2022 World Cup and US Soccer Betting Trends by the Numbers
After failing to make the last World Cup, the U.S. men’s national soccer team has advanced to the knockout stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where they will face the Netherlands with a quarterfinal berth on the line (10 a.m. ET Saturday).
With increased stateside interest in this World Cup thanks to the United States’ participation, the Action Network app has seen a significant uptick in soccer betting activity, with the most soccer picks ever tracked in the app during opening week of the tournament.
For further context: The 250,000+ soccer picks tracked over the past week would effectively equate to a 400% increase compared to a typical week of soccer betting activity in Action’s app, which tracks about 50,000 soccer picks in an average week.
What else can we learn from the Action app pick-tracking data? Let’s break it down by the numbers.
Note: Data is based on picks tracked in the Action app as of Nov. 30; Action Network is not a sportsbook operator.
2022 World Cup Betting by the Numbers
Top Picked Countries To Win
Of the top 10 most-picked teams to win the 2022 World Cup in Action’s app, eight have already advanced to the knockout stage as of writing on Thursday.
And only one has been eliminated: Belgium, the ninth-most picked country to win.
That leaves the fate of only one of these 10 countries hanging in the balance as of writing: Uruguay, which will know whether it’s going on or going home based on the results of Friday’s matches.
Note: Percentages above reflect percent of total to-win bets tracked, and collectively represent a little less than 60% of the overall sample size.
Top Countries By Total Picks
With more than 90% of Action app users based in the United States, it’s unsurprising that Team USA has seen more than three times as many picks tracked than the next-closest country — which is coincidentally the same team the U.S. will face in Saturday’s Round of 16 match.
The high volume of picks tracked on the Netherlands can be partly attributed to users following the advice of Action experts BJ Cunningham and Anthony Dabbundo, whose under 2.5 Netherland goals against Qatar pick was tailed at such a high rate, the tailed picks made up more than 50% of the total tracked on that group-stage match.
Which is to say: These picks are not all picks tracked explicitly in support of a team — i.e. they’re not all moneyline or spread picks, some are on team-specific markets like Netherlands’ total in that match.
As with the popularity of the US, there’s little surprise which team has driven the third-most picks: France, the reigning champion. The sixth- and seventh-most-picked teams, Brazil and Spain, are also among the past five tournament winners.
Picks Trends For USA vs. Netherlands
Fifty-five percent of the roughly 6,000 picks tracked on USA-Netherlands as of Thursday are on the United States.
Given more than 90% of Action app users are based stateside, though, a 55/45 split of picks between the U.S. and Netherlands could arguably indicate a tame degree of homer-ism from U.S. bettors.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
World Cup Picks by State
Big-market states like Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania – which have legalized sports betting and are located in the United States’ two earliest time zones – are unsurprisingly among the five states driving the most pick-tracking activity around the U.S. men’s national team during the World Cup.
The two states rounding out that top five, however, may come as a surprise.
Texas and California are the most populous states, but neither have legalized sports betting, indicating legalization does not seem to be a deterrent for a significant segment of Action users between the two states.