The USA is 78% likely to qualify for round of sixteen at the 2014 World Cup. They currently have 4 points and a +1 goal differential (GD), Germany has 4 points and a +4 GD, Ghana has 1 point and a -1 GD, and Portugal has 1 point and a -4 GD. The top two teams advance based on points, GD, and then goals scored. There is one set of games remaining that will be played simultaneously at 12 PM ET on Thursday: USA versus Germany and Ghana versus Portugal.
62% Likely to happen (100% likely to advance): USA automatically qualifies on points if they win, draw, or Ghana and Portugal draw. USA is just short of 50% likely to either win or draw against Germany, and Ghana and Portugal are about 25% to draw. Since these games are ostensively independent (as they are played at the same time) the USA has a 62% likelihood of advancing on points.
22% Likely to happen (66% likely to advance): If USA loses and Portugal wins they would be tied with 4 points each, but USA has a huge GD advantage. Portugal needs to make up 5 goals; for example, the USA needs lose by 3 and Portugal win by 2 or something similarly dramatic. Thus, USA has a 66% likelihood of advancing if they lose and Portugal wins.
16% Likely to happen (5% likely to advance): If USA loses and Ghana wins, again, just 16% likely, then the USA is in a bit of trouble. By definition they will be at least tied on GD (as Ghana would need to win by at least one and USA lose by at least one). It is highly likely Ghana would win by more than 1 or the USA would lose by more than 1. And, even if they are tied on GD, the USA would only advance if they scored more goals. Thus, USA has just a 5% likelihood of advancing if they lose and Ghana wins.
The likelihood of USA advancing is greatly increased by the unique position that both Germany and USA advance with a draw. While outright collusion for a 0-0 draw is unlikely, neither team is going to be too aggressive. Below I have charted the likelihood of a USA victory, draw, or Germany victory in the upcoming game. Notice that the likelihood of a draw spiked dramatically as the USA game finished at about 8 PM ET on June 22. Despite Germany still being likely to win, the most likely score of the game, by far, is 1-1.
The winner of group G plays the loser of group H and vice-versa. Group H’s star team, Belgium, has been underperforming all World Cup. While they are certainly better than Algeria or Russia, they are beatable. Thus, there is not a huge concern over winning the group or coming in second.