Betting Action On World Cup Surpasses Expectations

Caesars Sportsbook square logoThe much-anticipated 2022 World Cup has been a massive event. The tournament officially started on November 20th, 2022 with the host country Qatar taking on Ecuador to kick off the Group Matches round. The Quarterfinals are starting on December 9th, with the final matchup set for December 18th.

The tournament was expected to be a big hit with casual viewers and dedicated fans alike, and the growth of sports betting since the last World Cup in 2018 was expected to increase viewership and see a major betting handle. Well, it appears that World Cup betting hasn’t just been popular, it’s exceeded expectations.

World Cup Wagering Exceeds Expectations

While the World Cup generally takes place during the summer months, the 2022 event instead started in autumn. According to Gambling News, this cast some doubt from sports betting operators in Las Vegas and other markets over how much sports bettors would pay attention to the tournament.

When the first World Cup game was played, the NFL, NHL, NBA, college football, and college basketball seasons were all either just starting or a few months in. As the NFL especially tends to be the most wagered on league, big World Cup bets weren’t looking as likely as if it had started in summer with the MLB being the only major competition.

However, early indications are that the betting action has on the World Cup has been substantial. According to a new report, the number of states that have launched legal sports betting has overall resulted in more bets than expected, despite likely being lower than if the World Cup took place earlier in the year.

The report comes from Caesars Sportsbook assistant director of trading Adam Pullen and Westgate LV Resort & Casino vice president of race and sports operations Jay Kornegay and shines a positive light on the casual and sharp betting on the massive international soccer tournament. Although no numbers have been released as of yet, expect some handle information in the near future.

With U.S. Eliminated, Numbers Might Decline

Although American sports bettors might have been interested in the World Cup for the first few weeks, the handle is likely to decline after the U.S. was eliminated by the Netherlands on December 3rd.

Although professional sports bettors will likely continue to place wagers on the remaining World Cup games, more casual betting fans will likely pivot towards other leagues. With new betting markets like Maryland allowing for online sports betting, the Quarterfinals and beyond should still see some big bets.

Current State of the World Cup

With the Quarterfinals about to start, eight teams remain in the World Cup: France, England, Portugal, Morocco, Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil, and Croatia. Although Brazil remains the favorite, there is still plenty of competition with top teams like Argentina, France, and Portugal.

Meanwhile, the biggest longshots heading into the next round are Croatia and Morocco, both of which are facing off against some of the best teams in the competition. With a little over a week until the World Cup Final, it will be interesting to see how the betting market approaches the rest of the tournament.

Anthony Elio is a CU Boulder graduate with a degree in creative writing and advertising. He is the lead Industry Betting Writer at Lineups.com, where he has spent over a year covering industry news in sports betting, casino, and poker.

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