The World Cup is only four months away and Argentina look like a good bet to win the competition for a third time.
Who do Bettors Favor?
The World Cup Winners’ markets at the best-rated online sportsbooks have tightened up in recent weeks, but regular favorites Brazil still lead the way. There is plenty of support for England and France, who can be backed at +700 and +610 respectively, while Argentina, Spain and Germany are close behind, and Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands are available at +1200 or higher.
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World Cup 2022: Key Betting Facts
Each World Cup tournament offers a unique experience, but World Cup 2022 is more distinct than usual. Played at the height of the European and South American seasons, and based in the desert nation of Qatar, it could see temperatures as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
That immediately suggests a possible betting angle. The last time a World Cup was played at such levels of heat, was the USA in 1994, and that competition was notable for how badly some of the northern European teams struggled in the conditions – though teams from the south of Europe faired better.
There is a clear trend for World Cups staged in Europe or Central/South America, of which 16 out of 18 have been won by teams from those regions, but in the three tournaments held in other parts of the world, things are less clear. Brazil claimed the 1994 World Cup and won again in Japan and South Korea in 2002, but Spain lifted the Cup when it was held in South Africa in 2010.
Who will Win the World Cup 2022?
While the heat and location adds a degree of uncertainty to this year’s competition, it is worth remembering that there is no tradition of outsiders winning the World Cup, at least not in the modern era. The World Cup is usually won by one of the big football nations, although the eventual winner has sometimes been out of form or written off going into the competition.
Brazil are the unsurprising favorites to win the World Cup, for what would be a sixth time. They haven’t won it since 2002 but they ended a 12-year wait to win the Copa America in 2019 and after coming through the CONMEBOL qualifiers without difficulty, they are obvious contenders here. Still, their recent history of falling short of expectation in the World Cup is a concern and with very little value in their odds, World Cup bettors may prefer to look elsewhere.
Blessed with arguably the best squad in world football, the reigning champions France will be high on most people’s list of World Cup contenders, but will conditions suit them? Didier Deschamps’ side are awe inspiring at their best, but they still have the capacity to produce some surprisingly bad performances. As with Brazil, I would be wary of taking a short price on France, and the same goes for an overrated England team that is long on potential but has twice fallen short at the end of big tournaments.
Argentina, at bigger odds than both France and England, look a better option. Yes, Lionel Messi will be 35 when the tournament starts, but he has never looked so committed to international football as he is now, and this is the best Argentinian team he has been a part of. Victory in the 2021 Copa America (on Brazilian soil) ended a long wait for a major trophy and seems to have given the team confidence, and with conditions likely to be no problem, Argentina have to be a good wager.
The same can’t really be said for Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. All have talented squads, and it would not be a huge surprise to see any of them reach the latter stages, but there are reasons to oppose each of them, including Germany’s transition state, Belgium’s history of falling short in big tournaments the Netherlands inconsistency; not to mention the climactic conditions in Qatar.
If you’re looking for a European team to balance your Futures betting, Spain are the most viable option in Qatar. For one thing, they won’t be as negatively affected by the heat as some of the other European nations and are the only European team to have won a World Cup outside of Europe. More significantly, the next generation of Spanish talent are starting to find their feet, and while it is possible that there may be better to come in the 2024 Euros, they look a value bet in 2022.
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