FIFA World Cup

Brief World Cup History

Every four years, we get to see 32 teams represent different countries in a global showdown to the most coveted trophy in the world of football. Billions of viewers tune in every day for four weeks to watch the teams play, and in the end, one country is crowned champions of the world. You do not even have to be a soccer fan to enjoy the beauty of the FIFA World Cup competition.

Soccer is one of the oldest sports in the world, older than most of the popular sports. The England Football Association certified the rules and made them official in 1863. And because they had colonies in most parts of the world at the time, many countries were introduced to the sport, giving it more popularity across the globe. 

The first international soccer match took place in 1872 between England and Scotland, and in 1908, it became an Olympic sport, leading to the first World Cup in 1930, hosted by Uruguay, who were eventual winners. 

The competition continues to break TV viewership records every four years, and the build-up is always better than the last. Therefore, millions more people tune in every time to enjoy the competition and support their favorites.

Introduction to World Cup Betting

Whether in individual league games or international competition, goal-spread betting for soccer is the same. The favored team is assigned a negative number, usually -½ or -1½, while the underdog is the opposite, positive spread of usually +½ or +1½. 

Betting on the World Cup tournament is pretty different from placing regular soccer season’s league bets. It is a cup format competition that starts with 32 teams in the group stage, with each of them playing three games each, which is similar to the UEFA Champions League. However, unlike the UCL, the teams only face each other once rather than twice. 

The group system for the World Cup and UCL is the same. The two best teams qualify for a one-off knockout round. To determine the group’s top two teams, the two with the best stats in terms of points, goal difference, goals scored, and goals against qualify after three games. However, the team’s points take more importance in the order of ranking. So, the team with the most points leads. 

If you want to bet on the group stage, you should look at how the teams perform during the qualifying rounds. Also, you should look at their current seedings as it is rare for two teams seeded high in the same group. In most cases, you can easily spot the two best teams in each group. That way, the group stage is easier to bet than the knockout round.

In addition to that, you can even take advantage of parlay bets since there are many games to bet on during the group stages. You can easily pick multiple top-performing teams, and you will have a better chance of winning. However, the tournament becomes tougher once it gets to the knockout round, and betting is trickier. 

How to Bet on World Cup

FIFA Qatar World Cup betting will begin properly in November/December 2022. The qualifying rounds are still ongoing worldwide, with the final games set in March and June. After that, the World Cup draw will take place. As a result, we won’t know the 32 teams to participate in the tournament until June. 

Once the qualifying rounds are complete, the 32 teams are categorized into eight groups of four. Each team plays at least three games, with the top two that can amass the most of the nine points, qualifying for the knockout stages. 

The group matches can provide many mismatches. Popular and top teams like Brazil, Germany, France, Argentina, Spain, and England find themselves as group winning favorites. This is mostly true when they face lower-seeded teams from Africa, North America, Asia, or Oceania. 

With national leagues like the Serie A, La Liga, Premier League, and Bundesliga going on a month-long break because of the World Cup, injuries will play a massive role in betting lines. If top players are injured, it will impact the bet lines, so check out the lineups, player updates, and health factors before betting on games. 

When betting the point spreads line in the World Cup, other factors include lineups and team motivation. For instance, if a team qualifies after two games for the knockout round, the coach might look to give other players a chance, or when qualification is impossible, and there is only pride to play for, the lines can be impacted. 

Understand how the teams are set up and their respective firepower, like Brazil, are known for flare and skills to aid control and attack. Or Germany, who tend to score much with fast transitioning play, while others like Qatar, New Zealand, Uruguay, and Sweden rely on their defensive strength to win.

Unique Outcomes

The unique aspect of soccer is that a game can end in a draw. So, if you have the United States -½ against Tunisia and the game ends 1-1, you would lose the wager. However, you’d win with Tunisia at +½. 

Group games do not have overtime, but games from the round of 16 on (knockout games), do. However, in knockout games, the goal spread is determined after 90 minutes. Overtime or penalty-shootout goals do not count in the spread, and the game is still officially a draw.

Tips, Tricks and Advice for World Cup Goal Spreads

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled for November/December in Qatar. Qualifying is ongoing globally, with games taking place in March and June. The full 32-team field won’t be determined until June, sith the draw taking place this summer. 

Teams will be placed into eight groups of four. Each team will play others in their group times, with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the 16-team knockout round. 

This World Cup will be unique given the setting in Qatar. The atmosphere, the weather, the time of year and the fact these games interrupt traditional domestic leagues and their schedules. 

Other factors for betting goal spreads in the World Cup are lineups and motivation. If a team has already qualified for the knockout round, they may use secondary players in the final game of groups, Conversely, if they can’t qualify and have nothing to play for in the competition, that can also impact the lines. iok8

After the World Cup groups are finally set, odds come out in the sportsbooks. Do not jump on these right away. The trick for winning on soccer goal-spread betting at a tournament such as the World Cup is waiting as long as possible. Check the weather, the lineups and injury reports. 

All of these can and will impact the lines. When lineups are announced 60-to-90 minutes before kickoff, find the great value. Knowing exactly who will play provides an advantage, especially with teams that are new to the bettor. 

This also allows the bettor to ride the hot team or goal scorer, or vice versa, avoid the cold team.

For example, if Harry Kane is in good form at the Qatar World Cup and can carry England through its group by scoring goals, his presence is worth taking England at -½  or -1½ . A hot goalkeeper can also provide value, as Hugo Lloris did for France in the 2018 World Cup.

Unlike the NFL or basketball, the goal spread won’t be much different in any of the sportsbooks. It’s not likely to see Brazil -2½ at one book and -1½  at another. 

However, the “juice” may be different, so it is worth shopping around to find -105 instead of -110 or -115 on that -2½ goals spread. 

Another thing to look for is the way the tournament is officiated. The World Cup will use VAR (Video-Assisted Refereeing) to fix egregious mistakes and monitor offsides. 

The last two World Cups have been higher scoring than the previous three that included 32 teams. The 2006 edition had 147 goals, while the 2010 tournament had 141. The 2014 tournament had 171 goals, while the 2018 tournament, first to use VAR, had 169.  

The 2018 World Cup had 15 group games decided by two or more goals and nine draws. In the knockout round, five of the 16 games were decided by two or more goals, and five were draws after 90 minutes. 

Betting on Point Spreads Explained

Whether in national league games or international tournaments, point spread betting in soccer is the same. The favored team has a negative number, usually around -0.5 or -1.5. Meanwhile, the underdog is the opposite, with a positive number, like +0.5 or +1.5. 

  • The spread:

One thing about soccer is that matchups can end in a draw. So, for instance, if the United States is -0.5 against Iceland and the match ends in a 1-1 draw, you would lose. On the flip side, you’d win if you back Iceland at +0.5 even as the game ended in 1-1. 

Group games in the FIFA Qatar World Cup do not have overtime. However, there is overtime from the round of 16 knockout games. But, the point spread bet does not count in overtime.

In that case, overtime goals or penalty shootout goals are not counted in the spread bet, and the game is still officially a draw.

  • The favorite: USA
  • The underdog: Iceland
  • The connection of the point spread to the moneyline: A bet on the USA only wins if they beat Iceland by at least one goal within the standard 90 minutes.

Conclusion

The bottom line is to be prepared and don’t be afraid of the underdogs.

Backing the favorites can work when the big teams play the smallest ones. However, as the tournament advances, the teams are pretty evenly-matched, with games tending to be decided by one goal, or ending tied. 

World Cup Betting FAQ

Who are the best teams coming into the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

The best teams coming into the 2022 FIFA world cup include Brazil, France, Germany, Argentina, and England.

Where can I bet on the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

To bet on the 2022 FIFA World Cup, you need to find a top sportsbook that covers soccer, and you can bet on the games in the tournament.

What betting markets can I bet on?

Like any soccer event, you can bet on different markets such as Win-Draw-Win, Double Chance, Goals, Top Scorer, etc.

What is the best way to bet on the FIFA World Cup?

The best way to bet on the tournament is to start from the qualifying rounds to know the top-performing teams and underdogs that might light up the competition. 

Who is hosting the 2022 World Cup?

Qatar is hosting the 2022 World Cup.
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