World Cup 2022 odds: Betting primer, plus who the sharps are wagering on

FOX Bet World Cup 2022 odds are dropping in our collective betting vaults in the heart of the football season.

In other words, from November 20th until December 18th, we will have a football and soccer party.

Yes, the NFL drives the American sports betting bus. But worldwide, no event commands more betting money than the World Cup every four years.

Let’s get some betting perspective, from both sides of the desk, on how punters are approaching the World Cup.

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Supported by Lionel

Soccer superstar Lionel Messi announced that this will be his last World Cup for Argentina. Messi and his Argentine teammates are playing quite well, and professional bettors have taken notice in the World Cup futures market.

“Argentina has grabbed all the attention in the early stages and has gone from 10-1 to 5-1,” said WynnBet junior trader Dom DeBonis. “The Argentinians are unbeaten in 38 games in a row, having handed Lionel Messi his first international trophy at the last Copa América. And they are loaded with attacking talent.”

Argentina has always been one of the favorites in the World Cup quota market. But the strikers also hit a couple of long shots in Serbia and Uruguay. Serbia are now 75-1 at WynnBet after opening at 100-1, while Uruguay improved from 50-1 to 40-1, 11th in the 32-team field.

“The hard market moves across the industry in these three teams suggest they were undervalued at the open,” DeBonis said of Argentina, Serbia and Uruguay. “The sharp money has pushed each of them up a notch in terms of where the top punters expect them to end up.”

Alexi Lalas discusses the USMNT’s expectations at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Alexi Lalas discusses the USMNT's expectations at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

FOX Sports soccer analyst Alexi Lalas joins Craig Carton to preview the World Cup.

Early fire, late fire, future fire

The World Cup draw took place on 1 April and set all the group stage matches for the 32-team field. These games have had months to bet on. So, it’s been a while since a lot of sharp game appeared.

“The sharpest players would only be attracted to the first or steam based on the lineup drops before kickoff,” DeBonis said.

Translation: Professional bettors might have given early numbers months ago, but they probably won’t be back until literally game day, with any breaking news.

But in the World Cup futures markets, especially tournament and group winners, the action of the smart set has been more consistent.

“Futures betting on groups i [tournament] The winner is another story, because you can get an advantageous number that can be covered later in the tournament,” DeBonis said.

Great Danes

Rob Miech, who wouldn’t call himself sharp but is certainly an experienced and knowledgeable football bettor, provided an example that illustrates DeBonis’ point about hedging.

“At the beginning of February, I got 60-1 in Denmark,” said Miech, a sports betting columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. “Denmark is just good, and they’re kind of the darling of the tournament.”

Part of that esteemed status is due to the remarkable return of Christian Eriksen. At the 2021 European Championship, Eriksen collapsed on the pitch due to cardiac arrest during a match against Finland. A defibrillator was needed to get his heart beating again. Eriksen will now lead the Danes to the 2022 World Cup.

“It’s back and it’s full now,” Miech said.

Oh, and Denmark are now in the 30-1 range. If the Danish side make a run and get out of the group stage, Miech can consider protecting their championship ticket at 60-1, betting match-by-match on Denmark’s rivals.

Miech also landed what at the time looked like a huge flyer bet in Canada at 300-1, back in February. The Canadians lost just one game in World Cup qualifying play. However, goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau broke his leg playing for Los Angeles FC in the MLS Cup final on November 5, so he is out for the tournament.

Also, Canadian star Alphonso Davies is coming off a hamstring injury that could slow him down in the tournament.

Still, Miech is hopeful big Canada can get out of Group F, which includes Belgium and Croatia, and into the round of 16. If so, Miech said, “I’ll hedge against that ticket in the knockout. I could potentially be betting big against Canada.”

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US: non sharp game

The US Men’s National Team is well below the odds board at WynnBet, currently 150-1 to win the World Cup. So if you put a hundred dollars on Team USA and the Americans make an unfathomable run, you win $15,000.

But there’s a reason the USMNT, in a six-team lockout as the 14th choice on the odds board, have such long odds. The bookies would consider the American team lucky to get out of Group B, which includes England, Wales and Iran, and into the round of 16.

However, this does not prevent public/recreational bettors from registering some patriotic betting duty.

“Our biggest liability, as is probably the case with all American sports betting, is the United States,” DeBonis said. “While the Americans are a long way from winning the tournament, the hope is that a good showing can convert some new fans to the sport who enjoy betting on the games as we prepare to host the World Cup. World of 2026”.

For Dylan Brossman, Senior Director of Business Operations at Bet FOXthe flood of American punters supporting Team USA is expected.

“It’s no surprise that the U.S. has the most tickets right now,” Brossman said. “Right behind [Team USA] they are Brazil and Germany”.

Team USA is currently 200-1 at FOX Bet, co-17 option. This means that a $100 bet would, very hypothetically, win $20,000 if the USA won the World Cup.

A is for action

Among the eight groups, four teams each, in this 32-team football extravaganza, one has stood out for heavy bettors: Group A. And again, they don’t necessarily bet on Group A matches, but Group A futures, which team will win the group.

“Group A is attracting the most intense action, with Senegal backed early. But the injury to their star Sadio Mané has changed that,” DeBonis said. “The action has [since] been entering the group’s favorite Holland [Netherlands] and Qatar, the long-term host nation.”

Mane suffered a leg injury in early November while playing for his professional club Bayern Munich. He is expected to miss Senegal’s opening group game on Nov. 21 against the Netherlands and likely the Nov. 25 match against host nation Qatar.

Holland are now heavy favorites at -255 to win Group A, with Senegal and Ecuador at +600, and Qatar close behind at +1700.

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How important is Christian Pulisic to Team USA at the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

Stu talks about Christian Pulisic and the role he will play on Team USA.

Sweet in Serbia

As DeBonis noted above, heavy bettors hammered Serbia in the World Cup championship odds market. Miech thinks, at the very least, that Serbia can be among the top two teams in Group D, finishing behind World Cup favorites Brazil and advancing to the knockout stage.

It is likely to come down to the Serbian national team’s final Group G game, against Switzerland on December 2. And Miech is already there.

“I think Serbia beat Switzerland. It’s a big move for me,” he said.

At WynnBet, in the three-way betting, Serbia is a modest loser at +185, with Switzerland a +165 favorite and a draw at +225.

Learn to draw

Which brings us to an important point about soccer betting, for those unfamiliar: most sportsbooks offer three-way bets on World Cup matches. The bet is what the result will be after 90 minutes plus stoppage time. So you can bet for either side, or for a tie.

In the Serbia-Switzerland game above, for example: a $100 bet on Serbia +185 would win $185 if Serbia wins; a $100 play in Switzerland would net you $165; and if you put $100 on the draw and both teams play to a draw in 90 minutes plus stoppage time, you win $225.

The tie option should be considered, especially since group stage games do not go to extra time.

“The three-way line draw comes in at about a 24% rate, which is an implied line of +317,” DeBonis explained. “Closer matchups tend to have the draw price between +185 and +225, so the times when it would be advantageous would actually be when there is a bigger discrepancy between the chalk below. This is especially true in tournaments internationals, when teams spend less time building chemistry and cohesion, and you may not get results at the same clip you see at club level.”

However, if you bet on Team A or Team B to win in a three-way option, and the game is tied after full time and regulation time, you will lose your bet. It’s not a push like, say, an NFL money line would be.

And even in the knockout phase, where games go to extra time, a bet on the three-way line is a bet on the result for 90 minutes plus stoppage time. If you bet on Team A to win in three-way betting and the game is tied after regulation plus stoppage time, you lose the bet, even if Team A wins in extra time or penalty kicks.

If you prefer to avoid this, most books also offer two-way bets, where you simply choose which team you think will win. It’s a standard money line bet on each side, so if the game ends up being a draw, the result of the bet is a push and a refund. Also, if a game goes to extra time, in this case for World Cup qualifiers, you will get a result, either a win or a loss, either in OT or penalty shootouts.

As for me, a not so sharp bettor, I love to bet the draw, even if the odds say I shouldn’t. In case you haven’t noticed, there aren’t often many goals in soccer. I won’t get carried away, but for World Cup 2022 odds, you can bet on a few 1-1 or 0-0 draws. Then it’s off to Chili’s, my friends. #ChilisMoney

Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and a senior reporter for He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He is based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys playing golf in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.

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