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Set to kick off on November 20th, the 2022 Qatar World Cup is only weeks away. Unlike past competitions, there will be no break between the group and knockout stages, so expect the games to come thick and fast with no let-up in the intensity of the tournament. While there is great potential to stake some early bets on the group stage matches, it’s sensible not to go all-in at the outset.

As the competition reaches its latter stages, expect the match-ups to become more intense as tournament heavyweights will be going all out to ensure nothing is left in the dressing room. Here we cover some of the potential bets to consider throughout the tournament. With many outright markets for the competition already being priced up, there is no better time than now to start placing your stakes. As well as outright and pre-game bets, we will also consider some of the live in-match bets that offer a thrilling way to engage yourself in matches that may not include your favoured nation.

World Cup Outright Winner

One of the most popular betting opportunities is a market that football fans all over the world will be betting on before the tournament begins. The ask is straightforward, whereby you stake a claim against the nation you foresee lifting the trophy on December 18th. While the question is simple, the choice is more challenging. Deciding if you will back a pre-tournament favourite, such as Brazil with shorter odds or perhaps go with a slight outsider such as Germany or the Netherlands and enhance your potential winnings, is a decision only you can make.

First Time Winner

There have only ever been eight nations to lift the trophy since the inaugural tournament in 1930, held in Uruguay. Therefore, while straightforward with only two options, this market offers an interesting debate. Will you back one of those eight nations to reign supreme in Qatar, or do you foresee a first-time winner? With Belgium and Portugal mentioned as potential dark horses, this might not be as simple as it appears.

Winner of Each Group

In group betting, you are simply placing a bet on which team you think will come out on top of the eight groups. Very often there is a clear favourite, but in Group E, for example, this will be a tougher call with the inclusion of both Germany and Spain. If you wish to raise the stakes, you could consider placing an accumulator bet on the winners of multiple groups, which will multiply your odds and therefore potential winnings, but, of course, the risks of failure increase.

To Reach the Final / Semi-Final / Quarterfinal

If predicting the outright winner at this stage proves a little tricky, why not opt to place a stake against the nations you feel will reach various stages of the tournament? Will you go with your heart and back your home nation, or will you analyse the statistics in an attempt to make a more informed bet? Now is the time to start considering how you foresee the 64 matches playing out.

Golden Boot Winner

Golden boot wagers let you forecast the tournament’s top goalscorer. When considering this market, there are two things to ponder. Firstly, how many goals per game do you think the best strikers will score, and secondly, how far do you think each nation will advance, therefore increasing the number of games they will play? Let’s consider an example. If England’s Harry Kane scores 1 goal per game and England progresses to the quarter-finals, then he will score five goals. However, if Neymar records 0.85 goals per game and Brazil reaches the final, then he will score six goals and walk away with the golden boot.

Win / Draw / Win Match Betting

With the games coming thick and fast, the opportunities to place a bet on this type of market will come regularly. Here you will back whether you think a particular match will result in a home win, draw or away win. While some markets will have a clear favourite, the competition will undoubtedly throw up surprise results. Gameday three of the groups will always be a tricky match day, with many teams likely to have already qualified. Expect to see nations resting their star players for the knockout phase, which can lead to some less-than-expected results.

Goalscorer Match Betting

This market type has a few variations, including the team you think will score first and the team you think will score last. For added difficulty, you can also back who you believe will score the second, third, or fourth goal of the match. As the variables increase, so will your potential winnings, as well as the risk of failure. As we know, it can only take a moment of individual brilliance to turn a game on its head, meaning this can be a high-risk market.

Correct Score Match Betting

Putting your money against this market will earn you bragging rights and the ability to wax lyrical about your football know-how, or it will end in disappointment with your fellow fans uttering the words, “told you so.” Enticing odds there may be, but football, by its very nature, is unpredictable, and this market will certainly keep you glued to the game.

Both Teams to Score Match Betting

In one of the easier markets to consider, those placing a stake will be required to indicate whether they think the two teams playing out the match will score, or not. Doing your research into the form guide and considering nations that have rock-solid defences versus those that score at will is key here if you are to make an informed choice and increase your chance of walking away with a successful stake.

Accumulator Match Betting

Combining multiple selections into a single stake, this type of bet is likely to be popular during the group stages where there are multiple games per day. Therefore, it may prove tempting to pick the winners of multiple matches. However, remember, the bet will only pay out when all selections are correct.

European Handicap Match Betting

This is a common market and particularly of interest when it comes to international betting as there are often significant disparities with one nation being seen as significantly better than its opponent. Handicap markets will give the weaker team an advantage and the favourites a disadvantage or handicap to overcome. This is popular during the group stages, as, on paper at least, we will witness several one-sided matches. To help understand this market, let’s look at an example of Saudi Arabia versus Argentina. The odds for the potential match result may read as follows:

Saudi Arabia (+1) wins 4.10

Draw (-1) wins 3.90

Brazil (-1) wins 1.65

In this example, Brazil would need to win by two or more goals for the bet on Brazil (-1) to be successful. This makes match betting far more interesting as the ability to predict the outcome of one-sided affairs becomes harder.

Next Goal In-Match Betting

Next goal betting allows you to predict which team you believe will score the next goal in a game. It will only apply to the first goal scored after your bet is placed. As this is a live bet, it’s important to follow the movement of the game. Will you back the team that is creating chance after chance, or do you foresee a team soaking up waves of pressure before hitting their opponents on the break?

Second Half In-Match Betting

Another live market of interest is second-half betting. Here, you will be asked to place a stake against the team you believe will outscore their rivals in the second half only. The advantage of this type of bet is that you can immerse yourself in the first half. You don’t need to speculate on starting line-ups, and you can consider which team is the more aggressive, what tactics each coach is using, and how the star players are performing. The final winner of the match is irrelevant. This market only applies to the second-half.

Over/Under Goals In-Match Betting

A final betting opportunity to consider is the number of goals in a match, and the most popular of these is the over/under 2.5 goals wager. However, when considering this market during live matches, the odds for over 2.5 goals will increase the longer the game stays goalless. Odds will update throughout the match, so if you can time your bet correctly, the results can prove very satisfying. A brief recall of Robbie Keane’s equaliser for Ireland against Germany in the closing stages of the 2002 tournament or Klass-Jan Huntelaar’s injury time penalty against Mexico in 2014 should serve as a timely reminder that it’s never over until the final whistle.

Start Placing Your Bets Today

With a range of outright, pre-game, and in-match markets available, there is no better time to start planning your World Cup bets. Whether you select from one of the suggestions above or delve into the array of other betting opportunities, the start of the unrivalled drama and suspense of Qatar 2022 ticks ever closer.

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