The 2022 World Cup will be played later this year as the world's most popular sporting event shifts to a winter schedule for the first time ever. Thirty-two nations (including Canada) will be represented in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar come late November. Guess which national team is favoured to win?
The start of the world's most popular sports event is now about 4 months away.
First, let's look at some basics. Due to the tournament being held in the middle of soccer season in Europe, the '22 WC will be played at a faster pace than normal, with less breaks between matches and even some games played at the same time. All the action begins on Nov. 21st and ends with the World Cup final on Dec. 18th.
The usual suspects are getting both the world's attention and the money in early betting action. As is customary, European and South American teams tend to dominate most phases of the pre-tournament frenzy – including online betting markets. It's easy to understand why this is so because no non-South American/European team has ever made it to the championship final. Only twice has an "outsider" made the it as far as the semi-finals (final four) – which were Turkey and South Korea, which finished 3rd-4th in 2002.
The top contenders this year include Brazil, which is the current betting favourite at 5-1. Their longtime rival, Argentina, is the other traditional galactic soccer power. The European field is topped by England at 6-1, which may have their best chance to win the WC in more than half a century (their last title was in 1966). Other perennial powerhouses include Spain, Germany, and defending champion France, which won the last WC held in 2018.
Here's an updated look at the current 2022 World Cup futures odds according to SPREADS.CA:
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Prediction (powered by Pointspreads.ca):
Okay, so we know it's way too early to make any serious predictions about who's going to win the '22 WC. But we still have some leans. And futures odds are very tempting because they constantly change leading up until kickoff.
As for making a bet now, how about the mid-contenders? Teams like Denmark (28-1), Croatia (50-1), Uruguay (50-1), and Switzerland (80-1) rank in the 11-15 range in power rankings and don't get nearly the respect. These teams are just a small step down in class but they do offer tremendous value in futures betting and many props. Pay close attention to them to make money.
We will be posting more analysis and predictions on the World Cup in the coming months leading up to the opening match in Qatar in November.