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Spain's forward Alvaro Morata celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal against Germany.
Spain's forward Alvaro Morata celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal against Germany. Photo by Kirill Kudryavtsev via AFP.

Denmark, one of the in-form European sides, was thrown out of the World Cup after losing to Australia in Group D, while France fell to Tunisia in another Qatar 2022 shock. Read on for Thursday's top World Cup picks and best bets.

The unpredictable is now a norm at this World Cup, with many pre-tournament favorites lacking strength and inspiration against opponents regarded as inferior. On Thursday, it’s time for 2018 finalists Croatia and third-placed Belgium to battle in Group F, while Germany desperately needs to win vs. Costa Rica to progress from Group E.

Here are our best bets ahead of Thursday’s World Cup matches (odds via PointsBet and FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Thursday’s World Cup Matches and Odds

(odds via FanDuel)

  • Group E: Japan (+750) vs. Spain (-270)
  • Group E: Costa Rica (+1900) vs. Germany (-1000)
  • Group F: Croatia (+165) vs. Belgium (+165)
  • Group F: Canada (+270) vs. Morocco (+105)

Thursday’s World Cup Best Bets

  • Moneyline: Morocco (+105 via FanDuel)
  • Spread:  Spain -1 vs. Japan (+110 via FanDuel)
  • Total: Japan vs. Spain Over 2.5 (-135 via PointsBet)
  • Upset: Costa Rica to tie or win vs. Germany (+700 via PointsBet)
  • Prop bet: Dani Olmo to have two or more shots on target (+225 via PointsBet)
  • Parlay: Japan vs. Spain: Over 3.5 Goals, Over 8.5 Corners and at least a goal in both halves (+473 via FanDuel)

World Cup Top Picks for Thursday

Moneyline: Morocco (+105) ★★★

Morocco has been excellent against Belgium, beating the Belgians 2-0, and was close to shocking Croatia (0-0) in its opening World Cup match. The North Africans are tied on points, four, with leaders Croatia in Group F, but still need a win to make sure they’re through to the Round of 16.

Canada impressed against Belgium, only losing 1-0 after many missed opportunities to get the ball past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. In front of Croatia, the Canadians put up a fight but ended up being beaten 4-1. Canada should have a similar approach against Morocco, trying to make the most of its final appearance at the Qatar World Cup.

Morocco is the surprise pack in this group and shouldn’t let the chance of qualifying slip when the mission's so close to being accomplished.

Spread: Spain -1 (+110) ★★★

After putting seven past Costa Rica in its opening match, Spain only drew 1-1 against Germany. But don’t let the scoreline fool you, as head coach Luis Enrique’s men had loads of chances to score and also hit the post. Spain is the best-looking European team at the World Cup and Japan shouldn't be too relaxed heading into Thursday's meeting.

After surprising with a fantastic 2-1 win over Germany, Japan succumbed in front of Costa Rica, losing 1-0. With many questions asked about their real face, the Japanese should suffer if they meet Spain’s merciless version from the Costa Rica match.

Total: Japan-Spain Over 2.5 (-135) ★★★

Judging by how they play, Spain's team should score three or four goals against all their opponents. When they do, opponents' lack of goals translates into a lack of inspiration in front of goals from the skillful Dani Olmo, Alvaro Morata, Marco Asensio, or Ferran Torres. If they leave the game against Germany behind and don’t make the same finishing mistakes, the match against Japan brings flooding inside goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda’s box.

Upset: Costa Rica double chance (+700) ★★★

We can all agree this World Cup has been crazy so far. Why not add one more result to the list? Costa Rica bounced back in spectacular fashion, beating Japan 1-0 after Spain trashed the Costa Ricans 7-0. It’s the exact Japan side that also won against Germany 2-1. Of course, the Germans start the clash against Costa Rica as big favorites. That doesn’t mean much at this World Cup, as the matches between Saudi Arabia and Argentina or Morocco and Belgium already showed us. PointsBet offers a Costa Rica Win or Draw vs. Germany at +700, a great return for a single event.

Prop bet: Olmo Over 1.5 shots on target (+225) ★★★

Dani Olmo has been in splendid form for Spain recently. The Spanish winger feels his manager’s trust and is motivated to deliver in every match. Against Costa Rica, he scored one and assisted another, while facing Germany he hit the woodwork with a superb shot. His goal chasing should continue against Japan.

Parlay: Japan-Spain Over 3.5 goals + Over 8.5 corners + a goal in each half (+473) ★★★

Even if Japan tries to keep the game close, Spain’s class shouldn’t let it apply any plans to contain the opposition. Expect an open match, with lots of offensive action, chances, shots, corners, and ultimately goals. A decent parlay combining Over 3.5 goals, Over 8.5 corners, and at least a goal in both halves returns +473 via FanDuel.

Where to Bet on World Cup Picks

World Cup Betting Sites

World Cup odds and best bets from 11/30/2022 at 3:22 p.m. ET.