2022 World Cup Winner Odds, Predictions: England & Spain Among Best Bets
Soccrates Images/Getty. Pictured: Alvaro Morata.
The 2022 World Cup is just a few days away, meaning you don't have too much time to get your futures bets in before play begins.
Our experts are here to help you get the most value out of your World Cup winner bets, and they break down their best wagers below.
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For starters, manager Gareth Southgate’s team should cruise through Group B with Wales, the United States and Iran. Finishing in first is key to this plan, and the Three Lions have -350 odds to do so.
By topping the group, England then moves on to the opposite side of the bracket from tournament favorites Brazil, Lionel Messi’s Argentina and a dangerous Spain squad. Depending on results in other groups, Southgate’s men could also avoid France and Portugal until the final, but neither of those teams scare me with the drama and injuries surrounding those squads.
In the Round of 16, England would likely face either Senegal, Ecuador or Qatar before a game with Denmark, Poland or Mexico in the quarterfinals. The opposition in the semifinals could be a mix of Belgium, Germany, Uruguay, Serbia or Switzerland, which are all easier foes than the gauntlet on the other side of the bracket.
This squad made it to the final at the European Championships last year, and the path lines up for a great shot to make another deep tournament run.
Spain’s underlying numbers have been the most impressive in Europe since the 2018 World Cup. At the Euros and in World Cup Qualifying, Spain averaged 2.17 xGF and 0.80 xGA per 90 minutes. Only England had a better xGD per 90 in Europe.
Spain are outstanding in their build up play. It’s one of the reasons why they led the Euros with 16.7 xG despite playing one less match than England and Italy.
Luis Enrique has so much talent at his disposal, particularly in the midfield with the likes of Rodri, Pedri, Gavi, Carlos Soler, Sergio Busquets and Koke. That type of midfield can control the ball, progress it up the field, and defend in transition just about as good as anybody in this tournament.
The path for Spain has one difficult test – against Brazil in the quarters if they win the group – which I make a pick’em. If they get second in this group they will most likely play Belgium and then either Portugal or Switzerland, so at +800 for what I believe is one of the three best teams in this tournament, I love the play.
Anthony Dabbundo: Spain ticks all of the boxes of a team that could win the World Cup. If you think about the last few World Cup winners, dominant strikers haven’t been the reason those teams have won.
France started Olivier Giroud up top in 2018 and Germany started Miroslav Klose at age 36 in 2014. Spain will turn to Alvaro Morata, a do-everything striker that has struggled with finishing at times. They had the best underlying numbers at the last Euros and were a penalty shootout away from making the final.
Spain have a few potential breakout stars in Pedri, Gavi and Dani Olmo that performed well at the Euros and can now shine on the biggest stage. They have a ton of midfield depth, and they have one of the best managers at the tournament. In terms of experience and rising talent, Luis Enrique’s side has the depth and top end talent to potentially go all the way.
Nick Hennion: If there’s one thing we know about predicting a World Cup winner, it’s that form matters when entering the tournament.
Dating back to the 2002 World Cup, four of the five winners have entered the tournament on a five-match unbeaten run while two of those five teams had a winning percentage of at least 80% in those five games.
With the Netherlands, they check both of those boxes. Across their last five international fixtures, manager Louis van Gaal’s side is 4-0-1 (W-L-D) with a +0.47 expected goals on target (xGOT) differential per 90 minutes.
Plus, in eight fixtures this calendar year, the Netherlands are 6-0-2 with all six of those victories coming against fellow World Cup sides. Add in that the Netherlands attack appears to be catching up with their strong defense – 20 big scoring chances in those eight fixtures – and I give them a strong chance in Qatar.
I have the Netherlands in pocket at +1400, but would bet them to +1250.