Belgium vs Japan

2018 World Cup: Belgium vs. Japan odds, lines, expert picks, insider predictions

The 2018 World Cup knockout stage rolls on Monday with a 2 p.m. ET matchup between powerful Belgium and a surprising Japan squad. After winning all three games in the group stage, Belgium comes into this 2018 World Cup fixture as a -260 favorite on the money line, meaning a $260 bet would return $100. Japan is an underdog at +750 (bet $100 to return $750). A draw in regulation is +360, while the Over-Under for total goals scored is 2.

Before you lock in your 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. Along 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 on bookmakers’ closing odds.

The Soccerbot has already nailed draws for Argentina-Iceland (+385) and Brazil-Switzerland (+360). It also correctly predicted Iran upsetting Morocco at +275, just to name a few of its big calls. Anyone who has followed it is way up.

Now, the Soccerbot has digested the film, crunched the numbers and broken down every single player on Belgium and Japan. We can tell you the model likes the Over and it has also released a very strong money-line pick, which it’s sharing only over at SportsLine.

The model has taken Belgium’s dominant performance thus far into account. Perhaps no other team in the 2018 World Cup took care of business the way Belgium did in Group G. Belgium overwhelmed Panama and Tunisia by a combined score of 8-2 and then pulled out a 1-0 victory against England to claim the top spot.

But even though Japan is getting little credit in the 2018 World Cup odds to win, it exceeded expectations in group play and could be a tough out in the knockout stage. Japan knocked off eventual Group H champion Colombia and then tied Senegal before falling 1-0 to Poland.

Belgium’s Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku both sat out with minor injuries against England, but those were viewed as precautionary moves since the squad had already secured its spot in the 2018 World Cup knockout round.

With those two on the field, Belgium has a substantial talent edge, but a pesky Japan team has already shown it can shut down a highly-flying attack and make almost any matchup interesting.