Women’s World Cup Group Stage Best Bets: Predictions, Picks and Parlays
Alex Buck reveals his best picks and predictions for the 2023 Women’s World Cup Group Stage.
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Here are my top picks and predictions for the 2023 Women’s World Cup Group Stage. Make sure to explore our other Women's World Cup coverage, including a look at the who are the favorites to win Women’s World Cup, Women’s World cup sleepers, odds to win Women’s World Cup and USWNT’s Future Best Bets.
2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Best Bets for Week 1 Group Stage Games Today
The Women’s World Cup group stage is almost here. With the largest field in the history of the tournament ready for action, now is the perfect time to delve into some soccer picks and parlays. I hope to offer valuable insights as you prepare to wager on the tournament.
The 2019 Women’s World Cup included 24 nations, which was already a huge increase from the inaugural 1991 event’s 12-team field. This time around, there will be 32 teams competing in Australia and New Zealand, which means more group-stage games than ever before.
Now is the time to explore some Women’s World Cup picks and parlays for the group stage, focusing on a few of the tournament favorites as well as some potential upsets that could determine which teams advance to the Round of 16. We have several games to review, decisions to make, and parlays to build. So, let’s get into it.
Group A Preview & Predictions
Tournament co-host New Zealand is seeking its first win at a Women’s World Cup, and what better time to get it than in front of the Kiwis’ own fans.
New Zealand is in Group A with Norway, the Philippines, and Switzerland. The co-host faces a challenge if it wants to qualify and advance. Norway is favored to win the group at -300 odds, and the Norwegians are one of the underdogs who could make a deep run in the knockout rounds. Switzerland and New Zealand have similar odds to advance, so the game between them will be crucial to determining the Group A final standings.
New Zealand's first game, against Norway, is the opening game of the entire competition. All eyes will be on the Kiwis when they kick things in the early hours of July 20.
New Zealand (W) vs Norway (W) Odds
Moneyline: New Zealand +850 | Draw +475 | Norway -380
Total Goals: Over 3 -114 | Under 3 -135
Double Chance: New Zealand or Tie +260 | Tie or Norway -2750 | New Zealand or Norway -750
New Zealand (W) vs Norway (W) Predictions and Pick
New Zealand is hardly on a roll coming into the World Cup -- having only won one of its last 11 games. So, the co-host will face a baptism by fire in its Women’s World Cup opener.
Norway is one of the strongest women’s soccer nations. The Norwegians took 28 points from a possible 30 during the World Cup qualifying phase. They also scored 47 goals while conceding just two.
Striker Caroline Hansen of Barcelona will be dangerous for the full 90 minutes, since she has already scored 44 goals in her 97 international appearances. New Zealand will need to contain Hansen in order to steal a point from this game or pull off a dramatic upset.
As the odds show, New Zealand is the heavy underdog, and we can envision several goals being scored in the game. I hate to pick against the tournament co-host by predicting a disappointing start to the festivities, but I have to go with Norway here -- potentially by a large margin.
The Pick: Norway to win and over 3.5 goals (+150)
Group B Preview & Predictions
The tournament’s other host nation, Australia, is favored to win its group. The Aussies will play their Group B opening game on July 20 right after the New Zealand game concludes. Australia will face Ireland, a longshot to come away from this matchup with a positive result.
Australia is favored to win Group B with -200 odds in a field that includes Ireland, Nigeria, and Canada. The biggest threat to Australia’s hope of finishing first will be posed by the Canadian team, which has the second-best odds of winning this group at +195.
Canada qualified for the World Cup after finishing as the runner-up at the CONCACAF tournament, where the Canadians lost a close 1-0 championship game to the USWNT.
Australia (W) vs Republic of Ireland (W) Odds
Moneyline: Australia -380 | Draw +475 | Republic of Ireland +900
Total Goals: Over 2.75 -120 | Under 2.75 -125
Double Chance: Australia or Tie -3300 | Tie or Republic of Ireland +275 | Australia or Republic of Ireland -800
Australia (W) vs Republic of Ireland (W) Predictions and Pick
Australia has been playing very well of late, and their recent success makes the Aussies an outside contender for a deep run during the tournament’s knockout rounds. The Matildas beat the Czech Republic, Spain, and Jamaica in the Cup of Nations earlier this year – no small feat because Spain has one of the best European women’s soccer teams right now.
The Australians also took on France in a July 14 friendly during the build-up to Women’s World Cup, and they came away with a 1-0 win. The hype around this group is certainly warranted.
Given both Australia’s recent level of play against some of the game’s best teams and the home-crowd advantage and momentum it will enjoy throughout this tournament, picking the Aussies to go all the way isn’t as far-fetched as one might initially think.
I have the Matildas securing a win in their Group B opener. While they should beat Ireland, it won’t be in a cakewalk. The Irish team faced the American team that’s expected to win this World Cup in two 2023 friendlies, and while Ireland lost both games, it conceded a total of only three goals. This roster is a tight-knit unit that won’t allow goals too easily, so I like the soccer betting odds of the Matildas winning with under 2.5 goals scored.
Group E Preview & Predictions
Many 2023 Women’s World Cup predictions have the USWNT going all the way and claiming a three-peat for the first time in World Cup history. As two-time defending champions, the U.S. is certainly favored to win the entire tournament, ad it has -350 odds to win Group E.
While the USWNT is a women’s soccer powerhouse, group-stage play presents the Netherlands as their toughest initial challenger on July 26, when these teams will stage a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final.
To open the group stage on July 21, the Americans will face Vietnam in a game they are so heavily favored to win that the handicap is set at -6, the odds of even a tie are +5600, and Vietnam is +6600 to win. As of this writing, no one can bet on the USWNT to beat Vietnam straight up because it is almost a given that they will.
While the USA-Vietnam game might be a little one-sided, and not exactly worth putting any money on, the Netherlands’ opener -- against fellow Europeans from Portugal -- could be an interesting matchup for the competition’s first week.
Netherlands (W) vs Portugal (W) Odds
Moneyline: Netherlands -240 | Draw +360 | Portugal +550
Total Goals: Over 2.75 -118 | Under 2.75 -130
Double Chance: Netherlands or Tie -1000 | Tie or Portugal +170 | Netherlands or Portugal -550
Netherlands (W) vs Portugal (W) Predictions and Pick
Portugal had to take the long road just to reach the 2023 Women’s World Cup despite earning 22 points in its qualifying group. The Portuguese finished second to Germany, which forced them into a playoff knockout. They then beat both Belgium and Iceland, but were ranked third among the teams that won knockout games, which meant they still hadn’t done enough to make it to Australia and New Zealand.
Finally, Portugal qualified via the inter-confederation playoffs, where they defeated Cameroon. After playing all that intense, win-or-go-home soccer, the Portuguese women came into this World Cup seeded lower than they might have expected.
Due to this seeding, they now face a very tough group stage, which they will open against the Netherlands.
The Dutch qualified for the World Cup by finishing atop their group with six wins and two ties in their eight qualifying games. Despite that, this team is not unbeatable. The Netherlands has lost to both Germany and Austria during the build-up to this World Cup, so Portugal could manage to pull off an upset.
I’m going against the grain a little here with this one, because I think Portugal can make life difficult for the Netherlands. I like the Portuguese women to make this a very close game.
The Pick: Portugal +1.25 handicap (-140)
Group F Preview & Predictions
Group F is one of the most interesting in this competition, since it could come down to a heated battle between France and Brazil for the top spot. These two teams are joined in the group by Panama and Jamaica, which both face long odds to reach the Round of 16.
All eyes will on the July 29 France-Brazil match (set for 6 a.m. ET), but to make it interesting, both teams will need to win their first two group-stage games.
France faces Jamaica in its July 23 opener, and Brazil will open up against Panama the following day.
In many fans’ eyes, the French are an outside favorite to win this tournament after going 10-0 with an impressive 54 total goals in their qualifying games.
Brazil, meanwhile, is one of the more experienced teams in the tournament -- led by the legendary Marta, who has 17 goals in five previous World Cup appearances. The veteran is now 37 and this could be her final World Cup tournament, which raises the stakes for the Brazilians if they want to send her out a winner.
France (W) vs Jamaica (W) Odds
Moneyline: France -20000 | Draw +2200 | Jamaica +3600
Total Goals: Over 4.5 -125 | Under 4.5 -125
Double Chance: France or Tie N/A | Tie or Jamaica +1600 | France or Jamaica -20000
France (W) vs Jamaica (W) Predictions and Pick
France is such a heavy favorite to win this game that there are no available odds for them when it comes to the double chance. The French are missing a few key pieces at this competition, but their pedigree still far outweighs that of the Jamaican team.
The French women lost winger Delphine Cascarino to a partially torn ACL when she was playing for Lyon back in May, so she won't be available for the World Cup. Neither will midfielder Amandine Henry, who is out with a calf injury suffered while training for this competition. Striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto will also miss the tournament since she is recovering from an ACL tear suffered last year.
Katoto has scored 26 goals in 32 international appearances and is still just 24, but the French won’t have her in their lineup. Without Katoto, Eugenie Le Sommer will get plenty of good looks up front as part of coach Herve Renard's 4-3-3 formation.
The French team will seek an early advantage in the group stage, recognizing the threat posed by Brazil. I like France to clear the -3.75 handicap line and make a statement in this game. They want to show that, despite the injuries, their roster is still very capable of making a push at this year's tournament.
The Pick: France -3.75 handicap (-125)
Best Women’s World Cup Parlay Picks for the Group Stage (+2200)
Many expert picks for the Women’s World Cup are centered around tournament winners, but today's parlay is a fun one for the opening week's games. Check out the odds when combining the above four selections!
Leg-1 Pick: New Zealand vs Norway: Norway to win and over 3.5 goals (+150)
Leg-2 Pick: Australia vs Republic of Ireland: Australia to win and under 2.5 goals (+200)
Leg-3 Pick: Netherlands vs Portugal: Portugal +1.25 handicap (-140)
Leg-4 Pick: France vs Jamaica: France -3.75 handicap (-125)
Odds are subject to change*
Odds are subject to change*
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Women's World Cup Betting Explained