World Cup futures betting: Odds and best bets to win the tournament
Alex Buck previews the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022, including the latest betting odds for the top three favorites to win the tournament.
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The 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicks off on Sunday 20th November with the host nation taking on Ecuador at the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor. While the tournament has caused quite the disturbance to domestic league football around the world, it is still expected to be quite the spectacle, with some of the greatest nations in soccer going head-to-head for the prestigious trophy.
2022 World Cup Odds
Odds are subject to change*
Favorites to win the World Cup
The official odds for the World Cup favor two South American teams in Brazil and Argentina over any European threat to go all the way. Brazil are the favorites heading into the event, while Argentina follow closely behind. The nearest threat according to oddsmakers is France, followed by an onslaught of European teams such as England, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.
Since the introduction of the round of 16 in 1986 when the World Cup expanded, every World Cup winner has finished top of their group in the group stages of the tournament. So, keep an eye on those teams that dominate their first three games. Here are my top three picks for the outright winners, including one of my favorite World Cup sleepers.
Let’s dive into today's free soccer picks ahead of the game’s greatest tournament.
Brazil is the most successful country in World Cup history, winning five titles since the tournament's birth in 1930. Their last win came in 2002, defeating Germany in the final with a star-studded squad that included the likes of Ronaldo Nazario, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Cafu.
Twenty years later, they enter the Qatar World Cup as the tournament favorites, and with good reason. This is one of the most complete-looking Brazil squads that we’ve seen in recent history.
The squad is full of experience, with players like Casemiro and Thiago Silva at the heart of the team, combined with the flair and world class ability of Neymar and Vinicius Junior.
Brazil’s head coach Tite has the team playing at an elite level, having scored 40 goals in 17 qualifying games with no shortage of attacking options. Led by Neymar and Vini Junior, the available talent up front includes Richarlison, Rodrygo, Antony, Raphinha and Gabriel Jesus. If they continue their qualifying form, there are not many countries at the tournament that will be able to stop them.
Currently, Brazil has the best odds to win the World Cup, and with good reason.
Argentina’s World Cup odds sit at +500, only slightly behind fellow South American giants Brazil. In what will most certainly be iconic legend Lionel Messi’s last tournament, the Argentina faithful will be hoping he comes alive on the big stage, and what a way to wave off his international career it would be.
Last summer, Argentina ended a 28-year drought of international success by winning the Copa America for the 15th time in their history, beating World Cup favorites Brazil in the final. The victory was Messi’s first international trophy, and should serve as a launchpad for the team heading into Qatar.
If both Argentina and Brazil win their groups and progress through the knockout stages of the tournament, they will meet in the semi-final round. Argentina knows Brazil better than anybody, and they’d fancy their chances of beating them on their way to the World Cup final.
Argentina are just two games away from equaling Italy’s world record unbeaten run, having avoided defeat in their last 35 matches. I am expecting them to break that record in Qatar, facing Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland in the group stages. Manager Lionel Scaloni has found a working formula, and I’m backing Argentina to make it back to the final just as they did in 2014.
Portugal has a very talented squad, which is of course headlined by Cristiano Ronaldo, but it doesn’t stop there. Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, Rafael Leao and Bruno Fernandes are all extremely talented players who can create goal-scoring opportunities. Portugal just need to find a way to make it work between them, something they managed in 2016 when they won the UEFA European Championship.
Fernandes is one of the best playmakers in the world. In less than three years playing for Manchester United he has contributed to over 60 goals. He will be a key feature in unlocking opposition defenses.
At the back, Ruben Dias has grown to be one of the world’s best central defenders and can command the team from the heart of the defense.
More so than anything, Ronaldo is heading into this tournament with a chip on his shoulder. Following recent events at Manchester United, he’s fallen out of favor with the fans and the media, meaning he has a point to prove at the World Cup, and that’s not good for anybody not named Portugal. He will use the bad situation he currently faces with his domestic club in the Premier League to fuel his World Cup performances, which could prove deadly.
Portugal are most definitely dark horses for this year’s edition of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.