FIFA World Cup Betting Odds

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The FIFA World Cup is the biggest and most anticipated sporting event in the world. Almost half the planet tunes in to watch the best soccer nations compete in a month-long tournament held every four years.

The next World Cup is set to take place in Qatar in the late fall of 2022. It will undoubtedly draw a surge of bettors to legal sportsbooks.

Sportsbooks offer dozens of World Cup odds markets you can explore before and during the tournament. Below find the best FIFA World Cup sportsbooks with live World Cup soccer odds plus we run down the most popular World Cup bets.

How to bet on World Cup soccer

With soccer as the most popular sport global sport and the World Cup as its flagship event, the soccer betting options you’ll find at online sportsbooks in Maryland will be plentiful.

Even before the tournament begins, you’ll get the opportunity to bet on the outright winner. Once all participants are known, the sportsbooks will release FIFA World Cup winner odds for each of the 32 teams. Some Maryland soccer betting sites might even release the odds before the qualifications are offered, assuming which top teams will qualify. Of course, betting on the outright winner will be available throughout the tournament as well, at such sportsbooks as FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet Maryland and the Caesars Maryland betting app.

Other soccer futures bets you may encounter include:

  • Top goalscorer
  • Which two teams will meet in the final
  • Total number of goals throughout the competition
  • Group winners
  • Elimination round advances
  • Exact elimination phase

Some sportsbooks will also let you pick:

  • Total number of yellow and red cards
  • Total number of penalties

While you can make online futures bets pretty early on, it’s best to wait until a few days prior to the start of the tournament. This way, you will know each team’s group opponents and be familiar with any potential injuries that might deplete a team’s chances of winning.

Every individual match at the World Cup will be covered with hundreds of markets. You can bet on main markets like match winner, double chance, and the total number of goals. Or you can wager on propositions such as specific goal scorers, first-half betting, over/under on corners, and more.

You’ll also be able to take advantage of live betting with all the same markets seen pre-match. Then, add a few extra ones, like next goalscorer, goal to be scored in the next 10 minutes, to win from behind, overtime/penalty betting (elimination round), and others.

All in all, if you’re an avid soccer betting fan, you simply can’t miss wagering on the World Cup.

Bet on U.S. team at World Cup

The U.S. men’s national team won’t be considered favorites to win the FIFA World Cup, but if you like taking chances and wish to back Team USA, all Maryland sports betting apps will be glad to accept your bet. Alternatively, you can bet on:

  • How many points the team will win in the group stage
  • Their phase of elimination
  • Whether a certain U.S. player will be the tournament’s top scorer

The final roster of U.S. players that may represent the US in the World Cup is still to be named but, according to some of the latest call-ups, we can expect to see names such as Brad Guzan, Zack Steffen, DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks, Weston McKennie, Jordan Morris, and Christian Pulisic.

Unlike the men’s team, the US women’s squad is always among the favorites to win the World Cup. The next FIFA Women’s World Cup will take place in 2023 in Australia and New Zealand. The U.S. women are coming to defend the title they won in France in 2019.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup will have odds posted at all major Maryland sportsbooks. They will offer dozens of markets for every match and certainly let you bet on the U.S. women to win it all.

2022 FIFA World Cup details

  • Host country: Qatar
  • Dates: Nov. 21 to Dec. 18
  • Number of teams: 32
  • Stadiums: 8 (across five cities)
  • Final match stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
  • Opening match: Qatar vs. TBD (Nov. 21, 2022, 13:00, local time)
  • Sponsorships: Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai-Kia, Visa, Qatar Airways, Wanda Group, Hisense, Vivo, Anheuser-Busch InBev
  • Broadcasting rights for the U.S.: FOX, Telemundo

How does the World Cup work?

The 2022 World Cup will feature the same format as several previous tournaments. The only major change is that this edition won’t be played during the summer. That rescheduling is simply due to the unbearable Qatar summer heat. Obviously, November and December are much cooler months.

The tournament will include 32 teams, 13 from Europe (UEFA), five from Africa (CAF), four or five from Asia, not including Qatar (AFC), four or five from South America (CONMEBOL), three or four from Central and North America (CONCACAF), and one or none from Oceania (OFC).

The teams will be divided into eight alphabetically named groups (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H), each group consisting of four teams. The teams play one match against each other in the group stage (a total of three matches per team). Then, the top two teams from each group progress to the elimination rounds.

The knockout stage starts from the best-of-16 rounds. The matchups are decided based on the positions in the group. For example, the winner of Group A plays against the runner-up of Group B, the winner of Group C plays the runner-up of Group D, and so on. The winners of these matchups move to the quarterfinals, then the semifinals, and then the grand final. The losers of semifinals contest a third-place match.

2022 FIFA World Cup betting favorites

While all 32 will come to Qatar hoping to reach soccer glory, only a few nations are given realistic World Cup betting odds to achieve such a feat.

One frontrunner is always Brazil, a record five-time world champion and a team that features plenty of superstars like Neymar, Thiago Silva, Philippe Coutinho, Everton Soares, and Gabriel Barbosa.

Many also believe that the 2018 world champs, France, have a great chance of winning thanks to an equally dominant squad that consists of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Olivier Giroud, and Karim Benzema. A disappointing finish at Euro 2021 might push France even harder to produce a deep World Cup run.

England will look to win its first World Cup since 1966, and Belgium hopes to become the first maiden champion since Spain in 2010. Among other top contenders are Germany, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and the Netherlands.

2022 FIFA World Cup dark horses

The World Cup hasn’t seen many interesting surprises in the last several decades. The tournament winner is usually one of the favorites, ranked in the top 10 on the official FIFA rankings list.

Still, upsets are possible. And, in the case of FIFA World Cup futures markets, they can come with some extremely large odds.

Croatia, for one, shocked the soccer world in 2018 by reaching the World Cup final in Russia. While it will be surprising for them to go one step further in Qatar, they are next in line after the aforementioned contenders when it comes to outright winner odds.

Colombia is also a very talented team that is not on too many contender lists, as are Denmark and Uruguay. The United States is always a dark horse at the World Cup, so you can expect their sportsbook odds to be somewhere between +8,000 and +10,000.

Other potential teams to watch out for include Mexico, Chile, Turkey, Serbia, and Nigeria. Also, nobody should underestimate the host team. While Qatar has never played in the World Cup, and they don’t have any particular superstars on their squad, they will be extra motivated to perform well in front of their home fans.

FIFA World Cup betting tips and trends

It’s pretty exciting seeing all the available World Cup betting markets and trying to make your predictions. But to create a decent chance of those predictions coming true, you have to consider some World Cup trends and essential betting tips, such as:

  • The underdog never wins — This one seems pretty obvious, as the underdog almost never wins regardless of the competition, but you can scratch the “almost” part in the case of the World Cup. As a matter of fact, every World Cup champion thus far has been among the favorites to win the tournament.
  • Top players are not from the winning squad — Interestingly enough, the World Cup’s top goalscorer has hailed from the winning squad only five times. Also, the best player award went to a championship-winning player only three times and not once in the previous six editions of the tournament.

How many teams take part in the FIFA World Cup?

That would be 32 teams divided into eight groups, a format introduced in 1998 for the first time. The tournament in 2026 is set to host 48 teams.

How do teams qualify for the FIFA World Cup?

The participating teams come from five or six confederations, with 13 UEFA (Europe) and five CAF (Africa) teams guaranteed a spot. Teams from AFC (Asia) and CONCACAF (North and Central America) receive at least four spots, each with the possibility of an extra one. Then, CONMEBOL (South America) gets three or four representatives, and OFC (Oceania) gets zero or one.

This means that at least one team from CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, AFC, and OFC lands in the inter-confederation playoffs to fight for the last remaining spots. The host nation is always guaranteed a place at the tournament.

2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

The FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the ninth edition. It will be held in Australia and New Zealand and feature 32 teams for the first time. The Women’s World Cup doesn’t bring as much attention as the men’s, but all prevalent Maryland sportsbooks will still feature a ton of markets to explore.

The United States is always one of the top title contenders and will come to Australia and New Zealand as a two-time defending champion. Their title could be contested by teams like the Netherlands, England, Japan, Sweden and Germany, to name a few.

2026 FIFA World Cup details

  • Host countries: Canada, Mexico, United States
  • Dates: TBD
  • Number of teams: 48
  • Stadiums: 16 (across 16 cities)
  • Final match stadium: MetLife Stadium, New Jersey, United States
  • Opening match: TBD
  • Broadcasting rights for the US: Fox, Telemundo

How to watch the FIFA World Cup live online

FOX and Telemundo have exclusive broadcasting rights for the FIFA World Cup in the U.S., with the possibility that some sportsbooks will have the rights to stream the 2022 FIFA World Cup on their platforms. Better yet, those same sportsbooks will likely have the streams available on their native apps.

In other words, you’ll be able to watch all the World Cup matches directly on your smartphone or tablet wherever you go. Of course, the sportsbook might have some conditions that you need to meet, like creating an account and making a real-money deposit.

FIFA World Cup past results

2018 FIFA World Cup

Semifinals
France vs. Belgium 1-0
Croatia vs. England2 - 1 (a.e.t)
Third Place Match
Belgium vs. England2-0
Final
France vs. Croatia4-2

2014 FIFA World Cup

Semifinals
Germany vs. Brazil7-1
Argentina vs. Netherlands0 - 0 (pen. 4 - 2)
Third Place Match
Netherlands vs. Brazil3-0
Final
Germany vs. Argentina1 - 0 (a.e.t.)

2010 FIFA World Cup

Semifinals
Netherlands vs. Uruguay3-2
Spain vs. Germany1-0
Third Place Match
Germany vs. Uruguay3-2
Final
Spain vs. Netherlands1 - 0 (a.e.t.)

2006 FIFA World Cup

Semifinals
Italy vs. Germany2 - 0 (a.e.t)
France vs. Portugal1-0
Third Place Match
Germany vs. Portugal3-1
Final
Italy vs. France1 - 1 (pen. 5 - 3)

2002 FIFA World Cup

Semifinals
Brazil vs. Turkey1-0
Germany vs. South Korea1-0
Third Place Match
Turkey vs. South Korea3-2
Final
Brazil vs. Germany2-0