BetfairGuru World Cup 2018 Experiment


Russia to win Group A @ 3.05

Croatia to win Group D @ 3.3

Serbia to qualify from Group E @ 2.3

South Korea to finish rock-bottom of Group F @ 1.83

England to win Group G @ 2.38

Tunisia to finish rock-bottom of Group G @ 2.86

Poland to win Group H @ 2.84

Senegal to finish rock-bottom of Group H @ 3.4


Back France to win @ 7.6

Back Spain to win @ 7.4

Diego Costa top-goalscorer @ 29

Andrej Kramaric top-goalscorer @ 330+

Radamel Falcao top-goalscorer @ 55

France vs Spain Final @ 21

This page features an experimental look at the upcoming Fifa World Cup 2018

The page is pretty simple to follow, with the full tournament projected down the center of the page and auxiliary information to both the left and the right hand columns

In the left-hand column you'll see bets that should theoretically make sense if the model is accurate. I'll be keeping a record of all bets listed and if you want to keep an eye on progress as well, you can download the full bet list using the drop-down at the top of the page

To the right hand side, you'll find additional ratings for the Top 10 in each category.

Each section is discussed in brief detail but if you want more details and some insight into how I've gone about building and testing this model, you can download the technical notes for free using the link on the dropdown.


This is all matches due to be played in the group stage

I requested a supremacy of 0.2 - so whichever side has an advantage bigger than that will be deemed the winner. In practise, it's rare for a match to be that close but anything less than that supremacy for either side would result in a draw.

I'm logging all bets and will post updated results at the top of the page on completion of the tournament.

Date Time Match 1 X 2   Winner
Thursday 14th June 201816:00Russia Vs Saudi Arabia1.425.0014.00 Russia
Friday 15th June 201813:00Egypt Vs Uruguay7.503.751.66 Uruguay
Friday 15th June 201816:00Morocco Vs IR Iran2.433.043.80 Morocco
Friday 15th June 201819:00Portugal Vs Spain4.953.521.91 Spain
Saturday 16th June 201811:00France Vs Australia1.296.9019.00 France
Saturday 16th June 201814:00Argentina Vs Iceland1.394.9015.00 Argentina
Saturday 16th June 201817:00Peru Vs Denmark3.603.322.48 Denmark
Saturday 16th June 201820:00Croatia Vs Nigeria1.803.785.85 Croatia
Sunday 17th June 201813:00Costa Rica Vs Serbia4.503.402.05 Serbia
Sunday 17th June 201816:00Germany Vs Mexico1.534.408.20 Germany
Sunday 17th June 201819:00Brazil Vs Switzerland1.445.0010.00 Brazil
Monday 18th June 201813:00Sweden Vs Korea Republic2.123.304.20 Sweden
Monday 18th June 201816:00Belgium Vs Panama1.208.0026.00 Belgium
Monday 18th June 201819:00Tunisia Vs England11.004.751.41 England
Tuesday 19th June 201813:00Poland Vs Senegal2.373.303.50 Poland
Tuesday 19th June 201816:00Colombia Vs Japan1.803.725.95 Colombia
Tuesday 19th June 201819:00Russia Vs Egypt2.083.484.50 Russia
Wednesday 20th June 201813:00Portugal Vs Morocco1.683.866.50 Portugal
Wednesday 20th June 201816:00Uruguay Vs Saudi Arabia1.256.2519.00 Uruguay
Wednesday 20th June 201819:00IR Iran Vs Spain21.006.801.23 Spain
Thursday 21st June 201813:00France Vs Peru1.474.8010.00 France
Thursday 21st June 201816:00Denmark Vs Australia1.753.825.75 Denmark
Thursday 21st June 201819:00Argentina Vs Croatia1.963.564.50 Croatia
Friday 22nd June 201813:00Brazil Vs Costa Rica1.276.5016.00 Brazil
Friday 22nd June 201816:00Nigeria Vs Iceland2.803.252.97 Draw
Friday 22nd June 201819:00Serbia Vs Switzerland3.023.302.67 Draw
Saturday 23rd June 201813:00Belgium Vs Tunisia1.335.5513.00 Belgium
Saturday 23rd June 201816:00Germany Vs Sweden1.474.758.40 Germany
Saturday 23rd June 201819:00Korea Republic Vs Mexico5.003.581.95 Mexico
Sunday 24th June 201813:00England Vs Panama1.227.0021.00 England
Sunday 24th June 201816:00Japan Vs Senegal3.563.362.38 Draw
Sunday 24th June 201819:00Poland Vs Colombia3.063.342.57 Poland
Monday 25th June 201815:00Saudi Arabia Vs Egypt6.003.721.77 Egypt
Monday 25th June 201815:00Uruguay Vs Russia2.453.343.34 Draw
Monday 25th June 201819:00IR Iran Vs Portugal10.504.901.40 Portugal
Monday 25th June 201819:00Spain Vs Morocco1.405.3510.50 Spain
Tuesday 26th June 201815:00Australia Vs Peru3.603.522.29 Australia
Tuesday 26th June 201815:00Denmark Vs France6.003.901.69 France
Tuesday 26th June 201819:00Iceland Vs Croatia5.203.551.87 Croatia
Tuesday 26th June 201819:00Nigeria Vs Argentina8.004.501.52 Argentina
Wednesday 27th June 201815:00Mexico Vs Sweden2.603.203.20 Mexico
Wednesday 27th June 201815:00Korea Republic Vs Germany13.006.101.30 Germany
Wednesday 27th June 201819:00Serbia Vs Brazil9.905.351.40 Draw
Wednesday 27th June 201819:00Switzerland Vs Costa Rica1.923.544.85 Switzerland
Thursday 28th June 201815:00Japan Vs Poland4.503.551.96 Poland
Thursday 28th June 201815:00Senegal Vs Colombia4.503.422.03 Colombia
Thursday 28th June 201819:00England Vs Belgium3.003.402.61 England
Thursday 28th June 201819:00Panama Vs Tunisia3.643.302.31 Panama

Group Projections

This section looks at groups and they are displayed here in expected finishing order.

This step is important since it denotes which teams will play each other in the next round.

You will note that some groups feature teams tied for points. In these situations, the team with a better Attack rating was given the higher placing on account that they logically should have scored more goals

Group A
Pos Team Pts
1 Russia 7
2 Uruguay 7
3 Egypt 3
4 Saudi Arabia 0
Group B
Pos Team Pts
1 Spain 9
2 Portugal 6
3 Morocco 3
4 IR Iran 0
Group C
Pos Team Pts
1 France 9
2 Denmark 6
3 Australia 3
4 Peru 0
Group D
Pos Team Pts
1 Croatia 9
2 Argentina 6
3 Iceland 1
4 Nigeria 1

Group E
Pos Team Pts
1 Brazil 7
2 Serbia 5
3 Switzerland 4
4 Costa Rica 0
Group F
Pos Team Pts
1 Germany 9
2 Mexico 6
3 Sweden 3
4 Korea Republic 0
Group G
Pos Team Pts
1 England 9
2 Belgium 6
3 Panama 3
4 Tunisia 0
Group H
Pos Team Pts
1 Poland 9
2 Colombia 6
3 Japan 1
4 Senegal 1

Second Round

Here we have a simulation of the Second Round (Last 16)

This could look very different of course, depending on what happens within the group stages. However, if the groups go as projected, this is the Last 16 line-up we'll see with our model's winner selected in each.

Date Time Match   Winner
Saturday 30th June 15:00 France vs Argentina   France
Saturday 30th June 19:00 Russia vs Portugal   Portugal
Sunday 1st July 15:00 Spain vs Uruguay   Spain
Sunday 1st July 19:00 Croatia Vs Denmark   Croatia
Monday 2nd July 15:00 Brazil vs Mexico   Brazil
Monday 2nd July 19:00 England vs Colombia   England
Tuesday 3rd July 15:00 Germany vs Serbia   Germany
Tuesday 3rd July 19:00 Poland vs Belgium   Belgium

Quarter Finals

Quickly getting into the business end of the tournament now and our quarter-finals are projected below.

As you'll see in the guide, if you chose to download it, I firmly believe England are hopelessly over-rated and that this will as far as they go. However, there's no point trying to build an objective rating model if you're going to corrupt it with your own subjective opinions.

France, Germany and Spain look to be cofortable victors although the Brazil vs England game is a close one with Englands defensive solidity playing a big part in getting them through.

Date Time Match   Winner
Friday 6th July 15:00 Portugal vs France   France
Friday 6th July 19:00 Brazil Vs England   England
Saturday 7th July 15:00 Germany vs Belgium   Germany
Saturday 7th July 19:00 Spain vs Croatia   Spain

Semi Finals

At this stage, we could be seeing vastly different match-ups as they permutations are many and much depends on final group positioning. if we didn't get that right, we won't see these matches in the Semi's but this is a projection of what's likely to happen based on the number's we're working with.

Those numbers may well be very wrong, in which case we'll have to refine the idea.

However, in past tournaments, I've seen solid success with this model and I've no reason to doubt it's efficacy in all honesty

The model suggests that France will comfortably beat England and that Spain will secure a narrow victory over Germany although penalties seem unlikely in both games.

Date Time Match   Winner
Tuesday 10th July 15:00 France Vs England   France
Wednesday 11th July 19:00 Spain vs Germany   Spain

Third Place Playoff

With everything going to plan we have two strong teams fighting it out for third

Germany are much the stronger side by all metrics though and should be comfortable winners in this scenario

Date Time Match   Winner
Saturday 14th July 15:00 England Vs Germany   Germany


With Spain, as the top-rated side before a ball is kicked, having knocked out the 2nd strongest(Germany) in the Semi's, we have them now trying to take care of the 3rd top-rated to emerge victorious

The figures say it should be reasonably comfortable for Spain but by no means high-scoring with France deemed very solid defensively

Date Time Match   Winner
Sunday 15th July 15:00 France Vs Spain   Spain

What I Expect To See & Possible Flaws

The first thing I expect we'll see is more draws. I'm not 100% that a 0.2 goal supremacy is an effective cut-off point but it's very difficult to judge these things with games played at international Football tournaments being fairly infrequent affairs.

I also think some of the teams are quite over-rated. England being a prime example and I suspect their defensive ratings in particular arising from the fact their squad has a heavy lean towards players playing for a handful of top teams in a single league. With teams like France, their squad consists of players from across Europe and from many different strengths of team - not always the strongest. As such, France's ratings would be spread thinner than perhaps they should be whereas England's players are complimented by having played almost exclusively with first-class international squad mates.
I hope I've explained that issue properly but I've also touched on it in a bit more detail in the guide

Another issue we'll see is that with some squads featuring players in obscure leagues, Saudi Arabia for example, it's difficult to calculate accurate player ratings to indicate how strong different aspects of their game are. I suspect we'll see teams like Egypt and Tunisia cause more issues than the model suggest they will since they're very technically-capable sides but the model is just writing them off entirely.

All that said, this is, and will likely remain, a work in progress. It's difficult to build an adequate sample size when we're dealing with International Football tournaments as they only come around once every 2 years.
Hopefully, if we can predict where we expect to see flaws in advance, we can refine the model if those fears are proven to be correct.

Data Tables

Top 10 Rated Teams
Team Rating
Top 10 Rated Goalkeepers
Player Team Rating
Marc-André terGermany976
Alphonse AreolaFrance821
José ReinaSpain636
Anthony LopesPortugal593
Rui PatrícioPortugal547
Fernando MusleraUruguay531
Hugo LlorisFrance447
Thibaut CourtoisBelgium447
Koen CasteelsBelgium368
Top 10 Rated Defenders
Player Team Rating
Pontus JanssonSweden943
Jan VertonghenBelgium882
Thiago SilvaBrazil873
César AzpilicueSpain871
Jordi AlbaSpain835
Alex WilkinsonAustralia817
Timm KloseSwitzerland782
Matthias GinterGermany761
Mats HummelsGermany732
Santiago AriasColombia724
Top 10 Rated Midfielders
Player Team Rating
Ángel Di MaríaArgentina902
Giovani dos SantMexico879
Dimitri PayetFrance863
Ivan RakiticCroatia857
Christian ErikseDenmark854
David SilvaSpain842
Lasse SchöneDenmark824
James RodríguezColombia820
Joshua KimmichGermany786
Top 10 Rated Attackers
Player Team Rating
Nabil FekirFrance993
Robert LewandowsPoland948
Harry KaneEngland940
Antoine GriezmanFrance928
Leroy SanéGermany920
José CallejónSpain851
Adem LjajicSerbia822
Gonzalo HiguaínArgentina819
Dries MertensBelgium742
Raheem SterlingEngland712