World Cup Odds: Bookmaker Eyes Deep Runs For Brazil, Denmark

Denmark is 30-1 at BetMGM

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November 17, 2022

The 2022 World Cup begins Sunday in Qatar and bettors are finalizing their last-minute notes before the test.

Easily the largest wagering event on the planet, the World Cup will attract billions and billions of dollars in betting handle over the next month. In the United States alone, 20.5 million adults are expected to bet a total of $1.8 billion according to a survey by the American Gaming Association.

No matter the knowledge of the global game, the betting itch will be scratched.

“When the World Cup gets underway, you get a ton of action from non-traditional soccer bettors,” Westgate SuperBook vice president of risk management Jeff Sherman told NESN. “People that don’t normally get involved in soccer wagering line up to place bets. Handle is great and there’s a lot of interest and energy in the book. We tend to write decent soccer handle year-round, but you can’t replicate the World Cup stage.”

Odds to win 2022 World Cup at SuperBook:
Brazil +325 ($100 wins $325)
Argentina +450
France +700
Spain +800
England +900
Germany +900
Netherlands +1600
Belgium +1800
Portugal +1800
Denmark +2500
Uruguay +5000
Croatia +6000
Serbia +8000
USA +10000 ($100 wins $10,000)

France hoisted the trophy four years ago in Russia, but Sherman isn’t drinking the French Kool-Aid in Qatar.

“I’m not keen on France this go around,” Sherman admitted. “The injuries are piling up and we’re talking about crucial pieces, too. (N’Golo) Kante, (Paul) Pogba, (Presnel) Kimpembe and (Christopher) Nkunku are all out for the World Cup. It’ll be very difficult for France to repeat without all those guys.”

Despite not reaching the final in 20 years, Brazil is the odds-on-betting favorite thanks to an insanely loaded roster. Sherman says to short the Brazilians at your own peril, though, because they possess the most talent of any team across the universe.

“I played Brazil at 9-2 a couple weeks ago,” he said. “The market is pretty much at 7-2 right now. We wrote early bets on them, so I’ve been lower than market. They’re definitely the team to beat, there’s no question about it. This is the strongest Brazil group that I can ever remember. Even their substitutes would be starters for most of the other countries. The depth and talent is unbelievable up and down the roster.

“I’m not one that usually looks to be chalky, but that lineup is absolutely loaded.”

If you’re looking for a team down the sheet to make a run, take a peek at Denmark (30-1 at BetMGM). The Danish qualified out of group play four years ago and took eventual-runner up Croatia to penalty kicks in the Round of 16. Denmark certainly exceeded expectations and odds are good that bunch will be even better in 2022.

“Denmark has been a big mover in the market,” Sherman reported. “I bet them at 100-1 last year and see mostly 20s now. Look at the way they’ve been playing in their international competitions over in Europe. They’ve been fantastic. And they just shut out France in the Nations League two months ago. Denmark is in Group D with France and if France can’t overcome all those injuries, look out.”

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Sherman also pounced on Canada at 1000-1 a few months back, a price that has cratered to around 250-1 at most shops.

“Don’t sleep on Canada,” Sherman warned. “They came out of the CONCACAF group on top ahead of the United States and Mexico. There’s plenty of talent there and a good chunk of the roster plays in the top European leagues. I played Canada +1.5 (-120) against Belgium in the opening match.”

As for Golden Ball, I think Neymar (+1000 at FanDuel) is a pretty solid wager to be the most outstanding player of the entire tournament. He’s the best player on the best team and 10-1 is obviously a better shake than 9-2 (Brazil’s outright price). However, bigger payouts await if you’re willing to take a longer shot.

“If you look past the big names, you can find some serious value,” Sherman explained. “People are going to bet Messi and Ronaldo and Neymar because they’ve heard those names. But there’s plenty of value if you key a team like Brazil that can make a deep run and look at the second or third-best players. I love Vinicius Junior and Gabriel Jesus at bigger prices if you can find 30 or 40-1.”

I would be remiss if I didn’t wrap this up with a little red, white and blue fodder.

The United States didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup, which was pretty damn embarrassing. The Americans basically turned over their entire roster and they have the second-best odds (-110) to make it out of Group B behind England. If they can’t outperform Wales or Iran in the coming days, heads will roll.

“We have the United States at 100-1 and they’re one of our largest liabilities (to win it all),” Sherman said. “People want that rooting interest and they want to bet the USA. I thought the team was going in the right direction, but they’ve only got one player with World Cup experience. It’ll be tough for them to crack the top teams. The Americans are a pick ’em to get out of their group, but they’re still in a holding pattern that we’ve seen for a while.

“I’m really looking forward to what the Americans look like in four years,” Sherman continued. “They’ll be hosting the World Cup in 2026 and they have a lot of young talent that’ll have plenty of time to grow together. That’s when I expect them to take a leap.”

Thumbnail photo via Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

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