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 Sunday, November 20th.
(Note: all records are listed in win-loss-draw format rather than win-draw-loss; FIFA world rankings are in parenthesis.)
Qatar (50) vs. Ecuador (44)
The host country of the 2022 World Cup, Qatar (ranked 50th in the FIFA world ranking), did not need to qualify to be in this year's World Cup. It'll be their World Cup debut.
Qatar ended AFC qualifying with a 7-0-1 (win-loss-draw) record with a goal differential of +17. We have seen their World Cup championship odds shorten from +55000 to +37000, but that's not saying much. They’re +300 to advance out of Group A, ranking them last.
In their most recent friendlies, they drew with Slovenia (0-0), Jamaica (1-1), and Chile (2-2) and lost to Canada (2-0). They did, in their last match, beat Albania (1-0), who is 66th in the FIFA world ranking. Against two teams in the top-45 in the FIFA ranks in that split (Canada and Chile), Qatar lost by a combined score of 4-2.
Ecuador is +100 to advance out of the group, trailing the Netherlands (-950) and Senegal (-105). Ecuador (+15000 to win the World Cup) may not be a favorite but are a stronger team overall than Qatar.
They ended CONMEBOL qualifying 7-6-5 with a +8 goal differential. They played section leader and World Cup favorite Brazil (+320) to a cumulative loss of 3-1, falling 2-0 and earning a 1-1 draw. They also drew 0-0 with Japan (24th in the world ranks) and beat Nigeria (32nd) by a score of 1-0.
Ecuador is an undefeated 2-0-4 in their six post-qualifying friendlies while scoring only twice and allowing no goals.
The energy should be there for Qatar, but Ecuador grades out as a strong team that should be able to earn the win. numberFire's model gives them a 60.3% chance to win, making their moneyline (+135) a four-star suggestion.
numberFire's model also likes there to be multiple goals (and views the over of 1.5 as 72.4% likely to occur). That's a five-star play.