The Malta Independent 28 January 2023, Saturday
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World Cup 2022: Discovering the Outright Favourites

Tuesday, 29 November 2022, 12:49 Last update: about 3 months ago

The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup broke with tradition by deviating from the regular tournament calendar to accommodate footballers not used to the intense heat of Qatar. Although 20th November signalled the start of the World Cup, the colder weather did not extinguish the heat of high expectations radiated from fans and bookmakers towards several prominent squads. The race is on for which team will claim the title of the best soccer nation in the world on the 18th December. 

This year's tournament inaugurated a new chapter in World Cup history by having a nation from the Arabian peninsula host the event. However, most experts and bookmakers expect that to be the only first in the tournament, with the favourites being the usual suspects. Sportsbooks are inclined to play favourites with Brazil, France, Argentina, England, and Spain. 

And are justified to hold that opinion, taking into account that the stars of the sport landed in Qatar in peak physical condition, considering they only had to play half a season after the World Cup caused a hiatus in most leagues. Resulting in more clutch performances, and that gets reflected in the offered odds.

The Front Row Contenders 

Keeping a track of all the teams and updates is not easy, despite the media attention focused on the World Cup, which entered a new stage in its four-year cycle with the gathering of the best footballers in Qatar. Despite the aspiration of all 32 teams to bring home the championship trophy, most eyes get glued on the nation that already has a few precious mementoes from previous World Cups. 

Not surprisingly, the South American football titan Brazil is high in the ranking, with most sportsbooks confidently proclaiming Neymar and his crew as the leading contenders. Having Brazil as a favourite is nothing new. Since the days of Pele, the spotlight got aimed at the Little Canaries as the team gets popularly called. With five titles to its name and a star-studded roster, the Brazilian squad is gearing up for a 6th title. 

The group stage should not pose a challenge, and it's one of the rare teams with a deep bench capable of enduring the unrelenting pace of the month-long tournament. 

Yet, it's not possible to ignore the reigning champions, and bookies are not willing to make that mistake, frequently including France among the contenders. The team is not deficient in talent, it's stacked with world-class footballers Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Theo Hernandez are only a few of the names that create headaches for opposing goalkeepers.

Making a Solid Argument for the Title

It’s not possible to have a legitimate conversation about the World Cup without England. The nation is always hoping to reclaim its birthright, after all, the sport got invented in the British Isles. But despite the eagerness of bookies to back up their claim, the Three Lions frequently disappoint. Things might change this time around under the managerial style of Gareth Southgate. It would not be a surprise if the finest Premier League footballers manage to bring it home! 

In the back row with England, another European nation is gearing to return to the top. After its convincing performance in South Africa during the  2010 World Cup, Spain plans to repeat its past success. The semi-final appearance at the Euro 2020 indicates the squad is ripe for success. After the Red Fury breezed through the qualifications, maybe not even the group of Death will be able to stop them. 

Argentina is not hiding but boldly proclaimed its intentions to dominate the competition. The majority of bookies are banking on Messi to deliver a triumph. But this is the last hurray for the Argentinian, and Lionel's remarkable reputation may overshadow the team's true potential.

Quick Tips on Placing a Bet on Your Favourite Team

Although most sportsbooks tend to stay competitive, there are varying betting lines, and for a better understanding of the trends, some of the best betting sites Malta has to offer are sharing tips. Passionate fans of the sport can find a complete guide provided by 

Making a bet on the World Cup can be daunting for football fans without any experience in sports betting. But it's an activity if done responsibly can bring in an extra dose of excitement while following the tournaments. Bookmakers offer the odds in advance, and players must prepare ahead of time by mastering several factors for making a wager.

Identify a Reputable Online Bookie

The first step is registering on a reputable sportsbook offering comprehensive coverage of the World Cup. Choose a licenced operator with a mobile-friendly site. The most productive strategy is to join a few betting sites and get exposure to more odds and payment providers.

Research the Teams

The sportsbook may have picked the favourites, but what are the stats showing, are footballers meeting expectations, or are injuries decimating the roster? Studying the teams is a prerequisite for making a bet on the World Cup.

Choose the Bet Type

Future bets are popular for tournaments such as the World Cup, creating opportunities to wager on which team will win the tournament or advance past the group stage. Another good option is parlay bets, combining more teams on a betting slip. That way, the odds get multiplied in case of a correct prediction. But players can always fall back on a match-winner for a simple bet.

Find Competitive Odds

Sports betting comes down to the odds. Bigger betting lines offer the potential for higher wins. Sportsbooks are not in a habit of outmanoeuvring one another with their odds, but there are subtle differences that can be beneficial. Research the market and look for attractive World Cup odds.

Who to Bet On at the 2022 FIFA World Cup 

Betting on the team with the best chance to win is instinctual, but when the World Cup is on the calendar, relying on the odds indicating the favourites is only part of the equation. It takes skill, knowledge and passion for the sport to filter out the contenders. Qatar may be a new chapter in FIFA's history, but the outright favourites are not backing down and have the odds to uphold their claim for the title.

This article is sponsored content. 

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