One of the 2018 World Cup favorites will take on an underdog Saturday when Argentina faces Iceland in a Group D match at 9 a.m. ET. Argentina is a massive -300 money-line favorite (bet $300 to win $100), Iceland is 10-1 to win outright (bet $100 to win $1,000), and the draw is priced at +385. The over-under for total goals scored in this 2018 World Cup match is 2.5. Before you make your 2018 World Cup picks, you need to see what European football expert David Sumpter has to say.
Sumpter is an applied mathematician who wrote “Soccermatics,” a book that explains how math works inside the sport. Together with other experienced analysts, Sumpter developed the powerful Soccerbot model.
The Soccerbot reads current odds and all team performance data, calculates key metrics and predicts upcoming matches. In nearly three seasons since its inception, the Soccerbot is up an incredible 1,800 percent against closing sportsbook odds. Now, it’s locked in picks for Iceland vs. Argentina on Saturday.
The model knows Argentina is No. 5 in the FIFA rankings and led by one of the world’s top players, Lionel Messi. Iceland, with a population of 330,000, is the smallest country to ever qualify for the World Cup.
Argentina is a heavy favorite to emerge from Group D, and most sportsbooks have the club in the top three on the betting menu to win the World Cup 2018.
Even so, the team had its share of adversity on the way to finishing third in CONMEBOL qualifying. This included home losses to Ecuador, Paraguay and Brazil. Messi missed several matches, thus highlighting his paramount importance to the club.
Argentina has one of the most explosive offensive units in the 2018 World Cup field. In addition to Messi, players such as Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero are proven veterans.
Fans who are otherwise neutral will likely support Iceland, which has the makings of becoming the underdog darling of the World Cup. Its passionate fans are known for their “thunderclap,” and the club made headlines two years ago when it reached the European Championship quarterfinals for the first time. It notably eliminated England in the process.
Adding to the lore of a group of unheralded players is the story of coach Heimar Hallgrimsson, who balances managing the national team with running a dental surgery clinic in Iceland.