World Cup favorites and betting odds

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Soccer powerhouses top the list of favorites to win this year’s World Cup in Qatar, with DraftKings selecting Brazil, Argentina, defending champions France, Spain and England as top picks. My own betting tips are more eclectic – see below – but here’s a quick look at the odds for the main contenders:

Brazil (+400 to win; wager $100 to win $400)

The five-time World Cup winner has not lifted the trophy in 20 years and has featured in the quarterfinals of three of the last four tournaments, but the South American’s impressive run (14 wins and three draws without a loss) is paying off. glory to the table. The Seleção has perhaps the best goalkeeper in the world (Alisson) and a number of attacking options, including Neymar, who will be fully fit at the World Cup for the first time.

It is the last chance at World Cup glory for 35-year-old superstar Lionel Messi, who has reached the World Cup quarter-finals just once in four attempts with Argentina. The two-time champions are unbeaten in 35 games, a streak that includes defeating Brazil in the 2021 Copa América final. Meanwhile, Messi is surrounded by talent and plays within a strict system that matches his game.

As noted below, the defending champions have had a messy four years since their 2018 victory in Russia, and no team has successfully defended their World Cup title since Brazil in 1962. But any team that includes Karim Benzema (the most recent winner of the Ballon d’Or, given to the best player in the world at a European club), Kylian Mbappé (only 23 and one of the world’s most dangerous players) and Antoine Griezmann (a savvy veteran) it will be hard to stop. France’s greatest enemy is France itself.

Manager Luis Enrique wants to stick fully to his attack-first system and attack: “We always want to be in our opponents’ half and take risks,” he said. But that system has little to do without effective finishing, and Spain may be failing in this department. (A lot of expectations are placed on the young shoulders of Pedri, who is 19.) Moreover, Enrique’s methods could leave the Spanish defense vulnerable to attack.

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Expectations haven’t been as high for the Three Lions in some time, but that seems fitting for a team that reached the World Cup semi-finals four years ago and lost to Italy in the Euro 2020 final on penalties. The recent form has not been great, however: England has not won in six UEFA Nations League games this year, losing three and drawing three, although the 3-3 draw with Germany on September 26 was encouraging. Harry Kane is the linchpin, and if he can’t go, England could struggle.

How to play World Cup pool

There are a number of compelling ways to win the Golden Boot, awarded to the best player at the World Cup. Here are the leading contenders, again, according to DraftKings.

Harry Kane (England) +700

Kane is a Golden Boot winner, having scored six goals four years ago in Russia. He needs three goals to overtake Wayne Rooney as England’s best player.

Kylian Mbappé (France) +800

Mbappé scored four goals in Russia at the age of 19, and he and Pelé are the only teenagers to have scored in a World Cup final. He has 190 goals in five additional seasons for French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain, including 19 in 20 games in all competitions this season.

Lionel Messi (Argentina) +1000

Of all his achievements, Messi has scored just six goals at the World Cup, four of which came in Argentina’s 2014 final.

Neymar has six goals in two World Cup games and 15 goals in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain this season.

Here are the top 12 picks on DraftKings, as of November 15.

It might be nice to throw a few bucks down on the team you think will win or the highest score, but there are plenty of other options. Here are a few bets I think might be worth your time.

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Here are 50 players to watch for the 2022 World Cup

Costa Rica scores fewer points, +800 (FanDuel)

Of the four Concacaf teams that have won the World Cup, the defensive-minded Ticos have scored the fewest points in the finals (13 in 14 games), and are the only such team without at least one player. three points in reach. Instead, Costa Rica was content to allow its opponents to press the attack and hope that the defense and goalkeeper Keylor Navas (Paris Saint-Germain) came up big.

You want to choose the team with the least chance of going to the knockout round when you consider betting, and Costa Rica should compete with European players Spain and Germany and Japan in Group E. On FanDuel, the odds of betting on Costa Rica are there. released at group level is a staggering 2000, which is the highest of any other group in the same betting by a wide margin.

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Spain under 8.5 goals, -110 (DraftKings)

Spain scored just 15 goals in the win, tying Switzerland for the UEFA Champions League, and seven of those goals came in four games against Georgia and Kosovo, the worst teams in Spain’s group. La Roja finally scored two goals in the match on March 29 against Iceland, and its three previous World Cup teams – including the 2010 team that won it all – did not score more than eight goals. Since David Villa retired in 2019 after scoring in Spain – a career record nine at the World Cup, La Roja have lacked a finisher, and that – combined with his presence in a strong World Cup squad – could keep the scores low.

France eliminated in round of 16, +400 (DraftKings)

The past three defending World Cup champions have been eliminated from the tournament at the group stage. In the middle of Group D with Denmark, Australia and Tunisia, France should avoid that end, but Les Bleus are a mess on the field and entering this year’s competition, and getting out of the first round of the knockout is not at all possible.

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France enter the tournament having won just one of their last six games. Nine players thought to be candidates for the World Cup squad have been battling injuries, and star Kylian Mbappé has been battling with the national team over image rights. There have been sex-tape cases and accusations of witchcraft threats among players, and the head of the national team has been accused of sexual harassment. Bad.

Denmark will certainly not be intimidated by France, having beaten Les Bleus twice in the last five months. The second-placed team means a winner-takes-all match in Group C with second-favorite Argentina in the round of 16, and that will not be an easy task.

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Canada qualifies for knockout round, +280 (FanDuel)

The Canadians are back at the World Cup for only the second time (and the first in 36 years), but that doesn’t mean their players don’t have experience in the spotlight. Jonathan David (Lille), Cyle Larin (Brugge), Stephen Eustáquio (Porto) and Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) have played in the Champions League, and that experience against the world’s best will continue in Group F matches against Belgium, Croatia and Morocco .

Finishing ahead of Belgium is probably too much to ask, but finishing second is not. Croatia, runners-up four years ago, are stuck between eras, a combination of age and inexperience that shouldn’t do them any favours, and Morocco are a long shot. Canada finished top of the table in ConcaCAF play, ahead of big brothers the United States and Mexico, and they won’t be afraid here.

World Cup Odds (via DraftKings as of November 15)

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