Round of 16 Top Picks for Monday: 2002 World Cup Co-Hosts Seek Quarter Finals Draw

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Japan's midfielder #08 Ritsu Doan celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group E football match between Japan and Spain. Jewel Samad/AFP

Both South Korea and Japan feature on Monday’s World Cup odds board. The last time both nations made it into the World Cup knockout phase was back in 2002, when both nations were joint hosts.

In 2002 South Korea managed to almost complete a fairy tale as they made it to the Semi-Finals before eventually losing to Germany, while Japan was knocked out in the last 16 to Turkey.

Both nations are looking to go deep yet again after impressing in the group stages, but they face a tough battle as South Korea comes up against pre-tournament favorites Brazil, while Japan faces the 2018 World Cup runners-up, Croatia.

Croatia vs. Japan

Monday, December 5, 2022 – 10:00 AM EST at Al Janoub Stadium

Teams' Analysis


Japan did the impossible by topping a group involving Spain and Germany, beating both European nations while surprisingly losing 1-0 to Costa Rica. The Samurai Blues are just the third team in World Cup history to win two group-stage games having trailed at halftime.

Japan can thank their manager's genius substitutions, as all four of their World Cup goals have been netted by a substitute, including two from Freiberg player Ritsu Doan.


Croatia played out a 0-0 tie with Belgium last time out to advance into the last 16 as they finished 2nd in the group behind Morocco, only beating last-placed Canada, who went 0-3 in the group stage.

Croatia hasn’t been that convincing and doesn’t look like a team who is playing to the best of its ability. They were lucky not to lose to Belgium after Romelu Lukaku had an xG of 1.98 in just 45 minutes, more than Morocco had in the entire group stage.

The Pick and Prediction

Croatia has drawn two blanks now at this World Cup, and Japan comes into this round 16 matchup having scored twice against both Germany and Spain from a losing position. The best World Cup sportsbooks are heavily favoring Croatia to win here at +105, compared to Japan’s +300.

We believe the best betting pick and value to be on Japan’s +0.5 handicap. This means we will cash our play if Japan wins or tie the game.

The Samurai Blues are a very resilient team, they won’t lie down easily as they showed in the group stages. We see this game ending in a tie and after extra time, and possibly penalties. Who knows who will advance.

Predicted Score: Croatia 1 – Japan 1

Soccer Pick: Japan +0.5 (-120) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Japan +0.5 (-120)
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Brazil vs. South Korea

Monday, December 5, 2022 – 02:00 PM EST at Stadium 974

Teams' Analysis


Despite Brazil losing on matchday three (1-0 to Cameroon) they still topped their group for the 11th consecutive time at a World Cup finals.

Prior to that defeat, Brazil had gone 17 games unbeaten in the World Cup groups stages, although coach Tite did point out that it was the most changes made to a Brazilian line-up since the 1966 World Cup.

Brazil has never faced South Korea in a competitive fixture.

South Korea

South Korea had an incredible comeback from 1-0 down to pick up a 2-1 victory over European powerhouses Portugal. Their reward has been a first-ever meeting against the World's number-one ranked team in Brazil.

South Korea is one of three Asian teams in the final 16 of the World Cup, this is the first time the Asian confederation has seen more than two teams in the final 16.

The Pick and Prediction

Brazil will be back with their strongest starting eleven and despite topping their group, they were the lowest scorers. We expect the starting eleven will be glad to be back on the pitch and relish in this very winnable last-16 matchup.

South Korea may have done well to make the last 16, but Brazil’s defeat last time out hasn’t gone down very well with fans, we expect this team to be out to prove a point.

Brazil -1.5 on the Asian handicap is available to bet with BetOnline at some nice odds of -105, South Korea could sneak a goal here but even if so, we fully expect Brazil will score three goals.

Predicted Score: Brazil 3 – South Korea 0

Soccer Pick: Brazil -1.5 (-105) at BetOnline

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Brazil -1.5 (-105)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.