FIFA World Cup Betting Guide: Outright favourites, value bets and more

Follow The Money's Mitch Moss and Pauly Howard discuss some of the bets they have already laid down for the 2022 World Cup, and throw out a bunch of interesting props you should consider when making your tickets.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is right around the corner and while the tournament is taking place at a different time, it hasn’t diminished the excitement, especially in Canada, which qualified for the first time since 1986.

Usually, the World Cup is the party of the summer but with Qatar hosting, it was not going to be feasible given the temperatures would have been a problem for players to safely play.

This year’s tournament is not short on star power but history reminds us even powerhouse nations can fall short of the expectations set for them. The last four World Cup tournaments have been won by European nations but a couple of squads from South America will look to change that trend.

Before you put some wagers down, using odds from Sports Interaction, here’s an all-encompassing guide to everything you need to know about betting on the World Cup.

All odds courtesy of Sports Interaction updated on Nov. 18.


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Betting Favourites to win World Cup

Brazil +271: It’s no surprise to see Brazil come in as the overwhelming betting favourite. Even though they haven’t won the tournament since 2002, they have been on a dominant roll during qualifying and the expectation is for this club to go all the way. As our own Peter Galindo explained in his Group G preview, this is a talented team poised for a deep run.

Argentina +329: This might be a bit of a longshot bet, especially since there is no value to be had here for a team that’s not an overwhelming favourite even with Lionel Messi leading the charge.

France +419: There are some serious question marks surrounding France with  N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba sidelined with injuries. As Tristan D’Amours noted in his preview of Group D, the French have a difficult history with defending their titles and it’s tough to be confident in their chances.

England +480: Can England channel the disappointment from losing the Euro 2020 final and make a deep run? They have a talented squad led by Harry Kane but their recent form has raised some serious questions and there’s not enough value to take a gamble on them at this point.

Spain +482: While there’s no doubting the pedigree Spain brings, their path to the final is going to be tough for this young squad. First, they have to make it out of Group E, which also features Germany, Japan and Costa Rica. Then they likely have to beat Brazil and Argentina to reach the final, so the odds are certainly stacked against them.

Germany +658: Hansi Flick will look to show his squad is more balanced and ready to return to international glory with 19-year-old Jamal Musiala aiming to lead the charge. However, like Spain, it is a tough road for Germany and recent international performances make it tough to see them making a deep run.

Netherlands +723: This Dutch squad has the talent to compete and could be a sleeper pick to do some damage if they play to their capabilities. The question is whether their top players can rise to the occasion and put them over the top.

Portugal +957: Uruguay will give Portugal a tough time in Group H, and they will need to finish first if they want to avoid Brazil in the Round of 16. They will need Cristiano Ronaldo to get back to his dominant form if they want to go far in the tournament.

Belgium +1075: Despite being the second-ranked club, Belgium isn’t seeing much love from bettors. Is this the year the team’s talent reaches its potential, especially if Romelu Lukaku can overcome his hamstring injury? This might be the best value to place a small wager but earn a big return on a team to win it all.

Golden Boot

Given to the top goalscorer at the tournament

Harry Kane +520
Kylian Mbappe +800
Lionel Messi +800
Karim Benzema +1000
Neymar +1000
Cristiano Ronaldo +1400
Lautaro Martinez +1700
Memphis Depay +2000
Romelu Lukaku +2100

Best bet: Kane is one of the top goal scorers coming into this tournament, so it is no surprise that he’s the favourite. He has a real shot to do some damage for England as he tries to become the country’s all-time leading scorer.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to look at the PSG duo of Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi as options too if either of them make it far into the tournament.

Value bets involving Canada

It would be ambitious to bet on Canada to win the World Cup as +12400 odds but there’s no reason why you should avoid placing a few wagers on them heading into the tournament.

There are many intriguing lines involving Canada going into the tournament including whether any player cries during the playing of the national anthem in their opening match +350 (we’re looking at you, Alphonso Davies).

While betting on Canada to finish atop Group F is a reach, there is value to bet on them to qualify out of the group stage at +218.

When it comes to individual player scoring props, Jonathan David is a +168 to lead Canada in scoring at the World Cup with Cyle Larin second at +457 followed by Davies at +500.

Favourite prop bets to make

If you aren’t keen on betting on individual match winners or outright winners of the World Cup, there are other ways to get in on the action. Here are some ideal bets to make that could provide great payouts. 

Lowest scoring team: Saudi Arabia+443, Costa Rica+457, Qatar +800
• Robert Lewandowski over/under 2.5 goals: Over +177
• Netherlands goalscoring leader:
Memphis Depay +111
• Will the winning team come from Europe: No +180

Both teams to score (yes or no): This is a good bet to make if you expect a high-scoring affair between two clubs. Remember, you would be betting on each team getting a goal in its scoring column if you bet YES, regardless of how the ball gets in the net.

The big risk play 

If you want to look into the crystal ball and maximize on high odds, predicting the finalists is a good way to go. Here are some of the top choices that could be worth throwing a small wager on, especially if you have high hopes of Brazil reaching the final. 

Brazil vs France +1300
Argentina vs Brazil +1900
Belgium vs Brazil +2400
Brazil vs Germany +2700
Argentina vs Germany +3300

Final tip

Don’t get carried away with making too many extravagant parlay bets. It’s easy to do that when you see a big payout, especially when you group together a number of clubs to win on the same day. A mixture of match results and props is usually the way to go but be mindful of how many you try to build up together.

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