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Tips and Strategies for Betting on the FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup doesn’t come around very often, with the greatest soccer nations on the planet only converging once every four years. Still, the tournament is arguably the biggest on the sports betting calendar.

With so much time to prepare your wagers, picking the right World Cup betting markets should be easy. But with so many betting options for the soccer World Cup, it can often be difficult to find the best bets.

You don’t need to worry, though; this page is dedicated to helping you with betting on the FIFA World Cup. We cover all the top betting markets for the soccer World Cup and share expert World Cup betting tips and strategies.

So, if you want to develop a winning strategy for betting on the FIFA World Cup – keep reading!

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Best Betting Markets for FIFA World Cup Games

Let’s kick things off by looking at some of the most basic soccer World Cup betting options. In this section, we cover the top betting markets for FIFA World Cup matches.

Wagering on the result of a game is undoubtedly one the most popular betting options for the FIFA World Cup. Even if you haven’t fully developed your soccer World Cup betting strategy, you can still gamble on matches and win money.

Match Result Bet

A match result (or moneyline) bet is probably the simplest wager you can place. With only three options to choose from, you really can’t go wrong. All you need to do is pick a team to win the game or back the draw.

  • Team A to Win
  • The Draw
  • Team B to Win

The World Cup usually lasts for around a month, meaning there are always plenty of matches to bet on. During the group stage, there are sometimes three games each day – giving us multiple opportunities to bet on World Cup games and win money.

If you’re looking for further advice about this particular betting market, check out our guide to result-based soccer wagers.

Goal-Based Market Bets

Goal-based wagers are among the most popular FIFA World Cup betting markets. There are numerous goal-based markets available, and we cover all the main options below.

  • Over/Under Total Goals – This World Cup betting market enables us to predict the total number of goals in a match. For example, over 2.5 goals or under 4.5 goals.
  • Over/Under Team Goals – You can also wager on the number of goals scored by each team in a game. For instance, Team A to score over 1.5 goals or Team B to score under 3.5 goals.
  • Both Teams to Score – Both teams to score (BTTS) market is exactly what it sounds like. Either back both teams to score by selecting “yes” or select “no” if you don’t think both teams will score.
  • Total Goals Brackets – Rather than selecting over/under a certain number of goals, this market allows you to choose goal brackets. You could opt for between one and three goals, for example.
  • Exact Total Goals – The toughest goal-based wager to get right, the exact goals market enables you to predict the exact number of goals in a game.

We explain how to incorporate goal-based markets into your FIFA World Cup betting strategy later. We also have a detailed guide to goal-based wagers in soccer.

Goal-based wagers can be very profitable when betting on World Cup matches.

Goalscorer Markets

The World Cup is soccer’s biggest stage. Every four years, the best goalscorers in the business show off their skills – and you can bet on them!

There are the three main goalscorer markets for us to take advantage of. Below, we take a look at each one and explain how they work.

  • First Goalscorer – As you would expect, this market allows you to predict the first player to score a goal in a World Cup match.
  • Anytime Goalscorer – You can also back a player to score a goal at any time in a World Cup game.
  • Last Goalscorer – Arguably the trickiest goalscorer wager to get right, this market enables you to predict which player will score the last goal of the match.

Let’s take a quick look at a few more FIFA World cup betting options for games.

More World Cup Betting Markets for Games

Here are some more soccer World Cup betting options for individual matches.

With lots of different markets, we recommend exploring as many as you can to give yourself the best possible chance of winning money.

  • Handicap – Handicap betting, or point spread betting, is a way for bookmakers to make a game more even. You bet on which team will win after the handicap has been applied.
  • Correct Score – You can use this market to predict the exact final score line of a World Cup match. For example, 2-1 or 3-0.
  • Half Time/Full Time – This wager allows you back a team to win at both half time and full time. The odds are generally more attractive than a regular moneyline bet.
  • Double Chance – Double chance lets you back a team to win or draw, or you can back either team to win. Basically, this market covers two of the three match outcomes.
  • Draw No Bet – This market removes the draw option, meaning you can only pick a winner. If the game ends in a draw, your stake is returned.

Top FIFA World Cup Futures and Outrights

Futures and outrights betting markets for the World Cup

In this section, we look at all the main outright betting markets for the FIFA World Cup and give you tips on how to take full advantage of them.

Even if you don’t follow soccer, the chances are that you have wagered on the FIFA World Cup before.

Whether it’s a sweepstake with your work colleagues or a visit to one of the best online sports betting sites, gambling on the World Cup is hugely popular.

Here are three main futures and outrights available for the FIFA World Cup.

  • World Cup Winner
  • Golden Boot Winner
  • Group Winners

World Cup Winner

Naturally, one of the most mainstream betting options for the soccer World Cup is picking the winner.

With so many top teams battling it out for the trophy, the odds for the World Cup winner are always attractive. You only have to take a glance at the early 2022 FIFA World Cup odds to see what we mean.

France7.00
Brazil7.50
England8.50
Italy9.00
Spain9.00

The early prices for the top five favorites to win World Cup in Qatar ranged between 7.00 and 9.00. Considering there is never a clear frontrunner to lift the trophy, you can always get very generous odds for teams that stand a genuine chance of going all the way.

With this in mind, you can either select one nation to win, or you could spread your money across multiple countries and still make a sizeable profit.

Top Tip
There is a lot of merit in backing an underdog to win the World Cup, even if you hedge your bets subsequently. While the odds for the favorites are attractive, the prices for the outsiders are often astronomical.

Top Goalscorer (Golden Boot)

This is one of our favorite betting markets for the FIFA World Cup. Why? Well, because you can land a hefty profit for a small stake. Who doesn’t want that?

Betting on the Golden Boot winner (or top goalscorer) is always fun – and it’s straightforward! All you need to do is pick a player and back them to finish the World Cup with the most goals.

With odds for the eventual top scorer often above 10.00 at the start of the tournament, this market has the potential to be very lucrative. Of course, there are numerous aspects that you need to take into consideration. But if you get them right, you could win big.

We cover Golden Boot betting in more detail below, so make sure you stick around for some FIFA World Cup betting tips for gambling on the top scorer.

Some of the best strikers on the planet have won the World Cup Golden Boot.

Group Winners

Not only can you wager on the winner of the tournament, but you can also bet on the winner of each group. With eight groups in every World Cup, this market gives you plenty of opportunities to win cash.

More often than not, the majority of groups have a clear favorite. Unsurprisingly, the favorite’s odds to win the group aren’t usually very attractive. However, groups that comprise evenly-matched teams often present far better value.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.

GROUP E – 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP
Team Wins Draws Losses Points
Brazil 2 1 0 7
Switzerland 1 2 0 5
Serbia 1 0 2 3
Costa Rica 0 1 2 1

Brazil was the clear favorite to win its group in the 2018 World Cup, having been drawn alongside Switzerland, Serbia, and Costa Rica. As it turned out, the five-time champions won Group E without losing a game.

If you backed Brazil to top the group, you would have landed a small profit. But as the group favorite, Brazil wouldn’t have made anyone rich!

Over in Group F, though, Germany – the defending champion – was expected to top the group with ease. However, they ended up finishing rock bottom.

GROUP F – 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP
Team Wins Draws Losses Points
Sweden 2 0 1 6
Mexico 2 0 1 6
South Korea 1 0 2 3
Germany 1 0 2 3

The odds for Sweden to win Group F would have been massive – and the price for Germany to finish last would have been even higher!

If you can find groups with good value and spot potential upsets, gambling on World Cup groups can be hugely profitable.

For further advice about these types of markets, check out our guide to futures and outright wagers in soccer.

Props and Specials for the FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup prop bets

The FIFA World Cup is the most-watched sporting event on the planet. As a result, bookmakers always dish up tons of exciting specials and prop bets for every edition of the tournament.

Proposition bets are wagers that are not based on the outcome of an individual game or even the tournament itself. Instead, props are bets made regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event that doesn’t directly affect the final outcome of a match or competition.

To give you a better understanding, here are some World Cup props and specials that bookmakers could offer.

  • Team A to score more than ten goals
  • Team B to score less than five goals
  • Team C to keep at least three clean sheets
  • Player X to be shown a red card
  • Player Y to score at least three yellow cards
  • Player Z to score in at least three games

As you can see, the possibilities are almost endless. In fact, bookmakers could produce hundreds – or even thousands – of different props in the lead-up to a World Cup.

It is worth remembering that a lot of specials aren’t worth taking advantage of. Many bookies will create props that entice bettors by making them fun and quirky, but the chances of winning the bet could be very slim.

On the other hand, certain prop bets can be extremely profitable. If you shop around and find the best ones, you could easily find props among your favorite betting markets for the soccer World Cup.

We provide more guidance on betting soccer specials and props if you’re interested in these wagers.

Live Betting Markets for the FIFA World Cup

Predicting the winner of the World Cup is always fun, while wagering on individual World Cup matches is a great way to make money. But have you ever considered live betting?

Live (or in-play) betting has become extremely prominent in recent years, with all the top online sportsbooks offering tons of in-play markets. As a result, live World Cup betting is now widely loved across the globe.

Let’s check out some of the main in-play markets for FIFA World Cup games.

  • Next Goalscorer – One of the most popular soccer World Cup betting markets, next goalscorer enables you to predict which player will score the next goal in a game.
  • Next Team to Score – Not only can you wager on the next player to score a goal, but you can also bet on the next team to find the back of the net.
  • Player to Receive the Next Card – If you think a player is close to going in the referee’s notebook, use this market and back them to receive the next card.
  • Next Corner – This in-play FIFA World Cup betting market allows you to gamble on which team will be awarded the next corner in a match.
  • To Win the Second Half – You can also wager on which team will win the second half. Bettors usually use this market after following the pattern of the game in the first half.
  • Time of Next Goal – Feeling lucky? Why not predict the time of the next goal? Bookmakers generally offer options such as 10-20 minutes or 45-60 minutes.

At the end of the day, there are many different live betting markets for World Cup matches. We have covered the main options above, but don’t be afraid to explore more in-play opportunities for yourself.

It is worth remembering that live betting is volatile. World Cup games can change in the blink of an eye, meaning the in-play markets fluctuate drastically throughout a match.

Top Tip
Winning money when live betting is, of course, great. But if you find yourself losing, don’t start chasing those losses. We suggest taking a break and re-evaluating.

Strategies for Betting on the FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup betting strategies

If you are serious about wagering on soccer’s biggest tournament, you should be looking to build a strategy for betting on the FIFA World Cup.

Of course, you could gamble on the World Cup without creating a strategy. But if you want to gain a significant edge over the bookies, we strongly recommend following the betting tips for the soccer World Cup we provide below.

These tips don’t come with any cast-iron guarantee of making money, of course. If you incorporate them into your broader strategies, though, you’ll certainly increase your chances of profitable betting.

Make the Most of Goal-Based Markets

The first of our betting tips for the FIFA World Cup concerns goal-based markets.

During the group stage, the best nations on the planet often come up against some of the world’s lowest-ranked teams. Consequently, we often see high-scoring matches, with the top sides thrashing the smaller countries.

At the 2018 World Cup, Group G comprised Belgium, England, Tunisia, and Panama. Belgium and England were the clear favorites to advance to the knockout phase, while Tunisia and Panama were massive underdogs.

Belgium ended up crushing Tunisia 5-2, with England sealing a whopping 6-1 victory over Panama. The odds for Belgium to beat Tunisia or England to beat Panama would have been extremely low. But if you backed over 6.5 goals in either of those games, you would have landed a serious profit!

The group-stage draw usually takes place months before the World Cup gets underway. If you study the groups and recognize potential high-scoring matches in advance, you could win big.

GOALS-PER-GAME RATIOS – FIFA WORLD CUP
Tournament Host Average Goals Per Game
1998 France 2.67
2002 Japan & South Korea 2.52
2006 Germany 2.30
2010 South Africa 2.23
2014 Brazil 2.70
2018 Russia 2.60

The above table can help us to develop another useful strategy for betting on the soccer World Cup.

As you can see, four of the previous six FIFA World Cups have dished up an average of over 2.5 goals per game, with each of the last two tournaments producing a 2.60+ goals per game average.

This trend tells us that backing over 2.5 goals in any World Cup match is a good idea. Sure, you will always get games in which less than three goals are scored, but more often than not, recent World Cup matches have dished up over 2.5 goals.

How to Pick a Golden Boot Winner

If you’re looking for a betting strategy for the FIFA World Cup top goalscorer, look no further. Below, we tell you how to predict which player will get their hands on the Golden Boot.

When you scour the bookies’ list of Golden Boot favorites, you will always see a host of big-name stars. But how do you know which players to back and which players to avoid?

Well, when picking the World Cup top scorer, we suggest asking the following questions.

  • Does the player have favorable group games?
  • Will the player’s team go far in the tournament?
  • Has the player just enjoyed a prolific domestic season?
  • Is the player on penalty kick duty for this team?
  • Does the player have a good international record?

First, you should pick a player who has easy group games. If a striker for a top team is facing one or two of the tournament’s weakest teams in the group stage, the chances are they are going to score multiple goals.

The 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner – England’s Harry Kane – scored five of his six goals during the group stage. After bagging a brace against Tunisia, Kane netted a hat-trick as the Three Lions dispatched Panama.

It is also worth noting that Kane took England’s penalties in Russia. In fact, he converted three spot-kicks at the 2018 World Cup.

A player who takes his team’s penalties is always more likely to finish as the tournament’s top scorer.

As well as studying players’ international tally, you should also look at their recent domestic record. If a player is in good goalscoring form in the lead-up to the tournament, backing them to win the Golden Boot is a good idea.

Make sure you pick players that are likely to go deep into the competition, too. We all know that Robert Lewandowski is a goalscoring machine for Bayern Munich, right? But is he really going to fire Poland into the latter stages of the tournament?

Follow these tips for betting on the FIFA World Cup, and gambling on the Golden Boot will become a whole lot easier.

Choosing the Right Props and Specials

With thousands of World Cup prop bets to choose from every four years, picking the right ones can be a tricky task. That said, there are steps you can take to find the best bets.

Although it may be difficult, we recommend choosing the most realistic specials on offer. Bookmakers often dish up ridiculous props that are highly unlikely to land, so make sure you don’t get drawn in by unrealistic bets.

Instead, opt for specials that are easy to understand. Below is a list of sensible World Cup prop bets.

  • Total Number of Tournament Goals Scored
  • Total Number of Red Cards Given
  • Total Number of Own Goals Scored
  • Total Number of Tournament Offsides

In terms of the props above, all you need to do is research previous tournaments and look for trends. You can then place your bets accordingly, based on the numbers you analyze.

The problem with more complex specials is they hinge on very specific details.

For example, you might be interested in “Team A to score more than ten goals” or “Player Z to score in at least three games.” But what happens if the team fails to reach the knockouts? And what if the player gets injured in the first game?

To sum up this betting strategy for the soccer World Cup, we basically recommend steering clear of complicated prop bets and focusing on simple wagers unless you’re extremely confident you’ve identified some value.

More Advice for Betting on the FIFA World Cup

Although the tournament is only staged once every four years, there is never any shortage of betting options for the FIFA World Cup. As the most popular sporting event on the planet, the World Cup invariably attracts unrivaled gambling interest.

Hopefully, the FIFA World Cup betting tips and strategies shared will help you win money when the next edition of the competition comes around.

In the meantime, head over to our soccer blog for more World Cup content. Our writers provide regular updates for qualifying and future tournaments, so make sure you keep an eye out for that.

We also cover the World Cup in our soccer picks section. From qualifiers to the main event, we always share tips and predictions for World Cup games.

If you’re looking for more FIFA World Cup content, check out the pages below.

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