The 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to begin this week, with matches kicking off on Nov. 20, 2022. A total of 32 teams will play through a group stage and bracket style tournament to crown a winner. The tournament held in Qatar will feature a total of 64 matches played.
To find out who will win each match and be declared the winner, video game company Electronic Arts EA simulated all the matches in its popular “FIFA 23” video game.
What Happened: For several of the past World Cups, EA has simulated the matches to determine the winner of the tournament.
The crazy part is that the last three tournaments were correctly predicted by the simulation with Spain winning in 2010, Germany in 2014 and France in 2018.
For this year, EA Sports FIFA’s prediction model ran simulations and saw Argentina defeating Brazil 1-0 in the World Cup Final, which would be the first meeting between the two teams in a World Cup since 1990 and the first finals meeting against each other.
Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002 and Argentina last won in 1986.
“The stage was set for two of football’s greatest rivals to meet for the first time in a FIFA World Cup since 1990 and the first time ever in the Final,” EA said in a statement. “Unsurprisingly it was another tense game that was decided by a single goal.”
The third place game saw France defeating Portugal with a score of 4-2.
The golden boot winner for the tournament in the simulation was soccer superstar Lionel Messi with 8 goals, including the lone goal of the World Cup final.
The simulation saw the United States reach the final eight teams, which could make U.S. fans happy after their team missed out on qualifying for the last World Cup. American star Christian Pulisic had five goals through the tournament’s simulation.
Why It’s Important: “FIFA 23” was the bestselling video game in the month of September, according to data from NPD Group. EA had the top two selling video games for the month, with “Madden NFL 23” ranking closely behind and falling one spot from the previous month when it was released.
EA recently said FIFA mobile had its highest new bookings quarter in company history and hit a record daily active user number.
The video game company could get a boost from the tournament, as fans follow the live matches and play the game and various challenges during the World Cup.
What’s Next: World Cup games kick off on Nov. 20, 2022, and will be broadcast by Fox Corporation FOX in the United States.
Bettors looking to take advantage of the simulation predictions could bet on the winner of the World Cup. The current odds from DraftKings Inc DKNG are:
The United States is listed with odds of +13000 for the World Cup on DraftKings, dropping from odds of +10000 earlier this year.
Brazil and Argentina have seen their odds improve, going from +450 and +750 respectively earlier in the year.
Odds for the Golden Boot are:
Harry Kane: +700
Kylian Mbappe: +800
Lionel Messi: +1000
Karim Benzema: +1200
Cristiano Ronaldo: +1600
The simulation sees Messi winning with 8 goals and Memphis Depay and Kylian Mbappe finishing in second and third with 7 and 6 goals. Depay pays +2200 as the top goalscorer. Pulisic has odds of +10000 to win the golden boot. The simulation sees him scoring five goals in five matches.
Betting odds for the United States to reach the quarterfinals are +400, which could be a nice return for bettors if the simulation proves correct.
EA Price Action: EA shares are up 0.56% to $130.28 on Tuesday, versus a 52-week range of $109.24 to $144.39.
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