World Cup Group Stage Betting

World Cup Group Stage Betting: Dogs and Surprise Group Winners

There’s rarely an upset when it comes to which teams qualify out of the World Cup group stage. Over the last two tournaments, only eight underdog sides qualified for the Round of 16. That means 75 percent of the teams that were expected to qualify for the Round of 16 did so.

In 2022, where could those underdogs come from? Here’s a look at what groups might produce an upset in Qatar. We’ve also added a few surprise group Sportsbook picks too.

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. See who will win with our World Cup odds page.

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World Cup Group Betting: Where Are the Dogs?

Group A - Ecuador (+100)

The Netherlands is winning Group A. Even before you look at the odds, you know for a fact the Dutch will win this weak group. The question then remains, who takes the second qualification spot?

Looking at the odds, Senegal is favored to take the second qualification position. But keep in mind that Senegal could very well be without striker Sadio Mane. The Bayern Munich player injured his right fibula just a week ago. It’s a real possibility that Mane misses at least Senegal’s opener against the Dutch, and maybe more. Without him, Senegal’s chances drop significantly. Where will the goals come from?

Ecuador, while only at EVEN money before considering Mane’s injury, immediately steps up as the next likeliest to qualify. Unlike Senegal, they’ve got a clean bill of health.

Group B - Wales (+115)

Group B belongs to England. Despite their struggles of late in the UEFA Nations League, the English should have no issue topping this group. Who takes the second qualifying spot will be hotly contested between three equally matched sides: the USA (16th in FIFA rankings), Wales (19th) and Iran (20th).

The odds favor the U.S. to take the second qualifying spot at -105. And I kind of get it – the U.S. has gone 5-4-3 in 2022 compared to Wales’ 2-2-5. But the average FIFA ranking for the sides Wales has faced in 2022 is 19 while the average ranking for the Americans’ opponents is 55.

While this Welsh side has a worse recent record than the U.S., they’re facing much tougher opponents. And the Welsh always keep it close. They haven’t lost a game by more than one goal since June 2021. This is a team built to pull out a draw against England and the U.S. while pulling out a win against Iran for the necessary five points to qualify.

Group G - Serbia (+115)

The Swiss are favored to take the second spot out of Group G. Some of that love from oddsmakers comes from recent wins over Spain, Portugal and the Czech Republic in the UEFA Nations League. But the Swiss also lost to all three earlier in the 2022 Nations League season. So take those results with a grain of salt.

Serbia, mind you, is 5-1-2 in 2022, including a five-game unbeaten run. While there’s concern that Aleksandar Mitrovic might not be fit for the tournament, Serbian head coach Dragan Stojkovic squashed those concerns, saying the nation’s top goal scorer will be ready to play.

Which is good news for Serbia. Not only has Mitro put in the goals at club level with nine goals in 12 games for Fulham in the English Premier League, but he’s also scored 14 goals in 15 games for the national side since 2021. In those 15 games, Serbia is 7-2 when Mitrovic has scored at least one goal.

Mitrovic is +5000 to be the top scorer at the World Cup

This group comes down to the match between Serbia and Switzerland. The Sportsbook of the match likely goes on to the Round of 16. The Swiss might have a good defense, but Mitrovic has unlocked a trickier set of defenders than the Swiss can throw at him.

World Cup Group Betting: Surprise Group Sportsbooks

Group H: Uruguay (+190)

Portugal is favored to win Group H at -150. But those are the second-lowest odds for a favored group Sportsbook. Only Spain in Group E is lower at -115. Clearly, the Portuguese don’t foster the same level of confidence to be the group Sportsbook as some of the other favorites.

The Portuguese go the way Ronaldo goes. And recently, Ronaldo hasn’t been at his best. He’s rarely getting into the Manchester United squad and his xGF has dropped by more than half when he does get game time.

Now add that Portugal will also be without the services of Liverpool forward Diogo Jota. Jota has six goals and three assists in 12 games for Portugal in 2022. Losing him and relying on an out-of-form Ronaldo spells disaster for Portugal.

Uruguay on the other hand is trending in the right direction. New manager Diego Alonso has La Celeste absolutely flying with a 7-1-1 record since taking the job at the end of 2020. The Uruguayans might be bringing an older side to Qatar, but they’ve got a wealth of World Cup experience. The core of this side has exited the group stage in each of the last three World Cups and won the group twice. Expect them to win their group yet again.

Group E - Germany (+110)

Spain holds the lowest odds for a group favorite among the eight groups. With Germany in Spain’s group, there’s a real doubt the Spanish can come out on top.

While they are built to hold possession of the ball and carve out opponents’ defenses with intricate passing, the Germans are built to effectively counter that exact setup.

Germany was the best team in European qualifications when it came to converting chances into goals. Germany had a 24.9 xGF and scored 28. When the Germans get a quality chance (and they will), they typically put it away. They’ll sit and wait for their chance. 

Spain’s patient play and lack of a true goal-scoring threat plays directly into the Germans’ hands here. Which is exactly what Germany needs to top the group.

World Cup Groups: Odds To Win Or Qualify

Group A

odds for group a
CountryTo WinTo Qualify

Odds as of November 14 at Sportsbook

Group B

odds for group B
CountryTo WinTo Qualify

Odds as of November 14 at Sportsbook

Group C

odds for group C
CountryTo WinTo Qualify
Saudi Arabia+2800+650

Odds as of November 14 at Sportsbook

Group D

odds for group D
CountryTo WinTo Qualify

Odds as of November 14 at Sportsbook

Group E

odds for group E
CountryTo WinTo Qualify
Costa Rica+5000+1000

Odds as of November 14 at Sportsbook

Group F

odds for group F
CountryTo WinTo Qualify

Odds as of November 14 at Sportsbook

Group G

odds for group G
CountryTo WinTo Qualify

Odds as of November 14 at Sportsbook

Group H

odds for group H
CountryTo WinTo Qualify
South Korea+1100+260

Odds as of November 14 at Sportsbook

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