The FIFA World Cup is one of the most anticipated and most watched tournaments on the sporting calendar. MansionBet UK experts have put together a guide on how to bet on this historic tournament and have also assembled a list of the top online betting sites for wagering on this international sporting extravaganza.
FIFA World Cup 2022
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How to Bet on the FIFA World Cup
As well as being one of the most talked about and most watched sporting spectacles in the world, this tournament is also one of the most popular betting events on the calendar. As a result, online bookmakers are keen to promote their World Cup markets and odds and there are always numerous offers, bonuses and promotions to coincide with the start of the tournament. If you’re thinking of having a bet on the World Cup at any point, then we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Keep reading to find out how to wager on this iconic sporting event.
Ensuring that you are able to find the best possible odds is absolutely vital when it comes to betting on the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
World Cup betting sites will provide odds on numerous markets and these reflect the probability of each potential outcome. For example, online sportsbooks such as 10Bet make Brazil (9/2) and France (6/1) the favourites for this tournament due to their history in the event and in France’s case, their recent form. Although favourites aren’t necessarily guaranteed to be successful, the bookmakers are wary of these two teams and are expecting a large number of punters to bet on these two countries to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy.
Following the completion of the World Cup draw, the group stage fixtures have now been priced up by the majority of World Cup 2022 betting sites. In a typical match, the odds tend to be significantly shorter, especially in a games which involve two closely-matched teams.
The favourites will have much shorter odds, and these will occasionally will be odds-on (for example 7/10).
Although there is no correct or winning formula, it is always advised to consider betting on outsiders in this tournament as the fixtures are fairly congested and there have been a number of unpredictable outcomes over the last couple of tournaments. In 2018, South Korea beat Germany 2-0 despite being priced up as 18/1 outsiders. Croatia’s victory over Argentina and Japan’s success against Columbia were other notable shocks which proved that the bookmakers don’t always get it right when it comes to the odds!
Most popular markets
If you have a quick browse of any World Cup betting site, you’ll see lots of different markets. Some are understandably more popular than others and we’ve picked out some of the key markets that are likely to attract plenty of interest amongst World Cup punters.
- Outright Winner
This market is generally priced up months/years in advance and most bookmakers will also have odds on the outright winner available throughout the tournament, although they are often suspended whilst group stage matches are taking place.
Previous winners are generally favoured in this market with the aforementioned duo France and Brazil towards the top of the betting. However, England, who have failed to lift the trophy since 1966 have also been priced up amongst the favourites.
If you bet on this market, your chosen side must be successful in the showpiece event on December 18th, however, it is also possible to bet each-way on this market. This is particularly handy if you’re picking a team at bigger odds.
- Top Goalscorer
Although football is a team sport, there are always individual players who create an impression and steal the headlines at international tournaments. This is a market in which you have to predict which player will score the highest number of goals throughout the month-long tournament and it’s always advised to opt for players whose teams are likely to reach the latter stages of the event.
Although players such as Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane are understandably priced up as favourites in this market, unfancied players at bigger odds should not be completely discounted as James Rodriguez’s 2014 performance proved.
- To Reach the Final/Semi-Finals/Quarter-Finals
This market is a relatively recent addition and allows punters to predict which stage of a tournament each side will reach. This is particularly handy if you’re expecting an underdog to defy expectations and progress further than expected. Favourites such as Brazil, France and England are understandably short priced odds to reach the final four. Once your side has reached this stage, you can finally relax as your bet will be paid out!
- Group Winner Market
If you enjoy placing accumulators, which contain multiple selections, then this is the ideal ante-post market. Following the completion of the group stage draw, you can choose a side to finish top of each section. Naturally, if you’re betting on the likes of Brazil, Argentina and England to finish top, the odds are likely to be short, however, by placing all of these into the same bet, you can potentially secure some decent returns.
Team vs Team Betting
Now that the draw has been completed, each of group stage matches has been priced up by the bookmakers. Match betting odds tend to be significant shorter than the outright markets, with many of the bigger and more established teams priced up prohibitively. For example, England are 2/5 favourites to beat Iran in their opening group stage match.
These odds can change and this tends to happen within 48 hours of kick-off. These odds tend to be impacted by team news.
Strategies & Betting Tips
Although there is no guaranteed way of successfully betting on the World Cup, there are numerous strategies and betting tips which should help you to enjoy a positive betting experience on this prestigious tournament.
With such a quick turnaround between games, it’s important to check team news and consider how each team might be impacted by a potential reshuffle.
In my experience, the third and final group games tend to be the most unpredictable ties. In 2018, this round of fixtures produced a handful of shocks and there were numerous teams such as England and Belgium who had already qualified for the knock-out round and therefore, they opted to shuffle their pack. This is something to take into consideration.
In 2018, England, Russia, Spain, Portugal, France and Denmark all failed to win their final group game despite progressing to the knock-out stage of the tournament.
It’s also worth taking climate into consideration. Although the tournament will be held in December, temperatures will remain high, so it’s worth factoring this into your bets. As a result, low-scoring games are likely to be commonplace and players who are accustomed to playing in colder climates may struggle to acclimatise during the opening couple of games.
Bonuses and Promotions
Online bookmakers are always keen to attract new players and reward existing punters during major international tournaments and as a result, they are likely to introduce numerous offers, bonuses and promotions to coincide with kick-off.
It’s always worth keeping an eye on your existing accounts, however, if you’re thinking of signing up for a new betting site, then this is the time do it!
Top World Cup Bookmakers
If you’re thinking of betting on the World Cup, then you’ll want to ensure that you’ve selected the best possible online bookmaker. We’ve compiled a list of the best World Cup betting sites who offer hundreds of different markets as well as generous bonuses and promotions relating to this prestigious tournament.
10bet offers a variety of sports betting markets, however, they specialise in football and that is great news for World Cup fans. With their generous sign-up bonus, you’ll be able to use your free bets on a wide variety of outright betting markets as well as hundreds of options on each individual group stage contest.
In addition to this, 10bet have a variety of tremendous features including Cash Out, Price Boosts, Acca Boosts, Bet Insurance and Live Betting and these will come in extremely handy throughout the tournament.
Bwin are an established online bookmaker who offer thousands of football markets on a daily basis. Their aesthetically pleasing site and mobile app make it extremely straightforward to place bets on the World Cup. As well as a £20 free back-up bet, you’ll be able to take advantage of Bwin’s competitive odds as well as access fast live betting markets and enjoy their superb live streaming service.
LeoVegas’ sportsbook is simplistic and effective and with 12+ outright markets and every single World Cup group stage match priced up, there is plenty to get stuck into. With a generous welcome bonus and live betting available, LeoVegas UK are undoubtedly one of the top World Cup betting sites.
Karamba’s comprehensive online sportsbook offers thousands of different football betting markets. Although the sheer amount of information on their site and app may be a little overwhelming at first, you’ll soon become accustomed to the layout and you’ll be able to browse through 90+ markets for each of the group games. With a number of unique markets and a healthy range of outright odds, there is more than enough to keep football punters satisfied.
Best Betting Features
If you’re thinking of signing up for an online bookmaker and betting on the World Cup then you’ll want to ensure that your chosen betting site offers a range of different features which will enhance your overall betting experience.
Live betting has become increasingly popular over the last few years and although it is offered by most online bookmakers, it’s important to make sure that your chosen operator offers a wide variety of live in-play markets. This is extremely handy, especially if you are busy and miss the kick-off. Live betting allows you to get involved at any stage and it is also a great way of betting if you happen to spot a change of momentum whilst watching a match at the 2022 World Cup.
Sometimes your accumulator or single bet may be in a winning position and you’d like to take advantage of this. Sadly, last minute equalisers are the scourge of an accumulator punter so being able to cash out with ten minutes left on the clock is a fantastic way of avoiding any last-gasp heartache.
Most online bookmakers will provide up-to-the-minute stats on live in-play matches, however, it’s always handy to have accompanying live pictures. This will allow you to track the momentum of your chosen match and will give you an opportunity to spot potentially lucrative in-play wagers. Live streaming is particularly handy if you’re on the move and cannot access a match on TV.
If you’re sitting down to watch a match at the 2022 World Cup, you may wish to mix and match a variety of different markets. If you can’t find a particular bet, then Bet Builders and Request-a-Bet are a great way of resolving this issue. You can add up to 20 different markets so it’s a great way of keeping an interest across the 90 minutes.
Bet Boosts/Enhanced Odds
When betting on the World Cup, you’ll want to ensure that you find the best possible odds. By selecting an online bookmaker which offers bet boosts and enhanced odds, your returns could be significantly increased. This is a great way of potentially ensuring that you have more money to wager on the reminder of the tournament.
Outright Betting on the World Cup
Outright markets allow you to bet on a variety of different markets including Winner, Top Goalscorer, Top Assists, Group Winner and To Reach the Final. These are available months ahead of the tournament getting underway and are extremely popular with World Cup punters. Most bookmakers offer 10+ outright markets with the possibility to cash out on the majority of these.
The majority of these, with the exception of the group winner markets, will not be settled until the tournament has concluded.
World Cup Structure
The 2022 World is unique for a variety of reasons. It is the first tournament to take place in winter due to Qatar’s desert climate. It is also the last World Cup to feature just 32 teams with FIFA set to double the amount of participants in 2026.
The matches will take place across eight different stadiums, seven of which have been built specifically for the tournament.
The 2022 World Cup gets underway on November 21st with the majority of domestic seasons taking an extended break as a result. The tournament concludes on December 18th.
The group stage of the tournament will take place between November 21st and December 2nd with each team playing three times during this period. As the tournament is being squeezed into a four week period, there will be four games per day during the group stage, which is excellent news for football fans and punters! The top two teams in each group will progress to the round of 16.
The group stage will be followed by the knock-out rounds which will take place across the next four days. This will be followed by the quarter-finals and semi-finals. The third place play-off and final will take place on consecutive nights – 17th and 18th December.
A number of teams will have to negotiate play-offs in order to book their place at the 2022 World Cup. With the group stage having already been drawn, each competitor is already aware of which section they will be entered into.
World Cup 2022 Groups
The group stage draw threw up a number of talking points and we now know which teams will be competing in each section. As always, there are a number of hugely competitive groups and another fascinating group stage awaits:
Hosts Qatar will take on Ecuador in the opening match of the tournament. They will be joined by AFCON champions Senegal, who are always capable of springing a surprise at this event, especially if Liverpool striker Sadio Mane is allowed to dictate matters. The Netherlands, who missed out on qualification for the 2018 World Cup will be hoping to make up for lost time and will be expected to qualify with relative ease.
England are the short priced favourites to progress from Group B and having reached the final of Euro 2020, there will be plenty of optimism surrounding Gareth Southgate’s side. The Three Lions struggled against the USA at the 2010 World Cup and they’ve been drawn against The Stars and Stripes once again. Harry Kane, who is one of the favourites in the top goal-scorer market always tends to enjoy the group stage and he will be expected to hit the ground running here. Iran have also been drawn in Group B, alongside the winner of the UEFA qualifier.
Argentina are predicted to have a fairly straightforward job in Group C with the iconic Lionel Messi expected to make an impact in his final international tournament. Mexico are always capable to upsetting the bigger names whereas it would be ill-advised to completely write off Saudi Arabia. However, Poland are expected to be Argentina’s closest challengers with Robert Lewandowski hoping to vastly improve his below-par record in international events.
France and Denmark go head-to-head in Group D and there is unlikely to be much between this pair. As 2018 winners, Les Bleus are expected to qualify, however, they weren’t at their best in 2020 and the Danes are a tough nut to crack. Tunisia are likely to make up the numbers, however, the winners of the AFC vs CONMEBOL play-off will be hoping to spring an upset in this competitive looking section.
Group E is one of the toughest looking sections with previous winners Germany and Spain having been drawn together. The pair face each other on November 28th and that is likely to have significant impact on the outcome of Group E. Japan should not be dismissed lightly and can mix things up whereas the CONCACAF vs OFC qualifier may also have a say.
Although Belgium will be overwhelming favourites to finish top of Group F, 2018 finalists Croatia will be looking to recreate their heroics from four years ago. Nevertheless, the Red Devils squad is superb with the classy Kevin de Bruyne looking to pull the strings in midfield. Belgium tend to do well in the group stage and they shouldn’t have too many problems facing Morocco and Canada. The latter have qualified for their first tournament in 36 years and are a bit of an unknown quantity.
Brazil will be expected to make light work of their competitors in Group G, however, Switzerland are tricky opposition and proved incredibly tough to score against during qualifying. The Swiss have a terrific record when it comes to qualifying for the knock-out section of this competition and will be expected to make it through to last 16 ahead of Cameroon and Serbia. The latter are capable of surprise, however, they aren’t always the most reliable.
Portugal weren’t entirely convincing during qualifying, however, they’ve been drawn in a relatively straightforward section and will be expected to progress. Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to make a significant impact and is likely to steal the headlines once again. He is likely to enjoy plenty of freedom during the group stage and should be able to guide his team to the last 16. South Korea were better than expected in 2018 and cannot be discounted, whereas Uruguay aren’t the force of old. Ghana make up this quartet and will fancy their chances of sneaking through.
Important World Cup 2022 Dates and Times
The tournament gets underway on November 21st and football fans can enjoy four matches per day throughout the group stage.
Matches will take place at 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm UK time, however, the third group games in each section will kick off simultaneously (either 4pm or 7pm).
The knock-out round will begin on December 3rd and there will be two matches per day at this stage of the tournament. These will take place at 3pm and 7pm UK time.
The final is one of the most-anticipated sporting events on the calendar and will take place on December 18th at 3pm UK time.
Other leagues schedules
The majority of top flight competitions will take a break during the tournament. For example, the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A will all finish on November 13th and recommence once the 2022 World Cup has concluded.
Betting on the outright markets of these leagues will still be available throughout, however, if you are betting on individual matches, it’s important to check injury news ahead of the recommencement as several players may be carrying knocks sustained at the tournament.
World Cup 2022 Tournament Information and History
The 2022 World Cup is the first major tournament to be held in an Arabic country and just the second to take place in Asia. It will be the final time that this event will feature just 32 teams with UEFA set to double the amount of qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.
The tournament will take place across a four week period meaning that there will be more games squeezed into a short period of time. This is good news for football and fans and punters, however, it will result in quicker recovery times for players.
Matches will be held across just eight different stadiums, seven of which have been built or repurposed specifically for the World Cup. Fans can easily commute between stadiums using public transport, cutting out the necessity for air travel. As a result, there should be a terrific atmosphere throughout the tournament with thousands of fans descending upon Qatar in mid-November.
The History of the Tournament
World Cup betting sites tend to favour previous winners when it comes to creating the outright market with two-time winners France and Brazil, the most successful side in this tournament, priced up as the favourites.
Although they have been victorious on five occasions, Brazil haven’t won the World Cup since 2002.
There have been just eight different winners of the tournament with England, Uruguay, Italy, Germany, Spain and Argentina having previously lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy.
Miroslav Klose is the all-time leading goalscorer at the tournament with 16 goals across 24 appearances. He is just ahead of Ronaldo and fellow countryman Gerd Muller.
Harry Kane won the Golden Boot in 2018 after notching six times. Interestingly, eight of the last 11 Golden Boots winners have scored exactly six times at the tournament. If you’re having a looking to bet on the World Cup, then searching for a player who is capable of netting six times is a sensible strategy.
France’s Just Fontaine holds the record for the most goals scored at a single tournament (13) back in 1958.
Interesting World Cup Facts
Despite the World Cup having taken place 21 times, there have been just eight different winners. It’s little wonder that the bookmakers tend to offer the shortest odds on these sides. France are the second favourites for the 2022 World Cup, however, Brazil were the last side to win consecutive tournaments back in 1958/1962. As a result, there will be plenty of punters who are happy to avoid backing Les Bleus this time around.
The highest-ever scoring game at this tournament took place in 1954. Austria 5-7 Switzerland has yet to be usurped, however, there have been a number of end-to-end games, especially in the third and final group game. High-scoring games tend to become more commonplace as the tournament progresses, so it’s sometimes worth backing low-scoring matches during the first round of fixtures.
Mexico have the highest number of World Cup defeats (27). However, El Tri did win two of their three group stage matches in 2018 and shouldn’t be dismissed at this year’s tournament.
In contrast, Brazil have secured the most victories at the tournament (73) and they’ve been drawn in a winnable-looking group in 2022. They will be expected to progress to the latter stages once again.
World Cup Predictions
We are expecting another fascinating tournament and we predict that this will be a frenetic and entertaining four week period. With such a short time between matches combined with Qatar’s desert climate, the 2022 World Cup is likely to throw up a few surprises.
We’re expecting the first set of group games to be relatively low-scoring as teams acclimatise to their new surroundings. With just a week between their last domestic commitment and the start of the tournament, players will have very little time to prepare for this tournament, so there could be a few cagey and uneventful matches taking place at the beginning of the tournament. However, this is unlikely to be the case for the duration of the event.
With this tournament expected to be the final international tournament for both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see both players go out with a bang. The latter is far more likely to steal the show and the Madeira-born superstar could be worth backing to clinch the Golden Boot.
Having come incredibly close to success at Euro 2020, England may struggle to replicate their heroics, particularly during the latter stages and alongside 2018 winners France, look worth avoiding in the outright market. It remains a bit of a guessing game as to which teams will cope with the conditions, however, Brazil and Argentina should be involved at the latter stages.
As potential outsiders, Switzerland and Denmark have shown that they are perfectly capable of progressing whereas AFCON winners Senegal have enough flair and unpredictability to trouble some of the fancied sides.
World Cup FAQs
When does the tournament begin?
The 2022 World Cup gets underway on November 21st and concludes on December 18th.
When does the knock-out stage of the tournament get underway?
Unlike previous tournaments, there will be no break between the group stage and the round of 16. The knock-out rounds get underway on December 3rd.
Where will the World Cup final take place?
The World Cup will be taking place in Qatar with the final being held at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail on December 18th.
What are the kick-off times for group stage matches?
In the UK, group stage matches will kick off at 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm. During the knock-out rounds, matches will kick off at 3pm and 7pm with the final taking place at 3pm UK time on December 18th.
What are the best World Cup betting sites?
We’ll provide information on all of the best World Cup betting sites. We recommend the likes of 10Bet and Karamba as they offer comprehensive betting on both the outright markets and on a match-by-match basis. We’ll also highlight the betting sites which offer the best offers and promotions on the tournament.
- FIFA World Cup 2022