World Cup betting guide: Tournament preview, group odds and futures markets for Qatar

13 days ago Peterborough Examiner

The World Cup is drawing closer but the opportunity to get in on the betting action has already started.

Pre-tournament narrative: The tournament kicks off on November 20 when the host nation Qatar takes on Ecuador. Then, the fun starts. Over the following month, 32 teams from around the globe will try to make history.

Canada, playing in its first World Cup since 1986, is a 200-to-1 long shot and will begin its journey on November 23 against Belgium. Without further ado, here is our World Cup betting guide.

There are markets available at NorthStar Bets on just about everything for this year’s World Cup. For example, you can pick who will win the tournament, who will score the most goals, or who will be voted tournament MVP.

We’ve laid out a few of the markets below, with the betting favourite on the left and a featured pick on the right.

Market Favourite Featured pick Winner Brazil (+400) Netherlands (+1,300) To reach final Brazil (+200) Spain (+400) Golden Boot Harry Kane (+800) Karim Benzema (+900) Golden Ball Lionel Messi (+900) Vinicius Junior (+2,000) Golden Glove Alisson Becker (+425) Unai Simon (+800) Most assists Kevin De Bruyne (+800) Richarlison (+3,500) Most group-stage goals Argentina (+600) Belgium (+900) Winning confederation UEFA (-225) CONMEBOL (+190) Best European team France (+375) Netherlands (+750)

Odds as of 3:49 p.m. ET on 11/11/22.

There are also team-specific markets where you can wager on who will be the top goalscorer for a certain country. On top of that, you can pick exactly how many points a nation will get in its group (0-9) or the specific stage a team will be eliminated in.

Let’s use some of Canada’s props as an example:

Canada Markets Bet Bet Most goals for Canada Jonathan David (+200) Lucas Cavallini (+900) Most assists for Canada Alphonso Davies (+300) Cyle Larin (+600) Group stage points Three points (+300) Zero points (+500) Tournament progress for Canada Round of 16 (+400) Group stage (-500)

You can of course bet on specific matchups as well, which are already available for each country’s first game in the group stage.

World Cup betting guide: Tournament preview

Brazil is a +400 favourite to win the World Cup while France is +775 to retain its title. There are seven other teams with odds of 20-to-1 or shorter, including Argentina at +550, England at +950 and Portugal at +1,500.

Then, we begin to venture into long shot territory. Croatia, which was in the 2018 final, is +4,000 to win. Four teams share +20,000 odds with Canada, including Japan and Poland.

The incredibly long odds are no coincidence.

There have been 21 World Cups held and three teams have more than half the titles.

Italy and Germany each have four apiece, though the former won’t be participating this year, while Brazil leads the way with five. Each of the past four World Cups has been won by a European team.

The group stage

For a country to win the World Cup, it must first make it out of the group stage. Teams are placed into eight pods of four and play a round-robin style tournament against their competitors.

Three points are awarded for a win and one for a draw. The top two teams advance to the knockout round.

Group A Netherlands (-225) Senegal (+400) Ecuador (+600) Qatar (+1,300) Group B England (-305) United States (+550) Wales (+600) Iran (+1,800) Group C Argentina (-250) Mexico (+450) Poland (+550) Saudi Arabia (+2,100) Group D France (-215) Denmark (+250) Tunisia (+1,200) Australia (+1,800) Group E Spain (-112) Germany (+115) Japan (+1,100) Costa Rica (+7,000) Group F Belgium (-155) Croatia (+225) Morocco (+900) Canada (+1,200) Group G Brazil (-305) Serbia (+600) Switzerland (+600) Cameroon (+2,000) Group H Portugal (-167) Uruguay (+210) Ghana (+1,300) South Korea (+1,300)

Group A (Qatar, Senegal, Ecuador, Netherlands): The Netherlands was beaten by Spain in extra time at the 2010 World Cup final and finished third in the 2014 tournament. After failing to qualify in 2018, the Dutch are back. Former Liverpool star Sadio Mane leads Senegal in its third-ever World Cup appearance.

Group B (England, Iran, United States, Wales): England looks to build off its 2018 semifinal appearance while the U.S. is looking to advance through to the knockout stages for the first time since 2014. But Gareth Bale and Wales might have something to say about that.

Group C (Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland): This will be Lionel Messi’s last chance at winning a World Cup and his team should be up for the task. Mexico and Poland both have star power but Argentina is the clear favourite here.

Group D (France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia): France is looking to run it back after winning the 2018 World Cup and Denmark shouldn’t be overlooked. Both are favoured to advance out of the group stage over Australia and Tunisia.

Group E (Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan): This is an incredibly tough draw for Japan and Costa Rica, which have to go up against two of Europe’s best teams. Either Spain (-112) or Germany (+115) should win Group E. Both of those nations have won a World Cup in the past 12 years.

Group F (Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia): Canada is a +1,200 underdog to win Group F and it’s not hard to see why. Both Belgium and Croatia have strong resumes with the latter making it to the final in 2018. That said, the Canadians are +300 to advance to the knockout round.

Group G (Brazil, Cameroon, Serbia, Switzerland): Brazil has won its World Cup group in every tournament since 1978 and this year shouldn’t be any different. The No. 2 spot will likely be held by an experienced Swiss squad or Serbia. Both hold +100 odds to advance.

Group H (Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea): Cristiano Ronaldo may be playing in his last World Cup for Portugal, Uruguay has advanced to the knockout rounds in three straight tournaments and South Korea will need to lean on superstar Heung-min Son.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Portugal and Switzerland, at the Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, Sunday, June 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Canada's outlook

We have an entire betting guide dedicated to Canada at the World Cup but we’ll briefly touch on the team here as well.

The Canadians rolled through the CONCACAF qualifiers but will face an uphill battle if they wish to make it out of the group stage, let alone win the tournament. Their schedule is as follows:

Canada (+775) vs. Belgium: Nov. 23, 2:00 p.m. Canada vs. Croatia: Nov. 27, 11:00 a.m. Canada vs. Morocco: Dec. 1, 10:00 a.m.

John Herdman’s squad does have its fair share of high-end talent. Alphonso Davies is one of the world’s best wing backs and an integral part of Bayern Munich, while Jonathan David has been thriving in Ligue 1 for Lille.

Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan and Stephen Eustaquio also play for European clubs that have advanced to the Champions League knockout stage.

Picking up a win against Morocco will be a necessity if Canada wants to advance to the knockout stage for the first time ever.

World Cup betting guide: Individual awards

Golden Boot: Harry Kane won the Golden Boot in 2018 and is favoured to win again this year at +800. His 0.68 goal average is the fourth best in the history of England’s national team. Kane scored four goals for England at the 2020 Euro Cup but the Three Lions have been struggling as of late.

France’s Karim Benzema holds value at +900. The 35-year-old scored 15 goals for Real Madrid during their Champions League run — that performance won him the Golden Boot and Ballon d’Or. He has 37 goals in 97 appearances for France.

If you’re looking to bet on some of the all-time greats, Messi is +1,200 to win the Golden Boot and Ronaldo is right behind him at +1,400.

Canada’s Jonathan David is 300-to-1 to win the Golden Boot. If he can somehow pull that off, it would be the sports story of the century.

Golden Ball: The Boot goes to the top goalscorer but the Golden Ball goes to the most valuable player. Croatia’s Luka Modric won the award in 2018 after taking his country to the finals and he’s +5,000 to do it again in Qatar.

Neymar and Messi are +900 co-favourites to win the Golden Ball. Both of them lead exceptionally strong squads that can go deep into the tournament.

Brazil is favoured to win it all, so Vinicius Junior is a logical alternative to Neymar at +2,000. He’s only 22 years old but has already established himself as one of the world’s top talents.

Germany’s Kai Havertz is a +6,600 long shot to take home the MVP. If the 2014 champions can go deep, Havertz will be playing a big role.

Golden Glove: Finally, there’s the Golden Glove, which is awarded to the tournament’s best goalkeeper.

Alisson Becker (+425) is starting between the pipes for Brazil, so naturally, he’s the favourite to take home the trophy. He helped Liverpool win the Premier League and Champions League and also won the best goalkeeper award at the 2019 Copa America.

Not far behind him is Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois (+500), who won this award in 2018. He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world and is capable of stealing a game away.

Unai Simon is in goal for Spain and is +800 to win the Golden Glove. If Simon can lead his country to a deep run, the trophy could very well be his.

Outside of specific awards, there are countless World Cup player props that can be wagered on.

These are our three favourites:

Find out why we like these pre-tournament prop bets.

Once the tournament begins, we’ll have up-to-date coverage, odds and picks for all of the biggest games, including each of Canada’s contests.

APAvery Perri writes about sports betting for NorthStar Bets. NorthStar Bets is owned by NordStar Capital, which also owns Torstar, the Star's parent company. Follow him on Twitter: @AveryPerri

Disclaimer This content was produced as part of a partnership and therefore it may not meet the standards of impartial or independent journalism.
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