Paying for the Faves’

24 Jun

My record stands at 14-12-2 and a nice 24% ROI. Have you ever watched a big horse race or big game and they send it around the horn to see what horse or team everyone is picking? I despise when everyone picks the odds on favorite and doesn’t come up with much of a reason for it. Those pundits won’t come out ahead in the long run. I typically stay away from favorites for a couple reasons; I don’t like paying more to get a return and if a team knows they’re an underdog, they’ll do almost anything to prove the public wrong. A low-seed playing a high seed in a tournament has nothing to lose. If they do lose the game, they might even get a ribbon for playing well (joke). Unfortunately, sometimes one has to bite the bullet and take the favorites when it’s the better choice. All of my picks for the quarter–final round have a bit extra juice attached to the lines. I don’t like paying the extra juice but we’re gonna need to suck it up to become winners this round.

UPDATE: I’m offering my first guaranteed pick for sale. If you would like my guaranteed winning pick, email me at with “Japan-Canada pick” in the subject line. 

Germany (0.0,-0.5) France (-120) [& Over 2(-140)]: FIFA wanted this matchup. They got it and I’m guessing everyone will make a World War 2 joke at some point during the match. This is an unfortunately early matchup for both teams. Both teams are fantastic and have great Weighted Goals For Less Goals Against (WGFLGA) in my updated data. Germany has 3.67 and France a sound 2.44. Even though France has a decent mark at 2.44, it’s a full goal less than Germany, I gotta take the lady Germans. I’ve seen Germany give up goals against unworthy teams and France lost by two against Colombia. This is influencing my over bet. The teams ‘goaling average’ (average of WGFLGA and GA) is 1.91, even with the extra juice I see value in the over and predict a 3-1 Germany win if they get off to a good start.

USA v China (-250): There is a huge stat difference between these teams! USA has a 3.2 WGFLGA and China has 0.82. China allows 1.28 goals per game and the USA only allows 0.26. This should be a tough game for China. This match should actually be easier for the USA than when they beat Colombia 2-0 in the last round. I took the moneyline here because I felt a push at a -1.0 line. The line of -250 equates to about a 70% chance of winning. China’s numbers are about 25% compared to the USA! There is a big advantage here.

Canada-England U2 (-125): Canada hasn’t allowed or scored many goals during the World Cup. These teams have a goaling average of 1.02. That’s insanely low. I wanted to nab this line in case it went and lower. If it moves in my favor I might double down but I’ll keep the spreadsheet updated if I do.

I’m split with my picks for the World Cup, equal winners and losers both on favorites and underdogs. When you bet, do you like riding the favorites and letting ‘Vegas’ do the work for you or do you specifically bet the underdogs trying to find value in the bonus odds? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.


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