Soccer World Cup 2022 prediction, odds and outright betting guide: Spain ready to secure glory once again

Spain's team photo with Pablo Sarabia, Ferran Torres, Pau Torres, Gavi, Carlos Soler, Jordi Alba, Alvaro Morata, Diego llorente, Cesar Azpilicueta, Unai Simon and Sergio Busquets during UEFA Nations League
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Aaron Ashley


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Joined the Racing Post in 2017 after choosing to combine my writing skills with a passion for betting. Areas of expertize include soccer and tennis. For Aaron Ashley media enquiries, please email
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The 2022 soccer World Cup is set to have a very different feel as the tournament takes place in the North American winter for the first time.

The last four World Cups have been lifted by a European nation, with France the reigning champions after defeating Croatia 4-2 in Moscow four years ago, yet it is the South American pair of Brazil and Argentina who is all the rage in the buildup to Qatar.

Brazil, five-time winners and last triumphant in 2002, while Argentina has been the gamble of the competition, backed from a high of +1100 to half those odds at +550. Reigning champions France come next in the betting at +650, while England and Spain also feature prominently.

Here is a breakdown of the odds, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

See our full USA 2022 World Cup soccer predictions and analysis for how the USMNT will perform

2022 Soccer World Cup betting odds

Brazil +400
Argentina +550
France +650
England +800
Spain +850
Germany +1000
Netherlands +1200
Belgium +1400
Portugal +1400
Denmark +2800
Uruguay +5000
Croatia +5000
Senegal +8000
Serbia +8000
Switzerland +8000
USA +13000
Poland +13000
Mexico +13000

Brazil and Argentina justified as betting favorites

Brazil may not be the force of yesteryear but they still boast great strength in depth and it is easy to see why they are the betting favorites.

The attack is bolstered by the likes of Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino, they have two world-class goalkeepers in Alisson and Ederson, while their center-back area features Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Eder Militao.

Defensive-minded midfielders Casemiro and Fabinho provide great protection but if there is a weakness it’s in the wing-back areas, while there is no obvious creative influence to supply a talented forward line.

They are also housed alongside Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon in a very winnable Group H and should reach the latter stages of the tournament. However, topping the group may see them dealt a tougher path to the final.

They don’t appear to hold any stronger claims than Argentina, who defeated them to win the Copa America in July last year and head to Qatar unbeaten in their last 35 matches.

Argentina’s talisman Lionel Messi has rediscovered his magic for Paris St-Germain this season and they have found a defensive partnership that works with Cristian Romero slotting alongside Nicolas Otamendi.

A group of Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland should hold few fears and they are expected to make their presence felt in the competition.

Two nations at the top of the betting worth opposing, however, are England and France.

The Three Lions finished runners-up to Italy at Euro 2020 last summer but they benefited from a soft draw on home soil.

Since then, though, the weaknesses in defensive-minded coach Gareth Southgate have been exploited and in the recent Nations League they failed to win any of their 6 games, twice losing to Hungary as they were relegated from the top tier of the competition.

France too struggled in their Nations League defense, winning just 1 of their 6 games. Les Bleus survived the drop but were twice beaten by Denmark and also lost at home to Croatia.

There has to be some concern as to whether Didier Deschamps still has what it takes to get the best out of their talented squad.

Netherlands could go well as they have been placed in Group A alongside hosts Qatar, Ecuador and Senegal. Topping that section could also see them potentially rewarded with a nice knockout route and they have a seriously strong spine to their side.

This is the last chance for Belgium’s golden generation but they have yet to do it so are passed on again, while Portugal looks very top-heavy with their defensive areas canceling out their star-studded attacking options.

But now, let’s get onto our best bet for the World Cup.

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2022 World Cup best bet: Spain (+850)

Spain looked like the best team at Euro 2020 last year and can build on that showing to repeat their 2010 heroics by winning the World Cup for the first time since 2010.

Not many liked the chances of Spain going into that Euros last summer but they showed great character to reach the semifinals, where they were unfortunate to lose on penalties to eventual winners Italy, having won the shot count 16-7 in the 1-1 tie.

They have the right blend of youth and experience in their squad, and the likes of teenager Pedri and his fellow rising stars at Barcelona, Ferran Torres and Gavi, should have all benefited greatly from the experience.

Spain’s possession-based approach is likely to wear opposition teams down and although the lack of a clinical striker may be their weakness, if La Roja carves out goalscoring chances at the rate they did at the Euros, then they are going to be difficult to contain.

Spain and Germany have been drawn in the same section, but with Costa Rica and Japan the opposition in Group E both will be expected to make it through.

The Germans will have their supporters but Spain looks like the team to focus on, as they looked the best at Euro 2020 and are almost sure to improve.

2022 World Cup best longshot bet: Croatia (+5000)

Many may have Denmark down as their World Cup dark horse but Croatia twice beat the Danes in the recent Nations League as they also overcame France to top their group.

Croatia was runner-up to France in Russia in 2018 and they took some time to adjust from that defeat as the likes of Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic retired from international football.

But they have retained plenty of quality and recent evidence shows that they are on their way back, having lost only 1 of their last 15 internationals.

Croatia should progress from a group also including Belgium, Canada and Morocco, and they boast far stronger credentials than their odds suggest.

We have a +6500 longshot for our 2022 World Cup Golden Boot winner predictions

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