2022 World Cup betting: Odds to win each group
As the 2022 World Cup quickly approaches, we're going to continue dissecting the tournament in different ways.
We recently dove into the odds for teams to win it all, so this time we're taking a group-by-group approach.
The Netherlands enter as a significant favorite and should be in very good shape with a backline featuring Virgil Van Dijk and Mattijs de Ligt. The team has a young but talented midfield and an experienced Memphis Depay leading the charge up front. No side in this group has as much name-brand talent as the Netherlands, and there are a lot of great young players that should serve the team well in this tournament and moving forward.
Ecuador has played a lot of low-scoring and low-event affairs leading up to the tournament, so the team will look to lull its opponents to sleep and grind out points the hard way.
Qatar is no doubt hoping to play a fast-tempo style and feast on the energy of the home crowd, but the odds suggest that likely won't be enough.
Fresh off a finalist appearance at Euro 2020, England will be looking to take the next step on the world stage. The priority is getting through this group, which shouldn't be much of a problem. Garreth Southgate has been under plenty of scrutiny for how he manages the team, with some questioning whether his system gets the most out of the talent available. Even so, it shouldn't haunt England early in the tournament.
Wales has garnered mixed results in International play over the last two years, winning eight, drawing eight, and losing seven across all competitions. The team will bank on its leader Gareth Bale to step up in big moments and finish plays off for a club with little firepower in terms of scoring goals.
Iran and the USA, to a lesser extent, are seen as long shots to win the group. Iran is a structured and formidable side, but do they have enough talent? The story is much different for the USA, which has young stars like Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna but questions surrounding the management staff.
Argentina is a rather heavy favorite to win Group C, and it's not hard to understand why. There are no powerhouse nations in the group, the team's in strong form coming off a 2021 Copa America victory, and it still has one of the all-time greats in Lionel Messi to facilitate everything offensively.
Mexico will rely on stout defense as it tries to unseat Argentina for a Group C victory. While the squad doesn't score a lot of goals, it doesn't give up much, either. That'll bode well for Mexico as it looks to slow down Messi, Robert Lewandowski, and some of the stars this group has to offer.
Poland is an experienced side that will be putting its hopes on the foot of Lewandowski.
Saudi Arabia will be more focused on getting out of the group stage as opposed to winning it, but with no weak links to try and steal a win from, even that will be an extreme ask.
France is coming off a disappointing showing at Euro 2020, the last major tournament. This team is loaded with star power at every position and is as good as anyone when at their best - the 2018 World Cup proved that. In a group with little firepower, this side should be able to win it rather effortlessly.
Denmark is seen as the only real challenger, but they don't have the horses to match France. The club will probably need three points to have a real shot, which is unlikely to happen.
Group E is viewed as a two-horse race between two long-time powers that look a little vulnerable. Spain is a talented side going through a transition phase, and it's starting to put the future of the country into the hands of younger players like Ferran Torres and Gavi. How quickly this team handles that responsibility will determine how far it can go.
Meanwhile, Germany will play in its first World Cup without Joakim Low's guidance. There's no doubt this team has the talent to win the group and threaten for a title, but how fast will it buy-in and adjust to new leadership?
Japan will be looking to best Costa Rica and hang around against either Spain or Germany to try and advance as a No. 3 seed. They don't stand much chance of winning the group.
This group might be the deepest and most interesting in the tournament. Belgium far and away has the most talented roster but will need to be up for every game to claim a top spot.
Croatia is a veteran side that plays with great poise and structure. While its best players are getting up there in age, this team is capable of frustrating anybody when at its best.
Morocco is an improving side that works you into the ground and has World Cup experience. Canada is looking to make its presence felt on the biggest stage, and behind Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David, they have the power to do it. Belgium likely wins, but this group could go any which way.
Brazil is the favorite to win the whole tournament, so the club's understandably the distant frontrunners in Group G. The Brazilians are loaded with firepower and have one of the best goalkeepers in the world manning the net - if they play as a cohesive unit, nobody is stopping them.
Switzerland is regarded as the most likely side to cause Brazil problems. The Swiss will rely on sound, structured play, and set pieces to keep them in games.
Others can sometimes expose Serbia on the backline, but its attack is potent and allows the team to test anyone. While Cameroon is a pesky veteran side, it doesn't have the firepower to match Brazil and Serbia or the set piece ability to take on the Swiss.
Last but not least, we have Group H. Portugal has the most talent by far - especially up front - but it's anyone's guess whether the club will play a style to try and maximize it.
Uruguay is an older side, as many of its stars have already seen their best days. But the team can still finish clinically when it does get chances and will be a tough out for anybody.
Ghana is a hard-working side that will run you into the ground. But the team will struggle to generate chances in bulk and might not have enough finishing when the opportunities do arise.
South Korea is a real sleeper here. The squad is not going to dominate possession, but it has the potential to be very dangerous in transition. With Son Heung-Min and Hwang Hee-chan leading the attack, South Korea has real bite and the ability to make the most of its chances.
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.