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Mike Goodman
Mike Goodman
MLG
A soccer editor for CBS Sports, Goodman is at the forefront of the advanced statistics and analytics movement in soccer, with over a decade of experience working with cutting-edge predictive statistical analysis. Among his credits are work for FiveThirtyEight and StatsBomb, and he has immense experience diving deep into the analytics involved in dissecting the sport. For Mike Goodman media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.
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World Cup | Canada 0 @ Belgium 1 | 11/23 | 7:00 PM UTC

Canada +1.5

WIN

ANALYSIS: Canada may not have enough to win this match, but they're going to be an extremely difficult matchup for Belgium. This Belgian side is just not what they were, with their golden generation of talent inching towards the end of their careers. They still attack but their defensive line can't cover the gaps the players up the field leave them. And Canada are a team that know exactly what they're about. Jonathan David is the perfect striker to conduct a counterattack and Alphonso Davies can win matches all by himself, The major question is Davies' health. A 90 minutes fit Davies could lead Canada to a shock win, a 30 minutes fit version of the fullback might leave them coming up a little short.

+450 4-0 IN LAST 4 WCS PICKS

World Cup | Saudi Arabia 2 @ Argentina 1 | 11/22 | 10:00 AM UTC

OVER 2.5

WIN

ANALYSIS: We've already seen one example of an extremely lopsided match this tournament with England beating up on Iran 6-2. Argentina are better than England and Saudi Arabia are worse than Iran. Argentina may have to score all three goals themselves, but Lionel Messi and company are more than capable of doing that. Lionel Messi might be more than capable of doing that on his own. The major problem for underdogs in matches like this is if they concede at any point early on they're just sort of out of options and invariably attempts to get back into the match get exploited by the superior side. Depending on the price, longer odds and a higher over might also be tempting.

+450 4-0 IN LAST 4 WCS PICKS

World Cup | Iran 2 @ England 6 | 11/21 | 1:00 PM UTC

England -1.5

WIN

ANALYSIS: This is a good price given just how large the talent gap is between England and Iran in. England's well established history of playing their cards close to their chest and not taking chances on the way to low scoring victories precedes them, but this line underestimates their ability to physically dominate Iran at set pieces. Iran is the kind of underdog that can be dangerous against mistake prone teams. England are exactly the wrong type of favorite to get bothered by Iran’s talented attackers. Look for the Three Lions to physically dominate the match early, score from a set piece and then add another goal as Iran are forced to over-commit in attack against a defense that won’t give them any openings.

+450 4-0 IN LAST 4 WCS PICKS

World Cup | Ecuador 2 @ Qatar 0 | 11/20 | 4:00 PM UTC

Ecuador +140

WIN

ANALYSIS: Group A is in significant flux after Senegal star Sadio Mane was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to injury. But Senegal's loss is Ecuador's gain and turns this match from a mostly ceremonial affair between two teams unlikely to advance into a must win for the South American club. Expect them to get it done. This team advanced in a stacked South American qualifying region with a goal difference of +8 and have some top level talent including Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo. This very well may be a year of South American dominance at the World Cup, and I expect that to extend down beyond just Brazil and Argentina to Uruguay and Ecuador as well.

+450 4-0 IN LAST 4 WCS PICKS