World Cup 2022 Ultimate Guide: Betting, Teams, Tournament Preview, USMNT Focus & Predictions

World Cup 2022 Ultimate Guide: Betting, Teams, Tournament Preview, USMNT Focus & Predictions

Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Giovanni Reyna will bid to fire the USMNT to glory when the World Cup gets underway later this month.

Greg Berhalter’s men have landed in a tricky group alongside England, Wales and Iran, but they have enough quality to reach the knockout stage. If they make it that far, we can look forward to seeing them lock horns with some of the world’s best teams.

Read on to learn more about the 2022 World Cup, how to bet on it and the USMNT’s chances of going deep into the tournament.

Image by Warrenski

When does the World Cup start?

The World Cup starts at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, November 20, when host nation Qatar takes on Ecuador in the curtain raiser.


How many teams qualify for the World Cup?

Thirty-two teams from around the world have qualified for the tournament. That includes four teams from the CONCACAF region – the USA, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica.


World Cup teams 2022: Complete list 

Europe will have 13 representatives at the World Cup, while there are five apiece from Asia and Africa. South America has yielded just four teams after Peru lost to Australia in an intercontinental playoff, while there are four teams from North America. Qatar qualified as the hosts. 

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Qatar
  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Tunisia
  • USA
  • Uruguay
  • Wales


World Cup 2022 Groups

The 32 teams are divided into eight groups of four. The top two teams in each group will secure a place in the knockout stage, while the remaining teams will have to pack their bags and head home. The Round of 16 follows the group stage, and it will then be whittled down to the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the World Cup final. These are the eight groups:

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands

Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland

Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia

Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan

Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia

Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea


What time are the World Cup games in Qatar?

Qatar will be eight hours ahead of Eastern Time when the World Cup gets underway. As such, the games will take place at 5 a.m., 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET each day throughout the group stage. The final round of group stage games and the knockout stage games will all be held at either 10 a.m. ET or 2 p.m. ET.


What is the opening game of World Cup 2022?

Qatar will take on Ecuador in the opening game of the World Cup. BetMGM makes Ecuador the +115 favorite to win that clash, while the draw (tie) is priced at +225 and PointsBet is offering +260 on Qatar to win.


When is the World Cup Final?

The World Cup final will take place at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, December 18.


When are the USA World Cup Games on?

The USA’s first game takes place at 2 p.m. ET on Monday, November 21, when Berhalter’s men will take on Wales. That will be a vital match, as England are expected to win the group and Iran look like the weakest of the four teams, so it could ultimately come down to a straight fight between the USMNT and Wales for the runner-up spot.

The USA’s second game sees them take on England at 2 p.m. ET on Friday, November 25, and their final group stage match is at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 29. If they win Group B, they will play the runners-up from Group A at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 4. Should they finish second in Group B, they will take on the winners of Group A at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 3.


Qatar World Cup 2022 Stadiums

Qatar had no soccer infrastructure when it was controversially awarded the rights to host the World Cup. It has spent the past few years constructing arenas. Thousands of migrant workers died in the process, according to the Guardian.

It is now ready to welcome soccer fans from across the planet. The country is smaller than Connecticut, so the venues are packed into a small area. These are the stadiums:


Lusail Stadium, Lusail

  • Capacity: 80,000 seats
  • Games: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16, 1x quarter-final, 1x semi-final and the World Cup final

Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

  • Capacity: 60,000 seats
  • Games: 5x group stage games (including the opening match), 1x Round of 16, 1x quarter-final, 1x semi-final

Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

  • Capacity: 40,000 seats
  • Games: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16

Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

  • Capacity: 40,000 seats
  • Games: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16

Khalifa International Stadium, Doha

  • Capacity: 40,000 seats
  • Games: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16, third-place match

Education City Stadium, Doha

  • Capacity: 40,000
  • Games: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16, 1x quarter-final

Stadium 974 (Ras Abu Aboud Stadium), Ras Abu Aboud, Doha

  • Capacity: 40,000 seats
  • Games: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16

Al Thumama Stadium, Doha

  • Capacity: 40,000 seats
  • Games: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16, 1x quarter-final


World Cup 2022 TV Channels: How Can I Watch The World Cup?

The FOX network has secured the rights to broadcast the World Cup. You can watch games on FOX Sports 1 or opt for a Spanish-language broadcast on Telemundo.


World Cup 2022 Live Stream

Fubo, Vidgo, Sling TV, Peacock TV and YouTube TV will all stream live World Cup games, giving you lots of options to watch the action online.


World Cup 2022 Preview & What We Can Expect


European Teams Bid to Maintain Their Dominance

European teams dominated the last World Cup in 2018. France scraped a narrow 1-0 victory over Belgium in the first semi-final, and Croatia then picked up a 2-1 extra-time win against England. The final was a lopsided affair, as Les Bleus eased to a 4-2 victory against Croatia courtesy of second-half goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappé.

Belgium and Croatia have since regressed somewhat, as key players such as Vincent Kompany and Mario Mandžukić have retired. They will still be dangerous, but the main contenders from Europe are expected to be France, England, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal.

England followed up their World Cup semi-final appearance by reaching the final of last summer’s European Championship. They suffered an agonizing defeat to Italy via a penalty shootout, and they will bid to go one better at the 2022 World Cup. The Italians failed to qualify for the World Cup, but Europe will still provide many of the favorites.

France will be without Pogba, while there are also question marks over the fitness of midfield partner N’Golo Kante, so Real Madrid youngsters Aurelin Tchouaméni and Eduardo Camavinga may need to come of age. Yet Les Bleus will still be stacked in attack, with Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema lining up alongside Mbappé.


South American Heavyweights Poised to Mount a Strong Challenge

France and England have both been inconsistent this year, so they have slipped down to third and fourth respectively in the World Cup futures betting with many sportsbooks. Brazil are now the outright favorites, best priced at +450 with PointsBet, while several betting sites now make Argentina the second favorites.

Brazil are the most successful team in World Cup history, having lifted the trophy on five separate occasions. However, their last triumph came in 2002, and they lost 2-1 to Belgium in the quarter-finals last time. Yet they now boast an exceptionally strong squad. Alisson and Ederson are world-class goalkeepers, Marquinhos and Thiago Silva are excellent in defense and Casemiro provides an effective screen in midfield. Going forward, the likes of Vinícius Junior and Neymar will cause all sorts of problems for their opponents.

Argentina finished well below Brazil in the South American qualifying group, but they can take confidence from last year’s Copa America triumph. They boast arguably the world’s best player in Lionel Messi, and the supporting cast is strong, so the Argentinians command a great deal of respect in the futures betting.


Can a Team from the Rest of the World Finally Lift the Trophy?

No team from outside of Europe or South America has ever won the World Cup. The top 14 teams in the futures betting hail from those continents, and Mexico, the USMNT and Senegal are then huge outsiders. It would be a momentous occasion if a team from the rest of the world could finally lift the trophy, but the chances are very slim.


USA World Cup 2022 Focus


USMNT World Cup Qualifiers: Journey to Qatar

The USMNT dominated their regional rivals en route to winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the CONCACAF Nations League over the past 18 months. However, they were beset by inconsistency during their World Cup qualifying campaign.

They won just seven of their 14 group stage games, with four draws and three defeats. In the end, they finished third in the standings, behind Canada and Mexico. They were level on points with Costa Rica, but a superior goal difference was enough to see the USA secure automatic qualification for the World Cup. They will need to seriously improve their performance levels if they are to


Who Are The Key Players For The USA?

The USMNT has never previously been blessed with a stronger squad. Several Americans now ply their trade at Europe’s finest clubs, which bodes well for their chances of success in Group B. Pulisic is undoubtedly the star of the show, and the Chelsea forward will need to be firing on all cylinders if the USA is to progress to the Round of 16.

However, there is also a great deal of excitement about Reyna, Borussia Dortmund’s teenage winger, who has lit up the Bundesliga with his performances. He recently returned from injury, handing Berhalter a major boost. McKennie is now a mainstay in the Juventus midfield, and he brings a great deal of energy and industry to proceedings, while AC Milan’s Sergiño Dest is also lively.

One common denominator is that the USMNT’s best players are young. They are still developing, and they may peak just in time for the 2026 World Cup, which the USA is co-hosting along with Canada and Mexico. 


USMNT Predicted World Cup 2022 Line-Up

Arsenal’s Matt Turner and Man City’s Zack Steffen are vying to start in goal. Dest will start at right-back and Fulham’s Antonee Robinson will play on the left of the defense. Miles Robinson is injured, so Cameron Carter-Vickers or Chris Richards could partner Walker Zimmerman at the heart of the defense.

McKennie and Tyler Adams of Leeds Utd are locks for the midfield, and it would be great to see Brendan Aaronson fill the playmaker role behind the front three. Pulisic and Reyna should start on the flanks, with Jesus Ferreira of FC Dallas down the middle. Timothy Weah provides another option in attack.


World Cup History


When Was The First World Cup Held and How Has It Evolved Over The Years?

The inaugural World Cup was held in Uruguay back in 1930. Just 13 teams took part in the tournament, and there was no qualifying process. The hosts emerged victorious after beating Argentina in the final. Subsequent World Cups were held in Italy (1934) and France (1938), but they were relatively low-key affairs compared to the current extravaganza. The tournament was put on hold during World War II, and it did not return until 1950, when Uruguay secured a second title.

It really started to gather momentum when Switzerland took over hosting duties in 1954, a tournament characterized by exciting, high-scoring clashes. The World Cup has continued to grow in prominence ever since. The tournament was expanded to 24 teams in 1982 and then 32 in 1998, which allowed more teams from Africa, Asia and North America to compete. In 2026, it will increase to 48.

The World Cup is now the most widely viewed sporting event on the planet. A record 3.572 billion people watched the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Soccer is growing increasingly popular in the USA, and interest will spike during that tournament, but there will also be a great deal of interest in the team’s exploits in Qatar. The USA still holds the record for the largest average attendance, as 3,587,538 fans watched the action unfold in-person, at an average of 68,991 per game. That record is likely to be shattered when the World Cup returns to North America with an expanded 48 teams in 2026.

Which country holds the record for the most World Cup wins?

Brazil hold the record with five World Cup wins. Their first victory came in Sweden back in 1958, when legendary striker Pelé emerged on the world scene as a 17-year-old sensation. They followed it up with further triumphs in 1962 and 1970, with Pelé coming to the fore, and Romario inspired them to glory in the USA in 1994. Their last win came in 2002, when Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho led the line.

Team Titles Year
Brazil 5 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002
Germany 4 1954, 1974, 1990, 2014
Italy 4 1934, 1938, 1982, 2006
Argentina 2 1978, 1986
France 2 1998, 2018
Uruguay 2 1930, 1950
England 1 1966
Spain 1 2010


Who Won The 2018 World Cup and Are The Current Champions?

France are the current world champions after sweeping their rivals aside in 2018. Les Bleus made a slow start to proceedings, but they scraped a 2-1 victory over a plucky Australia side in their opener, before beating Peru 1-0. A 0-0 draw with Denmark ensured they finished top of their group, and they gathered serious momentum in the knockout stage of the tournament.

The highlight was a thrilling 4-3 victory over Argentina in the Round of 16, lit up by a wondergoal from Benjamin Pavard. France then earned a 2-0 win against Uruguay, before beating Belgium in the semi-finals and Croatia in the final. They flopped at last summer’s Euros, but they bounced back by winning the UEFA Nations League later that year, and they will be dangerous in Qatar.


Who is the all-time leading World Cup goalscorer?

Germany’s Miroslav Klose leads the way after firing in 16 goals in 24 games. He was part of the team that won the World Cup in 2014, finished runner-up in 2002 and third in 2006 and 2010. He never quite achieved superstar status when playing club soccer, but he came alive when representing his country, and he remains Germany’s all-time leading scorer. His record was impressive, but France’s Just Fontaine also stands out after scoring 13 times in just a single World Cup.

Player Team Goals Games Played
Miroslav Klose Germany 16 24
Ronaldo Brazil 15 19
Gerd Müller Germany 14 13
Just Fontaine France 13 6
Pelé Brazil 12 14


Which player has the most World Cup appearances in history?

Germany’s Lothar Matthäus holds the record for the most World Cup appearances, having played 25 times during his illustrious career. He captained West Germany to victory at the 1990 World Cup, and he played in five tournaments from 1982 and 1998. Klose is one behind him, while Italy’s Paolo Maldini made 23 appearances. Argentina’s Messi is on 19 appearances, and he could claim the record if he leads his team to the final this year.

Player Team Appearances
Lothar Matthaus Germany 25
Miroslav Klose Germany 24
Paolo Maldini Italy 23
Diego Maradona Argentina 21
Uwe Seeler Germany 21
Władysław Żmuda Poland 21
Cafu Brazil 20
Philipp Lahm Germany 20
Grzegorz Lato Poland 20
Javier Mascherano Argentina 20
Bastian Schweinsteiger Germany 20
Rafael Márquez Mexico 19
Per Mertesacker Germany 19
Lionel Messi Argentina 19
Wolfgang Overath Germany 19
Ronaldo Brazil 19
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Germany 19
Berti Vogts Germany 19


USA World Cup History & Records


USMNT World Cup Appearances: How Many World Cups Have The USA Played In?

The USA have appeared in 10 World Cups. Their best result came at the inaugural tournament back in 1930, when they finished fourth. They were absent for four decades from 1950 to 1990, but they then qualified for seven consecutive World Cups. That run came to an end in 2018, but they are back this time around, and they are gearing up to make their 11th appearance at the tournament.


Who is the USA all-time World Cup top goalscorer?

Landon Donovan is the USMNT’s top scorer at the World Cup, as he banged in five goals during 12 appearances – two in 2002 and three in 2010. Just four players have scored more than a single goal for the USA in World Cup history:

Player Goals Games Played
Landon Donovan 5 12
Clint Dempsey 4 10
Bert Patenaude 4 3
Brian McBride 4 10


Who has made the most World Cup appearances for the USMNT? 

Donovan also holds the record for the most appearances for the USA at World Cups. He also won a record six MLS Cups, and he holds the record for the most assists in the league’s history, with 136.

Player Appearances Tournaments
Landon Donovan 12 2002, 2006 and 2010
Cobi Jones 11 1994, 1998 and 2002
Earnie Stewart 11 1994, 1998 and 2002
DaMarcus Beasley 11 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014
Brian McBride 10 1998, 2002 and 2006
Claudio Reyna 10 1998, 2002 and 2006
Clint Dempsey 10 2006, 2010 and 2014


Have The USA Ever Won The FIFA World Cup?

The USA have never won the World Cup. They finished fourth at the inaugural tournament, but they have not come close to winning it since then. Their best run in the modern era came in 2002, when they reached the quarter-finals. The USMNT finished ahead of Portugal and Poland in their group that year, and goals from Donovan and McBride fired them past Mexico in the Round of 16, but they suffered 1-0 defeat to eventual runner-up Germany in their quarter-final clash.


World Cup 2022 Betting


World Cup 2022 Winner Odds

These are the current World Cup winner odds from PointsBet: 

  • Brazil +450
  • France +550
  • Argentina +650
  • England +700
  • Spain +800
  • Germany +1000
  • Belgium +1200
  • Netherlands +1200
  • Portugal +1200
  • Denmark +2800
  • Uruguay +4000
  • Croatia +5000
  • Switzerland +8000
  • Senegal +8000
  • Mexico +10000
  • Serbia +10000
  • Wales +12500
  • USA +15000
  • Poland +15000
  • Ecuador +20000
  • Qatar +25000
  • Cameroon +25000
  • Canada +25000
  • Ghana +30000
  • Japan +30000
  • Morocco +30000
  • South Korea +30000
  • Iran +35000
  • Australia +50000
  • Tunisia +50000
  • Costa Rica +100000
  • Saudi Arabia +100000

These odds have shifted considerably over the course of the year. It is worth noting that England and France would face one another in the quarter-finals if they were to both win their groups and then win their Round of 16 clashes. That may have caused the odds on them to drift a little. If they do end up locking horns in the quarter-finals, whoever wins that match would probably emerge as the World Cup favorite. Brazil are likely to end up on the other side of the bracket, but no team will have an easy route to the final.


World Cup 2022 Group Betting Odds

These are the odds on offer at BetMGM on each team to win their group and to qualify for the Round of 16:

Group A: 

Team To Win To Qualify
Netherlands -200 -750
Senegal +350 -133
Ecuador +600 +100
Qatar +1100 +425

Group B

Team To Win To Qualify
England -333 -3300
USA +550 +100
Wales +600 +115
Iran +1800 +400

Group C

Team To Win To Qualify
Argentina -250 -1600
Mexico +450 -118
Poland +500 -111
Saudi Arabia +1800 +650

Group D

Team To Win To Qualify
France -263 -2000
Denmark +275 -275
Australia +1400 +350
Tunisia +1800 +350

Group E

Team To Win To Qualify
Spain -111 -1200
Germany +110 -900
Japan +1100 +300
Costa Rica  +4000 +1400

Group F

Team To Win To Qualify
Belgium -175 -1000
Croatia  +225 -217
Morocco +900 +250
Canada +1100 +250

Group G

Team To Win To Qualify
Brazil -333 -1400
Switzerland +600 +115
Serbia +650 +120
Cameroon +1200 +250

Group H

Team To Win To Qualify
Portugal -143 -475
Uruguay +200 -250
South Korea +900 +225
Ghana +900 +240


World Cup 2022 Golden Boot Winner Odds

  • Harry Kane (ENG) +700
  • Kylian Mbappe (FRA) +900
  • Karim Benzema (FRA) +1000
  • Lionel Messi (ARG) +1400
  • Neymar (BRA) +1400
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) +1600
  • Romelu Lukaku (BEL) +1600
  • Memphis Depay (NED) +1800
  • Romelu Lukaku (BEL) +1600
  • Memphis Depay (NED) +1800
  • Vinicius Junior (BRA) +2500
  • Lautaro Martinez (ARG) +2500
  • Gabriel Jesus (BRA) +2800
  • Raheem Sterling (ENG) +3300
  • Kai Havertz (GER) +3300
  • Serge Gnabry (GER) +3300
  • Robert Lewandowski (POL) +3300
  • Alvaro Morata (ESP) +3300
  • Timo Werner (GER) +3300
  • Lucas Ocampos (ARG) +3300
  • Joao Felix (POR) +3300
  • Antoine Griezmann (FRA) +3300

World Cup 2022 Sportsbooks

You can bet on a huge array of World Cup futures markets at leading sportsbooks such as BetMGM and PointsBet:

  • Tournament winner
  • Which round will a particular team reach
  • Each team’s stage of elimination
  • Which team will win each group
  • To qualify from each group
  • Which two teams will qualify from a group
  • The exact finishing order of the top two teams in a group
  • A team to win all their group stage games
  • A team to lose all their group stage games
  • The precise number of points a team will earn during the group stage
  • A team to win a penalty shootout during the tournament
  • A team to lose a penalty shootout during the tournament
  • The group that will yield the winner
  • The confederation that will yield the winner
  • The two teams that will meet in the final
  • Outright winner – double chance
  • Winner-top goalscorer double
  • Top scorer
  • Golden Ball (best player)
  • Golden Glove (top goalkeeper)

You will also find hundreds of pre-game and in-play betting markets on each match. If you head to PointsBet, you can browse a large selection of unique PointsBetting markets too.


USA World Cup Betting


What odds are the USA to win the World Cup?

PointsBet is offering market leading odds of +150000 on the USA to win the World Cup. That means you would earn a $150 profit for every $1 you wagered on the USMNT. Fifteen of the 32 teams taking part in the tournament are ahead of the USA in the futures betting, making them huge outsiders.


What odds are the USA to win Group B?

You can find odds of +550 at BetMGM on the USA to win Group B. It would require them to get the better of England, who are currently fifth in the FIFA world rankings, 11 places clear of the USA. Gareth Southgate’s men have misfired this year, but they went to the semi-finals of the last World Cup, and key players have matured since then, so it would be a major shock if the USA finished ahead of them.


What odds are the USA to qualify from Group B?

BetMGM is offering +100 on the USA to qualify from Group B. It means you can double your money if they reach the Round of 16. That looks like a great option, as they have enough quality within their ranks to beat Wales and Iran.

It will certainly not be easy, as Wales have some highly talented players, but Gareth Bale is now in the twilight of his career, and Aaron Ramsey is also a fading force. The USMNT has a younger squad, with greater depth, and the likes of Pulisic and McKennie could fire the Stars and Stripes into the knockout stage of the tournament.


Who is favorite to be the USA’s top goalscorer?

Pulisic is the favorite to finish the tournament as the USA’s top goalscorer. He led the way in qualifying, with five goals, despite missing several games through injury. The Chelsea forward is priced at +8000 with PointsBet to win the Golden Boot, leaving him as the highest-placed American on the list. Reyna is next at +10000, followed by Weah at +20000. Aaronson, Paul Arriola and Gyasi Zardes are all +250000 to finish the tournament as the top scorer.


World Cup 2022 Predictions & Tips


  • Mexico to be eliminated in the Round of 16 (+200) | El Tri have surged through to the Round of 16 at the last seven consecutive World Cups. However, they have also lost at that stage in the last seven World Cups. That trend looks set to continue in 2022, as Mexico should be able to scrape through their group in second place, behind Argentina and ahead of Poland. They would then face the winner of Group D, which is highly likely to be France, and they would struggle to beat Les Bleus.


  • USA to qualify for the Round of 16 (+100) | The USA is unlikely to beat England, but it has enough quality across the starting 11 to beat Iran and Wales, which would secure a berth in the Round of 16.


  • Serbia to qualify for the Round of 16 (+130) | You can find +130 on Serbia reaching the knockout stage if you shop around for your odds, which is appealing. It looks like a straight battle between them and Switzerland to finish second to Brazil in Group G. The Swiss are strong, but Serbia boast a lot more firepower in Dušan Vlahović, Aleksandar Mitrović, Luka Jović, Dušan Tadić, Sergej Milinković-Savić and Filip Kostić, and that could be enough to see them through to the Round of 16 at Switzerland’s expense.


  • Argentina to reach the semi-finals (+200) | The reigning South American champions look perfectly capable of finishing top of a group that also features Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia. That would pit them against the runners-up of Group D in the Round of 16, which is likely to be Denmark. That is a tough game, but one that Argentina should win. Their most likely opponent in the quarter-finals would then be the Netherlands, and that is another game you would expect Argentina to win.

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