The World Cup is now less than a week away. Have you made your bets yet?
There will be plenty of things to bet on during this fall World Cup. BetMGM offers odds for every match and even prop bets regarding total goals scored and some individual props.
But the most popular future bets are the outright winner of the tournament and which teams will advance to the knockout rounds. Brazil continues to be the favorite to win its first World Cup in 20 years and is a massive favorite to advance out of its group.
If you’re still looking to place a wager on the winner of the tournament, here’s what you need to know.
Brazil has stabilized at +400 to win the tournament after opening at +500. The Brazilians have everything you want in a World Cup favorite — a great goalkeeper, a solid back line and goal-scoring talent up front. If there’s a question about them, it’s if players like Casemiro, Fabinho and Fred can glue the forwards to the defense.
Lionel Messi has made it seem like this is his last World Cup and this could be his best chance to win since the 2014 Argentinian team made the World Cup final. This team doesn’t have the star power of the one that made the final eight years ago but appears to be a more cohesive unit. Oh, it’s also won 35 straight matches.
The defending World Cup champions won’t have N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba in midfield due to injury. That’s significant. There’s still plenty of talent all over the roster, especially up front with Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe. But no defending World Cup winner has made it out of the group stage until Brazil in 2006. That’s worth keeping in mind given France’s injury issues.
The English were very close to getting their first major trophy since 1966 a summer ago in the delayed Euro 2020 and it’s fair to wonder if this World Cup team is better than the team that lost to Italy in penalty kicks. England is deep, but a lack of top-tier talent at center back and a lack of a clear No. 2 option up front to Harry Kane are concerns.
The Spain team that won the World Cup in 2010 was full of players who were on their way to world superstardom and their style of play changed teams’ tactics around the globe. This team doesn’t have many superstars — yet — and finding a consistent goal-scoring threat will be key. Ten of Spain’s 13 goals in Euro 2020 came in two of their six games.
Remember Mario Gotze? The man who scored the goal that won Germany the 2014 World Cup is back in the squad for 2022. He’s probably not going to play a significant role, but that’s because this German team is deep. Finding a reliable center back pairing is key to buttress a midfield that could be entirely comprised of Bayern Munich players.
The Dutch missed out on the 2018 World Cup and are back in 2022 with a very easy group. The Netherlands’ chances of going deep into the tournament may hinge on Virgil van Dijk’s form. The do-it-all center back hasn’t been his best at times in 2022.
Belgium has a great goalie in Thibaut Courtois and the best creative midfielder in the game in Kevin de Bruyne. In between is a center back pairing of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen that has a combined age of 68 years old. Can they find the fountain of youth for a month?
Cristiano Ronaldo is still one of the most magnetic stars in soccer. But just how much of a role will he play for Portugal? At 37, Ronaldo has found himself on the periphery of Manchester United’s starting lineup this season and the same could happen at the national team even though Ronaldo is the captain.
United States (+10000)
South Korea (+25000)
Costa Rica (+50000)
Saudi Arabia (+50000)
Odds to win the group or advance
You can bet a team to win its group outright or you can bet it to simply finish in the top two of its group and advance to the knockout rounds. Half of the 32 teams in the tournament will advance to the single-elimination knockout stage and the groups are paired together. The winner of Group A will play the second-place team in Group B and vice versa.
The odds listed first are to win the group. The odds listed second are the odds for a team to either finish first or second.
This group is of special interest for U.S. fans as the USMNT will play one of the top two teams if it advances. Don’t sleep on Senegal to win the group, especially if Sadio Mane will be available for the entirety of the group stage. Senegal won the Africa Cup of Nations in January.
United States (+550)/(+100)
As you can see, it’s pretty tight between the United States and Wales to be the No. 2 team in the group. The U.S. is a slight favorite to win the game between the two countries on Monday. England has the lowest odds of any team in the World Cup to advance to the knockout rounds.
Saudi Arabia (+1800)/(+650)
Oddsmakers clearly think this is a fight for second in the group between Mexico and Poland. The Polish team’s chances could come down to Robert Lewandowski’s excellence and his ability to score despite being the focus of opponents’ attention.
We’d really like France’s chances of continuing the trend of defending champion flameouts if it wasn’t for a weak group. Denmark is really good and at +2800 to win the World Cup. But we’re not sure Tunisia or Australia are good enough to capitalize on any French dysfunction to sneak into the knockout rounds.
Costa Rica (+4000)/(+1400)
Costa Rica is the underdog of the tournament given the presence of Spain and Germany atop the group. Costa Rica is going to muck it up and play as slowly as possible and try to sneak out a few points. Japan, meanwhile, would have much better odds to advance to the knockout rounds in a different group and could play spoiler here.
If you’re looking for a team to bet to advance outside the top two in each group, Group F looks to be your place for action. Morocco is an extremely solid squad and Canada had the most points during CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. Belgium could have some defensive issues and while Luka Modric is still awesome, this is a Croatia team that isn’t nearly as good as the one that advanced to the final four years ago.
Switzerland and Serbia could be one of the most pivotal games of the group stage, especially if you assume that Brazil will easily get nine points. Cameroon advanced to the semifinals of AFCON in January and lost to Egypt on penalty kicks.
South Korea (+900)/(+240)
This is the most balanced group among the four, through Ghana could be a bit overrated. The Ghanians got into the World Cup thanks to Africa’s odd World Cup qualifying format but allowed five goals in three games and failed to advance out of the AFCON group stage in a group that included Gabon and Comoros.