US Sports Betting Industry Expert
World Cup odds are building up in interest on a crowded U.S. sports betting landscape. Team USA advancing into the Knockout Stage will certainly have that effect.
With the Group Stage nearing completion, it's worth seeing how odds to win the World Cup are shaping up. Brazil remains the favorite at ever-shortening odds, with Spain and France also rising. And the long-shot U.S. men's national team will only get more popular.
Rex Beyers, head of wagering at PlayUp US, and BetMGM's trading team provide insights on 2022 World Cup odds and action.
The U.S. men's national team found its way out of Group B and into the Round of 16, despite scoring just two goals across three games. Team USA opened with a 1-1 draw against Wales and – in what was honestly a good result for 1 point – played England to a 0-0 draw.
So the Americans had to beat Iran to reach 5 points in order to advance. They did that, barely, hanging on for a 1-0 victory. But make no mistake, even being among the final 16 teams in the World Cup odds market, Team USA remains a big long shot.
"We are hanging 100/1 on the USA updated," Beyers said, while noting PlayUp sees a fair amount of sharp action, so there's not much liability to the U.S. at the moment. "We are in line with the market and have been, but in Colorado and New Jersey, the two sharpest states, the customers just aren't interested yet. Maybe that will change, but at 100/1, it wouldn't take much for us to need against the Americans to win it all. We did lose to the [Iran] game."
Prior to beating Iran, the U.S. was 125/1 to win the World Cup.
Much more so than the USA, it's teams near the top of PlayUp's odds board getting the most attention. Brazil, already through to the Knockout Stage after winning its first two Group G matches, is the +250 favorite.
"Some chalk eaters here," Beyers said of bettors playing favorites. "We do bad to Brazil and Spain at this point, but nothing that will make me lose sleep by booking their last four games to regular prices. They will both be favored until and/or if they play each other.
"Other than that, not much liability or anything to really root against."
Tickets and Money
Meanwhile, in BetMGM's World Cup championship odds market, current +750 fourth choice Argentina continues to lead both the ticket and money count. However, Lionel Messi and Co. were dealt a massive 2-1 upset loss by Saudi Arabia in the World Cup opener.
Argentina rebounded with a 2-0 shutout of Mexico for 3 points, but needs to beat Poland to guarantee advancement from Group C.
Tourney favorite Brazil (+225) is No. 2 in tickets and money at BetMGM. The U.S. is third in tickets and France (+550) is third in money. But with the Americans still at such long odds – they shortened from 100/1 to +8000 after advancing – that's where the largest liability sits for BetMGM.
"The U.S. is the biggest liability by a lot," Magee said. "Personally, I’m not too concerned. They do avoid teams like Brazil, Germany, Spain and Belgium until the semifinals. But this go-around is about getting this generation of talent [some] World Cup experience, albeit the most bizarre World Cup experience perhaps ever."
Argentina and Brazil are Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, in liability at BetMGM.
"France, Germany and Spain are all good, realistic winners for us," Magee said.
It's never bad to have the defending champion in your pocket. France beat Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 final.
Germany is the +1200 seventh choice, but is in a tricky spot after shockingly losing its Group E opener to Japan 2-1. The Germans then tied Spain 1-1, so they've only got 1 point and must beat Costa Rica and get some help to advance.