Information you need to know. See our World Cup Betting history.

World Cup Betting History: Everything You Need To Know Before Qatar 2022

We want you to know as much as possible when it comes to betting on the FIFA World Cup. The hope is the information we’re giving you can help you place the best bets to maximize your profit margins.

With that in mind, here’s some historical information about the World Cup that you’ll want to have in your back pocket as you wager on the Qatar World Cup.

Odds Shark is here to break down everything World Cup-related to get you ready for the tournament, and that includes breaking down the odds for every group and every game. You can also check out who we think you should bet on to win the World Cup and the Golden Boot here.

Find The Best Sportsbooks Here

World Cup Betting History: Past Sportsbooks

Every four years since 1930 (not including a 12-year gap from 1938 to 1950 because of the Second World War), the World Cup has been fought over by the nations of the world. In the 21 tournaments from 1930 to 2018, only eight nations have lifted the aptly named FIFA World Cup Trophy:

  • Brazil (five times)
  • Germany (four times)
  • Italy (four times)
  • Argentina (twice)
  • France (twice)*
  • Uruguay (twice)
  • Spain (once)
  • England (once)
  • *Sportsbooks in 2018

We only have betting data since 2014, and if we’re being honest, that might be all that matters. With tournaments every four years, that’s effectively eight years of data. Anything more might not be relevant at all.

But, using that data, we can see that even the overwhelming favorite doesn’t win.

In 2014, Brazil (who hosted the tournament for the first time since 1950) opened as the favorite with +300 odds. The hosts’ tournament had gone well until the semifinals when Germany absolutely destroyed the Brazilians 7-1. The Germans went on to win the trophy with +560 odds. So they weren’t long shots but certainly not favorites.

Four years later in 2018, with the tournament hosted by Russia, Brazil was yet again the favorite with Sportsbook odds at +730. But the favorites were knocked out in the quarterfinals by a strong Belgian side. France, who won the tournament, had Sportsbook odds of +975.

In 2022, the favorites are yet again Brazil with current odds of +425. We know the favorites haven’t won it all, at least recently. So what do we know about the trends for eventual World Cup Sportsbooks?

World Cup Betting History: Trends


Historically, the World Cup Sportsbook has come out of the UEFA region. The last four champions – France, Germany, Spain and Italy – have all come out of Europe. Of the 21 championships, 12 have come from Europe. The other nine are shared by Brazil (5), Argentina (2) and Uruguay (2) from the CONMEBOL region.

That’s reflected in the odds. Per sportsbook Sportsbook, the top 12 teams on the board are either from the UEFA or CONMEBOL region. Senegal breaks that trend with the 13th-best odds at +9000 to win.


When looking at the group seedings, is there anything to take from where teams are slotted to start the competition? Are World Cup Sportsbooks coming out of a specific group? Interestingly, since 1986, when the current group format was initiated, the eventual Sportsbook has come out of Group C three times: France (2022), Brazil (2002) and France (1998).

Qatar 2022’s Group C holds Argentina (+650), Mexico (+20000), Poland (+20000) and Saudi Arabia (+75000).

So there isn’t anything really to that. But what about the quality of the group? Is there something to be said about being in a tough or easy group? By tough, I mean the best average FIFA ranking by group.

FIFA rankings were only put in place for the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. Since then, the eventual World Cup Sportsbook has come out of the top three groups five times. Over the last three World Cups, the Sportsbook came out of the second toughest group twice and the third toughest group once (2010).

Clearly, coming out of a tough group is ideal. The three toughest groups at the 2022 World Cup are:

  • Group B (average FIFA rank: 14.5) – England, Iran, USA, Wales
  • Group E (average FIFA rank: 18.25) – Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica
  • Group G (average FIFA rank: 19.25) – Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon


On the rankings, since 1994, the Sportsbook’s average FIFA ranking has been 6.7. Only France (2002) and Italy (2006) were ranked outside of the top 10. Three times the Sportsbook has been ranked second overall and once third overall. So while the best-ranked team never wins, a top-ranked side does.

Going into the 2022 tournament, the top 10 ranking and their respective odds are:

  • Brazil +425
  • Belgium +1600
  • Argentina +650
  • France +600
  • England +800
  • Italy (did not qualify)
  • Spain +850
  • Netherlands +1400
  • Portugal +1600
  • Denmark +3500

Hopefully, this information helps you make a winning bet during the 2022 World Cup. This should be a great tournament and with everything we here at Odds Shark have compiled for you, ideally, you’ll make some money.

Back to Top