2022 World Cup Betting Guide

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While the dust may barely have settled on Italy’s recent European Championship triumph at Wembley, the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Europe are scheduled to continue on September 1st.

What’s more, the World Cup proper will be held during the months of November and December 2022 rather than at the end of the relevant season, due to host nation Dubai’s sultry summers and the impact of temperatures that often exceed 40 degrees.

Make no mistake; this will be a sporting event like no other; and one that’s likely to entice bets and wagers from across the globe. We’ve got you covered at Betinireland, however, and have prepared a neat guide to help you get the most from your bankroll when the tournament swings around!

Best Fifa World Cup Bookies

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Are There Any Early Predictions?

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Before we delve deeper into the precise outright odds currently on offer, it’s important to note that the conditions will have a key bearing on the outcome of the 2022 World Cup.

Even during the months of November and December in Dubai, temperatures can peak at between 28 and 30 degrees (with an average humidity of 60%). This will create testing playing conditions in some circumstances, meaning that teams who are used to increased heat and humidity may be best placed to prevail next year.

So, South American nations like Brazil, Argentina and even Chile may offer value as potential outright winners, even though a team from this continent hasn’t actually lifted the World Cup since Brazil prevailed in Japan in 2002.

The World Cup Betting Odds

TeamBet365William Hill888SportUnibet
France5/15/15/15/1
Brazil 11/211/211/25/1
England 8/18/18/18/1
Spain8/18/18/19/1
ItalyN/A10/110/111/1
ArgentinaN/A11/111/112/1
GermanyN/A9/19/110/1
Belgium12/110/111/111/1
Portugal16/114/116/114/1
Netherlands18/116/116/116/1
ColombiaN/A40/140/166/1
Denmark50/150/150/140/1
UruguayN/A40/150/160/1
USAN/A80/180/180/1
CroatiaN/A33/150/170/1
MexicoN/A100/1100/1100/1
SwitzerlandN/A100/1100/160/1
SwedenN/A100/1100/1150/1
Czech RepublicN/A200/1150/1200/1

You can find the selected odds for Brazil and Argentina below, with Messi’s side currently priced at around 11/1 to secure what would be their third World Cup triumph.

But which other competing sides listed below offer the best value from a punter’s perspective? Here are three of our picks for the very best ante-post wagers!

Backing the Favourite - Brazil (11/2)

We’ll start with five-time World Cup winners Brazil, who as we say will be accustomed to the conditions in Qatar and are currently competitively priced at 11/2 to lift the Jules Rimet trophy.

Tite’s side also looked like an organised and competitive outfit during their recent Copa America campaign, despite a narrow, 1-0 defeat to Argentina that belied their status as favourites to prevail.

At the heart of any likely success will be the talismanic Neymar, with the PSG forward central to the team’s fluid attacking play and his country’s second-highest goalscorer of all time (with 68 strikes in 111 caps). Real Madrid’s Casemiro and the combative Fred also provide strength and tenacity in midfield, while the pace and direct running of Everton’s Richarlison will surely trouble defences in the oppressive conditions.

Like most contemporary Brazil sides, this outfit combines steel and hard work with pace and flair in abundance, so it’s well-placed to go deep in the tournament at the very least.

Championing an Underdog - Germany (10/1)

While the Germans may have flattered to deceive during Euro 2020 (thrashing Portugal 4-2 with a highly impressive attacking display before losing meekly to England in the Round of 16), there’s no doubt that the side boasts a talented and noticeably youthful core.

From Chelsea’s silky forward Kai Havertz (21) to Leroy Sane (25) and the undeniably precocious Jamal Musiala (18), the German team is packed full of individual talent, particularly in the forward and attacking midfield positions.

The talented 23-year-old midfielder Floran Neuhaus (who plays for Borussia Monchengladbach) may also have established himself as a first-team star in time for the World Cup, providing some much-needed craft and guile behind a pacy front line.

What’s more, the side can now call upon the abundant skills of new manager Hansi Flick, whose preference of a 4-2-3-1 formation and aggressive pressing tactics are ideally suited to a fluid and highly energetic German squad.

These factors augur well for Germany ahead of the World Cup, while betting on them at a price of around 10/1 offers considerable value in our books!

The Best Value Bet – Italy (11/1)

Currently available at an ante-post price of 11/1 with Unibet, Italy is undoubtedly one of the best value bets to lift the World Cup next winter.

After defeating England on penalties to win Euro 2020, the Azzurri are now unbeaten in 34 international matches, which is the national side’s best-ever run and just one game shy of the all-time record, currently held jointly by Brazil (1993 to 1996) and Spain (2007 to 2009).

What’s more, manager Roberto Manchini has created a defensively solid and well-organised side that also adopts an aggressive press and a fast-paced, vertical tika-taka attacking style. This made them incredibly well-rounded and hard to beat at the Euros, particularly as the side has conceded just four goals in their last 15 competitive matches.

They certainly carry significant momentum ahead of the qualifying and the 2022 World Cup proper, while their energetic midfield and attack will prove a handful for any side in challenging weather conditions.

2022 World Cup Betting Tips

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As we’ve already touched on, the 2022 World Cup will take place in Qatar, with this representing the second consecutive controversial selection as host after Russia were chosen in 2018.

As a result, the tournament will make history as the first to be held in the Middle East, with the lavish opening ceremony and opening match (which is likely to include the hosts) scheduled to take place on November 21st.

The final will take place five weeks later on December 28th, following a slightly shorter tournament that allows for the unexpected rescheduling of the competition due to the sweltering Qatari heat in the months of June and July.

Interestingly, this iteration of the World Cup will be hosted by a country that has never contested a final match before, with this representing a genuine first in the competition’s history. Also, defending champions France will participate in qualifying as normal, so they’ll have to progress from their group if they’re to have a tilt at properly defending their hard-earned title.

The Key World Cup Betting Markets

While some aspects of the 2022 World Cup may be a little different or unusual, many of the key and most popular betting markets will remain unchanged. Here are a few to keep your eyes on:

The Outright Winner

Let’s start with the obvious, as you can already wager on the outright winner of the tournament across a broad range of sportsbooks.

We’ve featured some selected odds a little later in our guide, but the current favourites include France, Brazil, England and Euro 2020 winners Italy (whose price has shorted significantly of late).

Lionel Messi’s Argentina can also be backed at quite competitive odds at present, even after their recent Copa America success, so this may be an option to keep in mind if you fancy a potentially lucrative ante-post bet.

The Top Scorer

Next up is a genuinely fascinating market and one that regularly sees unfancied winners at odds in excess of 10/1.

Russia’s Oleg Salenko was the top scorer in 1994, for example, despite only playing three games as his side was eliminated from the group stage. This is thanks to a stunning individual performance against Cameroon, when the seasoned striker plundered five goals in a 6-1 win.

Already, you can see world-class forwards like Neymar and Antoine Griezmann can be backed at around 12/1 to win the tournament’s golden boot, while the evergreen Cristiano Ronaldo boasts quite lengthy odds of 16/1.

As a general rule, we’d recommend selecting players who represent the very best sides, as they’ll typically go deeper into the tournament and afford more playing time to their strikers.

The Match Result

The classic match result wager is a true staple of the sports betting market, and one that can prove to be quite lucrative in tournaments such as the World Cup.

The reason for this is simple; as there are often several mismatches during the group stages of the World Cup, which see favourites pitted against minnows from potentially disparate parts of the world.

The key is to identify matches with clear favourites and leverage handicap bets to create superior value. For example, if a fancied nation is odds-on to beat an opponent, you could consider introducing a handicap of – 1.5 or – 2.5 that compels the former to win by two or three clear goals for your wager to come in.

In some instances, this will enable you to lengthen your odds and increase the potential returns without overly compromising your chances of winning.

When wagering on the 2022 World Cup, it’s important to compare our licensed sportsbooks in detail to see precisely what traditional and in-play betting markets that they offer access to.

Similarly, keep in mind that some betting markets won’t become available until closer to the tournament. For example, you won’t be able to bet on group winners or qualifiers until April 2022 at the earliest, when the tournament draw is made in full.

The Best FIFA World Cup Betting Offers

BookmakerOfferClaim
Bet365 Claim bet credits that are worth €50 Claim Now
William HillMake a qualifying €10 bet so that you receive free bets worth €40 Claim Now
888sportMake a qualifying €10 stake and receive free bets that are worth €30Claim Now
BetVictorMake a qualifying €5 bet and receive free bet bonuses worth a total €30Claim Now
UnibetPlace a wager and if it goes on to lose, you will receive up to €40 back in a free betClaim Now

The World Cup Betting Qualifiers

With the qualifiers yet to be completed for the 2022 World Cup, there’s also a range of additional betting markets available to punters in the coming months.

Remember, the only team to earn an automatic spot in this year’s competition is Qatar, with the remaining 32 teams having to go through their confederation’s various qualifying systems. We’ve outlined these in a little more detail below:

  • UEFA

    European teams currently have 13 spots allocated, the most of any continent. All 55 UEFA nations commenced qualification in March 2021, and are divided into groups of either five or six sides. The 10 first placed finishers will qualify automatically for the World Cup, with the 10 runners-up competing for three further spots along with the best two UEFA Nations League group winners. There will be single-legged semi-finals and finals, which will be completed prior to the tournament draw in April.
  • CAF

    African sides have been allocated five spots for the 2022 World Cup, with qualification commencing in September and split into three rounds. By the third and final round, the 10 remaining sides will play home and away, with the winners of each two-legged tie qualifying for the 2022 World Cup proper.
  • AFC

    While it may sound a little strange, 4.5 Asian sides have been allocated a place in the World Cup. The competing teams commenced the first two qualifying stages in June 2019, at which point 12 sides remained in contention. They will then be split into two groups of six, with the top two from each earning a qualifying place in the tournament. The two third-place teams will then compete in an inter-confederation play-off match, where the best losers from across the globe do battle for any remaining places.
  • CONCACAF

    Under the same circumstances referenced above, North, Central American and Caribbean teams are afforded 3.5 spots in the tournament. There are three rounds to qualification here, with the first two reducing the number of competitors from 35 to just three. These sides then join the top five teams in an eight-team group, each of whom play home and away to determine the three qualifiers. The fourth-place side will head into the inter-confederation play-offs.
  • OFC

    Oceanic sides are only given 0.5 places for the 2022 World Cup, which means that the confederation may not be represented in the tournament. Here, 11 sides will be split into two groups, with the eventual winner of a subsequent round-robin taking their place in the aforementioned inter-confederation play-offs.
  • Conmebol

    South American qualifying commenced in October 2020, while the confederation is also home to the straightforward process in the tournament. Put simply, the 10 CONMEBOL teams meet home and away, with the top four sides progressing to the World Cup in Qatar. Interestingly, the fifth-place side takes the last remaining place in the inter-confederation play-offs.

The World Cup Groups and Fixtures

Before you even consider engaging in FIFA 2022 World Cup betting, it’s imperative that you understand the full tournament structure.

Prior to the final placings being determined through the inter-confederation play-offs in June 2022, April will see the qualified teams drawn into eight groups of four (with provisions made for the sides in contention for the final places).

These sides will then play each other once, with three points awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a defeat.

Once the groups games are completed, the points are tallied with the top two sides progressing to the round of 16. In the event of two or more sides being tied on the same number of points, the following criteria is used to determine qualification:

  • Goal difference
  • Goals scored
  • Points from group stage matches involving the tied teams
  • Goal differential in group stage matches involving the tied teams
  • Goals scored in group stage matches involving the tied teams

The round of 16 draw is fixed and seeded, with this the first of four knockout ties. Each of these are single-legged affairs, with extra-time and penalties used if the scores are level at the end of 90 minutes.

Teams are eliminated through these various methods until just two remain for the final, while the tournament also hosts a third-placed game for the losing semi-finalists. You can wager on every single game at the tournament, while also tapping into betting markets such as projected group winners and likely semi-finalists.

A Brief History of the World Cup

The FIFA World Cup has a rich history, and one that can be traced back to 1930, when Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2 in Montevideo to lift the inaugural Jules Rimet trophy.

The trophy has since been contested on 20 different occasions, with the tournament held every four years apart from during and just after the Second World War in 1942 and 1946.

The number of competing teams has increased incrementally through the years too, with just 13 sides appearing in the 1930 iteration. This increased to 16 in 1954, before rising again to a 24-team format in Spain, 1982. Then, the 1998 World Cup in France was expanded to include 32 sides, mirroring the tournament format that will be in place in Qatar.

Interestingly, the tournament will be expanded once again to 48 teams in 2026, creating a bumper World Cup with an even more convoluted format.

In terms of winners, Brazil is the most successful side with five World Cup wins (in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002). Next up are Germany and Italy with four wins, while the former has also appeared in a record eight finals, finishing runners-up on four occasions. We’ve listed the five most recent winners below.

Germany striker Miroslav Klose is also the tournament’s record scorer, having plundered 16 goals between 2002 and 2014. Brazil’s Ronaldo is next with 15 tournament goals (in just three tournaments), while the prolific Gerd Muller scored 14 World Cup goals across the 1970 and 1974 iterations.

YearWinner Final Result
2002BrazilBeat Germany 2-0
2006ItalyBeat France 5-3 on pens (1-1 AET)
2010SpainBeat Netherlands 1-0 (AET)
2014GermanyBeat Argentina 1-0 (AET)
2018FranceBeat Croatia 4-2

Your FAQs

Who are the Favourites to Win the 2022 World Cup?

In the current ante-post market, defending champions France (5/1) are the betting favourites to win in Qatar and earn their third World Cup success. Brazil (11/2) and Euro 2020 runners-up England (15/2) are also highly-fancied, while Euro champions Italy are priced at 10/1.

When Should I Back an Outright Winner?

While you may want to place your ante-post wager early to capitalise on extended odds, there’s no guarantee that any of the current favourites will qualify for the tournament. However, we’d recommend betting just as soon as your preferred pick has confirmed their place in Qatar, so that you can strike the ideal balance between probability and value.

Can I Bet on WC Qualifying?

Yes, you can! While the first three rounds of qualifying fixtures were completed in March and prior to the Euros, you can still wager on individual matches and who you expect to qualify from a particular group. This can also be an opportunity for accumulator betting, where you select five or six sides to win during a particular round!