World Cup Best Bets: Group Stage Winners, Tournament Winner, Golden Glove & Golden Boot Picks 2022

The World Cup kicks off on November 20th and it is time to get some World Cup Best Bets in. Find group stage winner best bets, team best bets, and player prop best bets for the 2022 World Cup.

World Cup Best Bets

When one of the biggest events in all of sports comes around, it also gives us one of the biggest opportunities to make some money! It’s World Cup time, and there’s plenty of value on the board that you can take advantage of before play kicks off in Qatar over the weekend. Let’s take a look at some of the best futures for the group stages and beyond, from parlaying favorites to trying to make rent money off of major underdogs.

Firstly, I want to let you all know that all odds and wagers in this article will be courtesy of FanDuel. They have the best array of World Cup bets, and it’s organized really nicely in their dedicated World Cup hub.

Group Stage Winner Best Bets

When it comes to betting on the first portion of the tournament, there’s a couple of good ways to find value. One is by picking a straight winner- I like Germany at +105, I think Spain are a bit overrated coming into this tournament due in part to some questionable decisions regarding their squad selection, and also in part to questions about where they might find their goals. Belgium and Portugal are favorites at -150 and -140 respectively, but parlaying them would yield some good value; neither one should feel at all uncomfortable about falling off of the top of their group.

If you want to invest in a bit of an underdog but don’t feel like there’s much of a chance for them to win their group, consider a bet to qualify for the knockout stages. Group B is a prime candidate; Americans like myself can consider our team at -105 to qualify, it’s decent value if you want to support our team, but Wales at +105 is a pretty solid emotional hedge as well. Here’s a bet that can cover your cost of living for a few weeks- the dream scenario, USA 1st and Wales 2nd, is set at +2500. I am by no means projecting this to hit, but if you want something to believe in, betting against England is fun and often very productive. Sticking with North America for the moment, I like Mexico at -120 to make it through, as I have little faith in much of Poland’s roster. Another slight favorite to qualify is Switzerland at -120; they may not be the most talented team in the tournament, but they didn’t lose once as they topped Italy in their qualifying group, and they’ve beaten both Iberian teams in Nations League.

Group F is an extremely interesting one to me, as I’ve alluded to in a number of pre-tournament articles, and it’s a tough one to bet, although there is value to be find. Morocco +230 and Canada +280 to qualify are both great value, but with Belgium around, it’s extremely unlikely that both will happen. Morocco had a pretty good AFCON and are adding back Hakim Ziyech, while Canada were a total juggernaut in North American qualifiers. If you don’t want to pick between the two sides, consider betting against Croatia, who I think are severely overrated after their impressive 2018 run. You can get them at +165 to fail to qualify, or even +650 to come in dead last in their group, which is where I think they’ll end up. Group C is an opposite scenario; one I think will be very chalky. You can juice both teams’ odds by betting the exact result of Argentina 1st Mexico 2nd (+170).

Best Bets: Germany , Wales , Mexico .

Full Tournament Team Best Bets

In terms of winning the whole World Cup, I think there’s three distinct routes that each hold some merit. I’ll start with the relatively chalky option, picking one of the top few teams in most odds tables- Argentina. This is a fairly “safe” way to go while still capturing some value at +55– I think Brazil are a bit better, but the gap in odds is enough that I think this is decent value for a talented, hot team led by Leo Messi on a mission. On the other end of the spectrum, putting your money on a true Cinderella can flop big, but it can be a lot of fun too, and potentially provide some cash-out or hedging value later on. I’ll pick a nation that has never won the tournament before but they look solid now- Denmark. They have a clear path to qualify from their group, and have shown through their incredibly gutsy Euro performance that they have the ability to win knockout games- if you want a real long shot, grab them at +2400. Lastly, I’ll take a middle route, a team that’s outside of the core of favorites, but well within the realm of possibility.

If you’ve read any of my other articles surrounding the Cup, this one won’t be a surprise to you; I love Germany at +1000 to pick up their fifth World Championship. I’m not far away from actually projecting them to win the whole thing and they’re only the 6th-most favored side, so I love that value for them. A fun way to increase your odds of winning while still picking some Cup-winner futures is a double chance; I’ve zeroed in on the “GOAT bet” at +380 which hits if the winner is either Ronaldo’s Portugal or Messi’s Argentina lift the trophy, and the Superclásico bet, where you can get +220 odds for a wager that hits if either Brazil or Argentina win it all.

FanDuel is also offering a top team by confederation prop for Europe, South America, and Africa, who are generally considered to be the three most competitive continents at this tournament. For Africa, I love Morocco at +320; Senegal are pretty solidly favored right now, but if Mané never plays, Morocco becomes pure value in an instant. For Europe, I actually like Portugal at +800. They’re not my projection by any means- that would be Germany- but I like their higher value because they have a relatively easy potential path if you look at how the draw might play out, and with England and Croatia four years ago, we saw how impactful it can be to be on the softer side of the bracket. I would stay away from this prop for South America- better to just bet either Brazil or Argentina to become champions, or wait to bet on their potential head-to-head matchup.

Best Bets: Argentina , Germany , Denmark

Golden Boot Winner (Top Goalscorer) Best Bets

I don’t love betting the golden boot- it involves projection of team performance, in terms of estimating how many games each player might appear in, and it also requires conjecture on what each player’s role will be within the team before even thinking about how well they might play. Still, there’s a few values on the table where the above questions are relatively able to be answered for the player in question. One of those players is the favorite- Harry Kane. He will be the true sole striker on a very talented team, and they have every ability to get deep into the tournament and give him the minutes he needs to score the most goals, so I don’t mind betting the favorite here with Kane sitting at +750.

In a similar but not identical situation is Lionel Messi- he’s not a true striker like Kane is, but he does play up front and his team’s attack generally flows through him. Perhaps more importantly, I would be less surprised to see Argentina make it deep into the tournament than I would be to see England, so Messi should have all the time he needs. I think the very best value on the board is Gabriel Jesus at +3400. There’s no reason he shouldn’t start every match as Brazil’s point man, and that is a very attacking side who should be playing deep into the tournament; I do in fact believe in Jesus, as the chant goes, to have a great World Cup this fall. Another solid value pick can be found as we turn our attention once again to Germany, where Thomas Müller is listed at +5000. This is definitely an underdog pick, and he’s not a true striker, but his side will score a lot of goals, and he should be at the center of it all with Timo Werner sitting out injured.

Best Bets: Harry Kane , Gabriel Jesus  , Thomas Muller

Golden Ball (Most Outstanding Player) Best Bets

In my opinion, the Golden Ball is pretty tough to project. It seems like it should be a lot like a classic MVP, which would mean that the method is just to identify the best teams and their most key players. However, it’s worth noting that the winner of this award has not been a player from the Champion team at any World Cup since 1994. So while your first instinct may be to take the best player from your projected champion, it may be better to identify a player who might help an underdog nation achieve more than many expected from them.

I will say that there are exceptions to this rule- one is Messi at +750. Despite the fact that he’s the favorite, I think he’s good value since Argentina are near-favorites to win the tournament, and there’s essentially no way Leo doesn’t get the award if his nation finally wins the Cup. Conversely, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé at +1000 and +1100 might look like solid value, but I would shy away from those wagers; their teams have too many star players (see: the current Ballon D’Or holder) who could pip them for the honor even if their nation does end up lifting the World Cup. Furthermore, for teams with such lofty expectations already, it’ll be hard for these players to really exceed them and impress voters in the way that, say, Luka Modric did by taking tiny Croatia all the way to the final.

A different type of bad bet can be found in Kevin de Bruyne at +1400- it looks enticing, since KDB is probably the outright best player in the tournament. That being said, I unfortunately see Belgium as a serious flop risk in this tournament, so he probably won’t have the necessary narrative. If you do want some dark horses on an underdog side, I’d look at the Portuguese duo of Bernardo Silva (+4400) and Rafael Leão (+5000). Bernardo is probably the best player on the team, and certainly the most influential, while Leão could be a goalscoring machine, and he did just win the MVP award in Serie A. Of course, my pick to overperform in this event is Germany, so let’s talk about their players. One weird wrinkle is that Müller is somehow not listed- I’d grab him as a value play if you can find him anywhere. If not, Joshua Kimmich at +8000 is very good value for an incredibly talented and versatile player; he could conceivably follow in the footsteps of other game-defining midfielders to take home this honor, such as Modric and Zinedine Zidane.

Christian Eriksen (+4400) is a very good dark horse candidate from the “overperforming underdog” perspective; he’s produced one of the greatest stories in football history as he’s come back strong from mid-match cardiac arrest in the Euro, and he’s a truly excellent key player for a nation that could easily punch well above their weight at the World Cup. Lastly, I’d like to highlight Frenkie de Jong, who’s listed at +6500. The Barcelona man has quietly become the best player on a Dutch team that isn’t the best in the World, but has the ability to get deep in this tournament, considering that their path isn’t necessarily the toughest.

Best Bets: Messi (+750), Kevin de Bruyne (+1400), Bernardo Silva (+4400), Christian Eriksen (+4400), Rafael Leão (+5000), Joshua Kimmich (+8000)

Golden Glove (Best Goalkeeper) Best Bets

Lastly, I’d like to take a quick look at one more individual award, the Golden Glove. This pick is really straightforward to me, it’s the legendary Manue Neuer at +650. No question. Nobody has his pedigree at this level, and Germany should give him enough games to contend. The German back line is not the team’s greatest strength, but some of the other top netminders in the tournament will be stuck behind much weaker ones. If there’s one bet you should stay away from, it’s Alisson at +440; when he’s in form like he is now, he could very well be the best keeper in the world, but his situation is surprisingly far from ideal in a few ways. If Brazil has a weakness it’s their back line, and also there’s also the chance that Brazil manager Bacchi could play around with the goalie position, and make the mistake of giving Ederson time in the group stage or even beyond, as he did in the Copa America.

If you want some more value than Neuer, Emiliano Martinez would have a case for sure if Argentina are able to make it all the way to the top, especially if the final is another clean sheet, as it was in the most recent Copa America. The same goes for Unai Simon (+850), who would likely have had his hands full if Spain make it far in the tournament, and Jordan Pickford (+1400), who is somehow-quietly excellent for an England team that unfortunately has a real chance to win the whole tournament. For a true underdog, I’d go with Edouard Mendy at +8000. He’s been one of the very best tournament keepers over the past few years for both club and country- it’s fairly safe to say that without him, Senegal aren’t even in this tournament, and Chelsea never would have been European Champions in 2021. It’s not particularly likely, but if his nation gets deep into this tournament, his play will almost certainly have been the biggest or second biggest reason why, which would have him right in the thick of the discussion for this award.

Best Bets: Allison (+440), Jordan Pickford (+1400) Edouard Mendy (+8000)

From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade and betting on them as long as I’ve been legally able. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment, as well as profitable picks, in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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