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With the 2022 World Cup drawing ever closer, the anticipation for the 22nd edition of the tournament is hotting up. Now is the time to deep dive into some of the most popular betting markets ahead of the kick off on Sunday, November 20th when the opening game sees hosts Qatar take on Ecuador. There are a variety of options to consider when placing a bet, from outright markets to specific match markets and even a few special markets to consider. Below we summarise some of the most popular offers with a simple explanation for each.

Tournament winner

Let’s start with the simplest, and one of the most popular – a bet whereby you select who you believe will win the tournament outright. Here you can go bold and put your wager behind the nation you think will go all the way or you could plump for an each-way bet – meaning you’re still guaranteed some winnings if your team reach the final but fall at the last hurdle. Will you play it safe and stick with a pre-tournament favourite or will you go bold and pick from what are seen to be a number of surprise packages to take the trophy in Qatar.

Group winner

With eight groups to consider, this market gives ample food for thought. Some groups look straightforward while others will be much more challenging to predict. Group E, self-titled as the ‘Group of Death’. includes both Germany and Spain, and Group H contains an evenly matched Ghana, Portugal, South Korea, and Uruguay - there are some tough calls to be made in both. History tells us there are always a few surprises.  If you are feeling confident you may wish to consider an eight-fold-accumulator - predicting the winner across all eight groups is no mean feat but the rewards could be huge.

To Reach the Final/Semi-final/Quarter final

With the draw finalised and matches locked, people across the globe are mapping their nation’s routes to the final. Whether you turn to a nostalgic wall chart or turn to one of the many online predictor tools, this is always a popular market to consider. For those backing one of the dark horses of the tournament, plumping for which teams will make the latter stages is a great option to consider.

Golden Boot Winner

Another hotly contested and much debated market. This all comes down to who you believe will score the most goals in the tournament. With an array of glittering strikers looking to take home this award, from England’s Harry Kane to Argentina’s talisman’ Lionel Messi and France’s Kylian Mbappe it won’t be straightforward. Will you go with the league form of your favourite marksman or perhaps select an outside contender. The choice is yours. 

Player of The Tournament

A much-discussed market, also known as winner of the Golden Ball. Past winners are a who’s who of footballing royalty – Ronaldo, Messi and Zidane have all walked away with this accolade. As squads begin to be announced considering who you think will hit form at just the right time will offer an interesting wager for the competition.

Young Player of the Tournament

For those players who are under 22, this award is for them. Pele, Mbappe, Owen all burst onto the scene to talk away with this one, but who will you back to make a name for themselves this year. Will England’s Jude Bellingham rise to the top or will Barcelona’s 20-year-old midfielder Pedri dazzle in the Middle East sunshine. It’s time to study those squads and see who you think will have a tournament to remember.

Match Betting: Win//Win

One of the most common markets in football betting and the ask is simple – selecting the result of each match, either a home win, draw or away win. With 64 games set to be played this is one market that has endless opportunity to keep your glued to every match. To increase the stakes, you can consider an accumulator, whereby you bet on the outcome of multiple matches across a single bet. While this raises the stakes it of course comes with greater risk as if one of your sections fails to perform, you lose the entire bet.

Match Betting: First Goalscorer

Within this market all you need to do is select which player you believe will score first within a match. Will you turn to the in-form strikers or perhaps increase your potential of landing some greater odds by choosing an exciting midfielder or a defender who could come up trumps from a set piece. It offers some thought-provoking deliberations across each match.

Match Betting: Both Teams to Score

This market offers one of the most straightforward considerations with only two outcomes. You can either bet ‘yes’ if you believe both teams in a match will score or ‘no’ if you foresee one of the sides keeping a clean sheet. It’s time to consider in which games you foresee a goal fest, and which will play out as a cagier affair.

Correct score

Although this market can offer some enticing odds, it can also be one of the most challenging to get right. The ask is again direct, you need to select the correct score of the match – however, be warned, anything other than a correct result will mean your bet is lost. Feeling confident, then go bold and reap the rewards.

Special markets

As the tournament draws closer, some ‘special markets’ will begin to appear. These tend to be more specific and include considerations such as who will be selected in each squad, most yellow cards, and the golden glove winner. While some are a little more obscure, they are another way to wager on what you believe will be the outcome across different matches and the tournament.

While this year’s tournament is set to be a little different given it’s being played out in November and December rather than the usual June and July there is one thing, we can be certain of – the excitement, anticipation and endless debate will be no different. Will France once again reign supreme? Will England go one better than their success in the Euro’s or will we see an outsider lift the trophy?

With so many markets to choose from now is the time to consider who you will place your faith in and where your bets will lie. The epic drama of a World Cup is only weeks away.

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