World Cup Betting Guide for Friday 12/2/22: How to Bet the Final Group Stage Day
We all know that the World Cup doesn’t come around every year, and that can make for some difficult projecting.
Team qualifying samples are small, injuries are crucial, and opponent adjustments must be made before projecting out World Cup matches.
Thankfully, we have ways to do that, and numberFire’s World Cup betting model offers up game-specific projections for each stage of the World Cup.
Here are the best bets for World Cup action on Friday, December 2nd.
(Note: all records are listed in win-loss-draw format rather than win-draw-loss. All expected goal data from FBRef.)
South Korea (+330) vs. Portugal (-135)
Draw odds: +300
Portugal has already advanced by virtue of a 2-0-0 record through two matches, and another win or a draw will earn them the top spot in Group H.
South Korea has a single point through two matches thanks to a scoreless draw with Uruguay in their opener. They lost 3-2 to Ghana in their follow-up match despite an expected goal (xG) win of 1.8 to 1.6.
Through two matches, Portugal ranks fifth in adjusted xG average (1.65) but has allowed 1.29 adjusted xG per game (20th among World Cup teams). South Korea is 16th offensively (1.10) and 22nd defensively (1.43).
South Korea will be doing all they can to win, but a win for Portugal earns them a clean sweep of the group. Portugal's moneyline (-130) actually seems a bit light. I have their expected win odds at -165.
Ghana (+380) vs. Uruguay (-140)
Draw odds: +270
A win for either side gets them through to the Round of 16, and advancement scenarios exist for each even with a draw. But with the win-and-advance stakes, both sides should be locked in.
Ghana, despite three full points earned through a win over South Korea, ranks just 24th in adjusted xG differential among World Cup teams and is actually 29th in xG allowed (1.88 per match).
Uruguay is one of 10 teams to rank top-15 in both adjusted xG offense and defense so far in this World Cup.
numberFire views Uruguay's moneyline (-140) -- in a virtual must-win situation -- as a five-star play (out of five).
It also likes the under (2.5 at -126) as a four-star play, and my model projects expected odds of -155 for this match to stay under 2.5 goals.
Cameroon (+700) vs. Brazil (-250)
Draw odds: +370
Like Portugal, Brazil has six points through two matches, and they're projected to rely on some reserves more than usual in this matchup. That still shouldn't change things too drastically. A win or draw guarantees first place in Group G.
Cameroon needs a win and help; if Serbia loses to Switzerland, their World Cup is over.
Though Cameroon is 9th in adjusted xG for (1.47 per match), they're 27th defensively (1.63).
Brazil is 3rd in expected offense (1.74) with opponent adjustments.
With Cameroon's spotty defense (but a solid offense of their own) and depth to spare for Brazil, my model is preferring this one to go over 2.5 goals (-128) among all the standard bets for this game.
Serbia (+160) vs. Switzerland (+175)
Draw odds: +230
This matchup rates out very evenly, and that's reflected in the win odds for each side. A win for either country pushes them through to the Round of 16, so they won't be playing for draws.
These teams have close marks in adjusted xG offensively (1.04 for Serbia and 0.94 for Switzerland, ranking 18th and 19th, respectively). But the gap comes via their defenses through two matches.
Switzerland (0.79 adjusted xG allowed) ranks 7th among World Cup teams; Serbia (2.25) is last in the World Cup. Serbia allowed 2.4 xG to Brazil and 2.2 to Cameroon. Switzerland held those teams to 1.0 and 0.7, respectively.
Switzerland (+1.0) at -220 odds is a good play even at the odds.