World Cup Odds: Can Brazil Be Stopped?
And then there were eight.
After weeks of enthralling action, the FIFA World Cup odds have been whittled down to just eight proud nations.
Brazil started the tournament as Bodog’s favourites, and have seen their odds slash with each passing game and silky samba move. However, with the likes of France, England, Portugal, and South American rivals Argentina still in the mix, naming the winner of this 2022 extravaganza remains as tough to call as ever.
Every four years, the globe stops to watch 32 soccer nations battle it out to be crowned kings of the world, and without fail, we enjoy the spectacle as so-called minnows defeat their more glamourous opponents.
This year has been no different. We didn’t have to wait long. On the third day of World Cup betting action, Saudi Arabia pulled off one of the greatest upsets of all time when they came from behind to defeat Lionel Messi’s Argentina 2-1.
The ‘cupsets’ continued the following day, with four-time champions Germany falling to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Japan, before no.2 ranked nation Belgium were humbled by Morocco. As the group stages entered the final games, the shocks showed no signs of slowing down as France fell to Tunisia, Spain succumbed to Japan, and Brazil were beaten by Cameroon.
So far, the biggest shocks in the knockout stages has seen Spain sent packing from Qatar after a penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Morocco. Luis Enrique’s men were high up on the odds for the World Cup, so seeing them exit in the last 16 would have been a boost for some of the remaining nations.
Of course, Canada exited the Qatar sun at the first time of asking, despite a positive showing against Belgium in their opener, and will be desperate for an improved show when the World Cup heads to USA, Canada and Mexico in 2026.
World Cup Odds: The Remaining Favourites
Controversy may well have followed this tournament in the build-up and during the action itself, but the soccer played out in the stadiums that have been talked about so much has been nothing short of scintillating.
We have now reached the business end of the tournament, and it is now when previous tournament experience can make all the difference. Four of the remaining eight teams have been crowned World Cup champions in their history, with it coming as no surprise that these four nations take up the top four spots in Bodog’s World Cup odds board.
Let’s take a look at the remaining eight teams in Bodog’s World Cup betting and assess their chances, starting with a nation who reached the final four years ago.
Four years ago in Russia, Croatia made it all the way to the final after beating England at the semi-final stage. For a nation not deemed to be a soccer powerhouse, their World Cup pedigree is actually impressive – as they reached the final four back in 1998.
Zlatko Dalić’s men scraped through their group by the skin of their teeth, narrowly holding Belgium to a 0-0 draw to progress behind surprise group winners Morocco. They needed a penalty shootout to make it past Japan in the last 16, and with Brazil waiting in the quarter-finals, few are expecting Croatia to still be in Qatar beyond then.
Few would have predicted Morocco to top a group containing Belgium, Croatia and our very own Canada, but Morocco did just that – and in style.
As the last remaining African nation in the tournament, Morocco have already done a continent proud, but a stunning shootout victory over 2010 champions Spain proves that Walid Regragui and his men aren’t here to simply make up the numbers. A quarter-final clash against a star studded line up in Portugal may provide their toughest challenge yet, but a similar hurdle was expertly handled when they humbled Belgium 2-0 in the group. Morocco may yet have a say in this World Cup.
This Netherlands team may not have the flair and attacking prowess that Johan Cruyff and co possessed when they entertained the globe with their brand of Total Football. It may not boast a creative genius like back in 2010, when Wesley Sneijder’s five goals led Oranje to the final only to eventually be toppled by Spain.
What they do have is a steely determination and grit that can go a long way in tournament soccer. Unbeaten so far and with only two goals conceded, Messi’s Argentina might not fancy a fight against Virgil Van Dijk and his formidable defence.
In the same way that this World Cup is widely regarded as the last chance for Messi to claim the biggest honour in international soccer, Cristiano Ronaldo will be only too aware that this is his final hurrah. He’ll be the wrong side of 40 by the time the 2026 tournament comes around, after all.
He may be the superstar of this Portugal side, but they are so much more than a one man band. In fact, a quick glance at their squad and it is easy to understand why they were being picked as a dark horse by many heading into the tournament.
Topping a potentially tricky group containing South Korea, Uruguay and Ghana, Fernando Santos’ men seem to have found their groove at the perfect time.
A 6-1 thrashing of a Switzerland outfit that many thought would be their equal was all the more impressive given that Ronaldo spent the vast majority of the game watching on from the side-lines. A similar job against Morocco in the last eight will have the world sit up and take notice.
Is there a soccer nation that has underachieved more than England? A sole World Cup victory back in 1966 has yet to be repeated, although they have come close more recently – with a semi-final run in 2018 their best showing since that Wembley triumph.
Expertly managed by Gareth Southgate, this England side is a sum of all its parts, which hasn’t always been the case with their talent pool of super stars.
An opening game 6-2 drubbing of Iran got the Three Lions off to the perfect start, and a professional if not electric 3-0 victory over Senegal last time out saw 19-year old Jude Bellingham shine.
A meeting against the reigning world champions in France on Saturday will provide their toughest test yet. Come through that one and it may well be “coming home”.
With Messi and Ronaldo being kept on separate sides of the draw, it is almost written in the stars that the pair sign off from World Cup duty by meeting on the biggest stage of all. To do that, Argentina will have to navigate their way past the Netherlands before a potential clash with rivals Brazil.
To lift the trophy for the first time since 1986, Argentina are going to have to do it the hard way. You wouldn’t bet against them, given that they’ve already done things the hard way in this World Cup by being on the wrong end of a 2-1 opening game defeat to Saudi Arabia.
They’ve won three on the bounce since then, however, and momentum is huge in tournament soccer.
It wasn’t until the very back end of the 20th century that France announced themselves as a soccer powerhouse. Until 1998, they hadn’t come close to winning the World Cup, but Zinedine Zidane inspired them to victory on home soil against Brazil back then, and they came to Qatar as reigning world champions after going all the way in Russia back in 2018.
In Kylian Mbappe, they possess arguably the best player in the world right now, and even with the likes of Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante and Karim Benzema out injured, their squad is a frightening one.
Two wins from their opening two games saw them qualify with a game to spare and allowed them to take their foot off the gas when beaten by Tunisia to wrap up Group D. However, Poland barely laid a glove on a dominant French outfit as they set up a mouth-watering clash with England.
A nation hasn’t won back to back World Cup tournaments since Brazil followed up their 1958 success in Sweden with victory in 1962. Could France be the next side to repeat that feat some 60 years on? Only one team are considered more likely in Bodog’s World Cup betting odds…
Which leads us to Brazil.
The five-time winners go into almost every World Cup as the betting favourites, although it has now been 20 years since their last success in Japan.
Still, it isn’t difficult to see why they’re once again favourites when you look at the depth of their squad, and Brazil made their intentions clear from the start of the tournament with a flair-filled 2-0 victory over Serbia with Richarlison bagging a brace.
A shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Cameroon did little to deter the confidence of the favourites, with a resounding 4-1 victory over South Korea in the last 16 setting up a quarter final clash with Croatia.
The Brazilians are the team to beat, and their odds of +170 to lift their sixth Jules Rimet trophy prove so.
While it is difficult to say with too much confidence that Brazil will end 20 years of disappointment, once thing is for sure…
Bodog is very much the home of all your World Cup odds.