World Cup Odds

World Cup Odds Update: Back-to-Back for France?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. France won the 1998 World Cup with a talented and diverse squad that was criticized by some for not being “French” enough. Twenty years later, Les Bleus have done it again, riding the considerable talents of players like Kylian Mbappé and Paul Pogba to their second World Cup victory. Both Mbappé and Pogba scored during Sunday’s 4-2 win over Croatia in the Final; France were –110 moneyline favorites in this match, and +700 to win the Cup heading into the tournament.

Why mess with success? France obviously have a good thing going with their program, and at press time, they’re the No. 1 team at +500 on the 2022 World Cup odds board. Here’s an early look at the top 2022 World Cup betting favorites and where they stand with four years between now and the next tournament in Qatar.

France (2022 World Cup betting odds: +500)

There’s every reason to feel good about Les Bleus as they try to join Italy (1934-38) and Brazil (1958-62) as the only teams to win back-to-back World Cups. Not only do they have a thriving program with access to a diverse genetic pool, France also boast a number of players who are just entering their prime – including Mbappé, who won’t turn 20 until December. Pogba (25), Ousmane Dembélé (21), and pretty much all the defenders on this year’s squad should be peaking at exactly the right time in 2022.

Brazil (2022 World Cup betting odds: +700)

The Canaries were at or near the top of the soccer futures market heading into Russia, but their odds to win the 2022 World Cup aren’t quite as promising. Brazil were defeated 2-1 by Belgium in this year’s quarter-finals. Their talisman, Neymar, will be 30 by the time Qatar rolls around, and their co-captains on defense, Thiago Silva and Miranda, will both be 37. You can never count out a program with personnel this dedicated, drawn from a large population base, but the lack of a strong domestic league is hampering Brazil’s efforts on the national stage.

Spain (2022 World Cup betting odds: +750)

No worries about the strength of La Liga here, but Spain are still scratching their heads after losing via penalties to Russia in the Round of 16. And they’ll have to replace several key players, including four who have already retired from international competition: midfielders David Silva and Andrés Iniesta, defender Gerard Piqué, and goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has been tapped to take over the managerial reins from Julen Lopetegui, who was controversially sacked just before the World Cup. Enrique has four years – if he lasts that long – to mold the next generation of Spanish soccer stars.

Germany (2022 World Cup betting odds: +800)

What a fall from grace it was for the defending World Cup champions. They didn’t even make it to the Group Stage in Russia, marking the first time Germany failed to escape the first round since 1938. But Die Mannschaft don’t need to panic. The World Cup format is cruel enough as it is, Germany had a number of injured players this summer, and the folks at Adidas always seem to debut a new, livelier soccer ball at this tournament that confounds players at first. Joachim Löw is staying on as Germany’s manager, and is promising “far-reaching measures and clear changes” along the lines of what happened after they were bounced from the Group Stage at Euro 2004.

Belgium (2022 World Cup betting odds: +1100)

Have Belgium already hit their peak? They finished third at the 2018 World Cup, beating England 2-0; their only loss was 1-0 to France in the semifinals. But aside from 25-year-old striker Romelu Lukaku, the top players in this “golden generation” will be north of 30 once they get to Qatar. That includes captain Eden Hazard (27) up front, plus midfielders Kevin De Bruyne (27) and Marouane Fellaini (30). Belgium has a population of only 11.4 million to draw from, and while they’ve embraced multi-culturalism to some extent, the Red Devils remain well behind France when it comes to the overall strength of their soccer program, especially at the junior level. Then again, you can say the same thing about every other program in the world.

*Odds as of July 20, 2018