When it comes to the World Cup, there’s at least one certainty: The host nation opens the tournament well. Ever since the World Cup began in 1930, the hosts have posted an impeccable 16-6-0 record in their opening game.
Could Ecuador buck that trend against Qatar in 2022? Could Qatar be the first host nation to drop the opening game of their World Cup tournament? Ecuador is currently favored to win the opening match according to sportsbook BetOnline Sportsbook with +106 odds.
Let’s take you through the odds for the World Cup opening game and figure out how you should bet on the game.
You can see where to bet on the 2022 FIFA World Cup with our best soccer betting sites page. Also, along with the predictions below, you can check out our World Cup computer picks page when the tournament gets underway.
2022 World Cup Opening Game Odds
|Qatar||+0.5 (-126)||+282||O 2, 2.5 (-107)|
|Ecuador||-0.5 (+106)||+106||U 2, 2.5 (-113)|
Odds as of October 27 BetOnline Sportsbook
World Cup: Host Nation Streak To End?
Again, Ecuador is favored to win this one. The South American side enters the tournament with a single loss in 2022. That was a 3-1 defeat to Panama during the World Cup qualification process. They’re 2-6-1 in the 2022 calendar year with draws against some noteworthy sides like Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Japan. All are sides bound for the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar is 7-8-3 in 2022, which might sound promising, but a number of those wins were unofficial friendlies against clubs and U-23 sides. Qatar lost 1-0 to Linfield, a mid-table club in the Northern Ireland Football League, and more recently to the Croatian U-23 squad on September 22. Some embarrassing stuff for a team that will not only play in the World Cup but host it.
The form both sides are in leans heavily toward the Ecuadorians taking the opening game of the 2022 World Cup. But again, the host nation has never lost its opening game of a World Cup campaign. Remember that 16-6-0 record.
So, it seems regardless of Qatar’s form, they should be able to get a boost from the home fans, at least when using other host nations as an example. But is Qatar any good at home? Do they actually get that home crowd boost?
World Cup: Home-Field Advantage For Qatar?
When playing on Qatari soil, the national team is 5-2-1 since 2021. Much like the team’s overall record, this home record looks promising – until you see the five sides they beat.
Those five wins came against Bahrain (85), Oman (75), Iraq (68), United Arab Emirates (70) and Bulgaria (72). The number in parenthesis is that nation’s FIFA ranking. Clearly, Qatar isn’t beating up on equally talented sides here. Qatar is ranked 50th in the FIFA world rankings. That home record is inflated with wins against minnows that are 18 to 35 spots below them in the FIFA rankings.
Qatar’s two draws came against Egypt (39) and Slovenia (63), while the lone loss was to Algeria (37). What is clear is that when the quality of competition increases, Qatar wilts. Even when at home.
Getting Ecuador, who ranks 44th in the FIFA rankings, at +106 is mighty appetizing. But before you go ahead and put money on Ecuador winning right now, consider this:
World Cup: Host Nation Scores At Least Once
Only twice has the host nation not scored in their opening match. In 1966, England opened their World Cup with a 0-0 tie against Uruguay at Wembley. And then, four years later in 1970, Mexico opened its World Cup with a 0-0 draw to the Soviet Union. Other than the 1966 and 1970 World Cups, the host nation has always put at least one in the back of the net.
That includes when South Africa opened their tournament against Mexico in a matchup of the 17th overall side in the FIFA rankings (Mexico) to South Africa’s 83rd overall. The home side typically finds a way to score at least one for the fans.
Sportsbook Bodog has odds on both teams to score at -112. A $100 winning bet would return $89.29 in profit. That’s a bet that should come through, and with good value too.
We think Ecuador still takes this game, but perhaps bundle in those two bets for a nice two-leg parlay. Putting an Ecuador ML at +106 and both teams to score at -112 together would yield a mouth-watering $289.89 profit per our parlay calculator.