bets article feature image
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Juan Mabromata/Getty. Pictured: Emi martinez and Hugo Lloris.

The 2022 World Cup final pits two two-time winners against each other, as Argentina take on France.

Early odds had the French favored, but at the time of this writing, Argentina have moved into an ever so slight consensus favorite position.

To help answer the question of which team should be favored, we can turn to my World Cup projections to see what the numbers say about Argentina vs. France.

My World Cup 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.

For the last time in this tournament, here are my World Cup projections and best bets for the final between Argentina and France.

World Cup Projections

Argentina vs. France (10 a.m. ET, Sunday)

My simulations make Argentina a marginal favorite to hoist the World Cup trophy, with a 50.2% chance of doing so. That includes a 33.7% chance to win in regulation, and a 40.3% chance to win it prior to penalties. That means my model gives fair odds for each team to win the World Cup as:

  • Argentina -101
  • France +101

In addition, the fair odds on the moneyline per my projections are:

  • Argentina +197
  • Draw +204
  • France +201

There is a 19.9% chance the World Cup comes to the ultimate drama, a penalty shootout. Fair odds on the game being decided by penalties are +403.

Amazingly enough, of all 64 games at the World Cup, this game is the single closest match of the whole tournament according to my projections.

Argentina are expected to average 1.072 xG, while France are expected to average 1.067 xG. That’s a difference of just 0.005 goals in the 90 minutes plus injury time.

With 2.14 total xG, this game should stay under 2.5 goals 64.4% of the time in regulation. That equates to a fair value of  -180. There is thin value out in the market on the under for total goals, which you can find at -160 at PointsBet.

In addition, there’s value in a niche market at DraftKings for a “No Score Tie” as the 90-minute margin of victory at +700, or 12.5% implied odds.

My projections say a scoreless draw has a 13.5% chance of happening. Notably, you’ll want to make sure you are navigating to the right place, because they also have a 90-minute “Correct Score” market with 0-0 as the correct score at just +600.

These are identical bets, so we want to make sure to take the +700 odds instead of the +600 odds, which does not have the necessary value to bet. The screenshot below shows the correct place to navigate.

Overall, there isn’t much value out there as this line has been hammered into place right in line with what the analytics say.

However, I have found value on two bets, so let’s roll with them. I’ll throw 0.25 units on the “No Score Tie” bet, and bet to win one unit on the under.

Best Bets: Under 2.5 (-160 via PointsBet), Margin of Victory – No Score Tie (+700 via DraftKings).

Bet to: -160 and +700

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