The delayed start of the 2022 Qatar World Cup set soccer’s biggest stage to arrive in the midst of the US’s largest sports flurry, known by some as Sportsmageddon.
When it comes to sports betting in Maryland, Here’s everything you need to know about the FIFA World Cup.
Let the World Cup betting begin
NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA football, NCAA basketball, and now the World Cup all converge on American sports fans in the next few weeks. For Marylanders, they can toss the launch of online sports betting into that melee to make for a wild holiday sports betting season.
If you’re a fan of the beautiful game or someone who wants to get in on the action for the first time, PlayMaryland has prepared a Maryland-focused World Cup preview to prime you for the next month of soccer.
Best Maryland online sportsbooks for World Cup 2022 betting
The Terps represent in Qatar
Maryland Terrapins men’s soccer is among the winningest programs in NCAA history. With four College Cups (national championships) under their belt, the Terrapins sit fourth all-time in this category.
At this year’s World Cup, former Terp goaltender Dayne St. Clair will represent Canada. St. Clair last competed for Maryland in 2018 when he led the Terps to the College Cup on the strength of ZERO goals against for the entire NCAA tournament.
All aboard the Dayne train!
— Maryland Men’s Soccer 🐢 (@MarylandMSoccer) November 13, 2022
St. Clair isn’t the only Terp goalie receiving World Cup attention. Zack Steffen, who minded net for the Terps until 2014, made news for missing the cut from this year’s US Men’s National Team roster. The decision lacks a clear rationale, as Steffen has had a solid season. Expect more info on this before the tournament is over.
Popular World Cup prop bets to know
The World Cup presents some fun soccer prop bets for the top individual performances at the World Cup. Here are the big ones to know:
Not to be confused with the Golden Boot award, the Golden Ball goes to the tournament’s overall MVP. This could be an offensive or defensive player, or even a goalkeeper, that has done the most to lead his team to victory.
It doesn’t necessarily go to the winning team’s best player, either. This year, Lionel Messi (Argentina), Neymar (Brazil) and Kylian Mbappe (France) are the early favorites to take home the tournament’s top individual award.
The Golden Boot goes to the tournament’s top goal scorer. It’s that simple. In the case that the goal total is a tie between two or more players, there are a series of tie-breakers.
Harry Kane (England) and Mbappe are the odds-on favorites here.
The tournament’s top goalkeeper receives the Golden Glove award. This award combines both statistical success and expert opinion. FIFA’s Technical Study Group looks at performance data throughout the tournament to choose a top performer.
The favorites for this year’s Golden Glove are Alisson (BRA) and Thibaut Courtois (Belgium).
So you want to host a World Cup office pool
Another great way to engage with the World Cup is by hosting a pool at work or with friends and family. While a lot of people are familiar with March Madness pools where you fill out a single bracket and follow your picks, World Cup pools require a bit more work.
We’ll cover two different approaches. The first requires a single round of selections, and the second requires two rounds of selections, for both the group and knockout stages.
This pool setup requires the grouping of World Cup teams into eight four-team groups. All participants in the pool make one selection of one team from each group and then follow their picks throughout the tournament.
However, the groups do not follow the World Cup groupings. They are broken down based on Vegas odds or by FIFA rankings – your choice. In this organization, the top four favorites (Brazil, Argentina, France, England) go in Group A, the next four (Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal) go in Group B, and so on down to Group H.
The participant who scores the most points based on how all their chosen teams play wins the pool. The important strategic aspect of this pool is that every team in groups F-H receives double the points. So, picking the right long shots is key to success.
- 1 point for each goal scored, regardless of round
- 1 point for each point earned in group play (Teams get three points for a win, one for a draw, zero for a loss)
- 8 points for winning a group
- 4 points for finishing second (and advancing out of the group stage)
- 12 points for reaching the quarterfinals
- 24 points for reaching the semifinals
- 36 points for reaching the final
- 48 points for winning the final
Following current Vegas odds, the eight groups would look like this:
This pool requires two rounds of selections – one during the Group Stage and one during the Knockout Stage.
In the Group Stage of the tournament, each participant ranks the final outcome for all eight World Cup groups (A-H). There is a bonus for getting the order of the group completely correct.
Group Stage scoring system:
- 1 point for guessing a team’s position correctly
- 2 points for guessing an entire group’s order correctly
After the Group Stage, all participants then fill in a traditional bracket for the Knockout Stage.
Scoring for this stage can be both weighted or unweighted. In the unweighted scoring system, all correct picks are worth one point. In the weighted system, points increase as the tournament progresses.
- 1 point for guessing a Round of 16 winner
- 2 points for guessing a quarterfinals winner
- 4 points for guessing a semifinals winner
- 8 points for guessing the World Cup winner
Points collected during both Group and Knockout stages are added together to determine a winner.
The winner receives an old soccer boot full of the beverage of their choosing, or some other inferior prize.
The website poolhost offers an easy way to organize this type of pool.
Who is going to win the 2022 World Cup?
Betting odds are below. Click on odds to go to the sportsbook, claim your new-player bonus and bet on the World Cup.
Watching games live will require some late nights
With an eight-hour time difference in Qatar, half of the Group Stage games will start bright and early — 4 a.m. EST being the earliest start time.
So, whether you set the coffeemaker in advance or pull an all-nighter, World Cup fans, much like the players, will need plenty of resilience to see this tournament through to the end.