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2022 World Cup Projections: Group Stage, Bracket, Champion & Golden Boot

2022 FIFA World Cup Simulation Data

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar gets underway on Sunday, November 20 as the world’s top national teams square off for the most prized trophy in the sport. Here at BetQL, we simulated every match 10,000 times to identify the most valuable group stage, champion and Golden Boot bets. See the results and corresponding best bets below!


Betting the eight World Cup groups is always a great idea because there are undervalued and overvalued squads. Let’s go group by group and look at the bets you should (and shouldn’t make) for this year’s event. Reminder: we simulated every match 10,000 times to come to these projections.


Netherlands (73.7% Odds, 61.1% Sim)

Senegal (18.2% Odds, 29.3% Sim)

Ecuador (16.7% Odds, 9.6% Sim)

Qatar (9.1% Odds, 0.0% Sim)

The Netherlands are not as dominant as they were in the qualifiers and made some questionable roster choices including baffling goaltender selections. There’s no value in backing them to win this group. Meanwhile, Senegal has a lot of top-tier players in Europe and might even be a better overall team than the Dutch on paper. There’s solid value here for them to win the group.

If you want more safety, Senegal has -110 consensus odds (52.4% implied probability) to finish in the top two teams. Our simulation is giving them a 72.7% chance to advance to the next round (like the top two teams in each group will), so there’s a ton of value there.


England (73.7% Odds, 61.1% Sim)

Wales (16.7% Odds, 10.3% Sim)

USA (16.7% Odds, 28.5% Sim)

Iran (5.9% Odds, 0.1% Sim)

England is suffering from a lot of injuries and uncertainty at the moment. There’s no value in betting Wales (they’re terrible) to win this group, but the United States stand out as a solid value. Iran is a huge question mark and have a handful of capable players, but shouldn’t challenge England or the USA.

The Americans are the best bet at +500 based on the present value and you can also grab the U.S. at -105 (51.2% implied probability) to finish in the top two and move on. Our simulation is giving them a 74.1% chance to do that, so that -105 price is quite a bargain.


Argentina (71.4% Odds, 60.7% Sim)

Poland (20% Odds, 29.4% Sim)

Mexico (18.2% Odds, 9.8% Sim)

Saudi Arabia (4.3% Odds, 0.1% Sim)

This is Argentina’s group to lose. While they have some question marks regarding Messi’s supporting cast and Lo Celso is out, they’re a dangerous bunch. Keep an eye on Poland, though. They’re an old-school European bunch who work hard and have the best goal-scorer in the tournament Robert Lewandowski. While they’re a longshot to win the group, there’s some clear value there. Mexico is mediocre and the Saudis might be the worst team in the tournament.

If you want to play it safe, grab Poland’s -110 odds to finish in the top two. We’re giving him 73.9% odds to accomplish that feat, but they have a 52.4% implied probability based on their current odds.


France (69.2% Odds, 60.4% Sim)

Denmark (30.8% Odds, 29.9% Sim)

Tunisia (5.9% Odds, 0.1% Sim)

Australia (3.8% Odds, 9.6% Sim)

Unfortunately, this is the group with no clear value present, as you can see from our simulation results above. Tunisia should be worse than Australia and if you want a crazy sleeper, you can roll with the Aussies at +2500. Australia is also +400 to finish in the top two (20% implied odds) and we’re giving them a 35.1% chance, so that’s another option.


Spain (53.5% Odds, 29.7% Sim)

Germany (46.5% Odds, 59.3% Sim)

Japan (9.1% Odds, 9.1% Sim)

Costa Rica (2.0% Odds, 1.9% Sim)

This might be the surprise of our entire simulation, but we’re giving Germany a considerable edge (59.3% projected) to win Group E over betting favorite Spain (29.7%). The Spaniards have some offensive question marks, which is the main reason for that projection. The Germans have solid value as a result, but it is clear-cut that these two countries are the favorites to come out of the group over far-inferior Japan and Costa Rica.


Belgium (65.5% Odds, 61.0% Sim)

Croatia (33.3% Odds, 29.0% Sim)

Morocco (10.5% Odds, 9.8% Sim)

Canada (9.1% Odds, 0.2% Sim)

This is another group that doesn’t have much value present for selecting a group winner. However, you can get Croatia at -200 (66.7% implied probability) to finish in the top two. Compared to our 73.5% projection, that’s a valuable wager. Overall, this might be a stay-away situation, though.


Brazil (75.0% Odds, 60.9% Sim)

Switzerland (15.4% Odds, 10.1% Sim)

Serbia (13.3% Odds, 28.9% Sim)

Cameroon (7.7% Odds, 0.1% Sim)

Serbia is one of the most undervalued teams according to our projections. They are a talented and hard-working team and they might surprise people this year. Simulations have them beating Switzerland, so there’s some value in them winning the group. Brazil, of course, are huge favorites, but there’s no value in betting them to win the group.

If you want to bet Serbia at +650, they’re a valuable sleeper pick. You can also get the Serbs at +130 (43.5% implied probability) to finish in the top two and our model is giving them a staggering 73.4% chance to advance.


Portugal (59.2% Odds, 61.2% Sim)

Uruguay (35.1% Odds, 29.0% Sim)

Ghana (9.1% Odds, 0.2% Sim)

South Korea (8.3% Odds, 9.6% Sim)

Portugal is the favorite to win this group and still has a bit of value. This is a better team now than when Ronaldo was calling all the shots and they’re a potential dark-horse for the World Cup as well. Uruguay is up-and-coming, but have a very uncertain, aging core. They have no value to win the group. Ghana doesn’t have any value either and South Korea has a bit of value, but shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

If you want to get some action on this group, Portugal is probably the way to go, or South Korea to advance. The South Koreans have 25% odds to finish in the top two, but our simulation is giving them a 34.6% chance.


You can see our bracket above to see our model’s official projections, but if you’re hunting for World Cup winner bets, here’s what we’d recommend.


Brazil (+400): After 10,000 simulations of every match, Brazil won the World Cup 14.65% of the time, the highest percentage that any team has. However, since their +400 odds are a 20% implied probability, there’s no value in betting this outcome.


Germany (+1000): They have a 9.1% implied probability to win, but we’re giving them a 9.6% chance.

Portugal (+1400): They have a 6.7% implied probability to win, but we’re giving them a 7.2% chance.

Belgium (+1600): They have a 5.9% implied probability to win, but we’re giving them a 6.5% chance.


The Golden Boot is awarded to the top goal-scorer in the World Cup and our model identified the best bets to lock in now.


Neymar (Brazil, +1000): In simulations, Neymar scored 0.84 goals per game and finished with six. Since we’re projecting Brazil to win the World Cup, Neymar should have the most opportunities to find the back of the net throughout the tournament. If the Brazilians are victorious, Neymar’s production should have a lot to do with it.


Robert Lewandowski (Poland, +2800): Our model is giving Lewandowski a World Cup high 1.11 goals per game projection (four total), but don’t have Poland advancing far. That team projection caps his total output potential, but if Poland shocks anyone or pulls off any major upsets, you can capitalize on his 28/1 odds. Again, we’re considering him as the best goal-scorer in the entire tournament.

Cody Gakpo (Netherlands, +6500): If you’re looking for a sleeper, Gakpo is your guy. Our simulations project him to score 0.75 goals per game (four projected), but, like Lewandowski, his team’s projection could limit his ultimate tally.


Messi (Argentina, +1000): Our simulations project Messi to score three goals in the World Cup (0.59 goals per game). Due to his name recognition and past success, he’s priced up all the way to +1000, but you should resist the temptation according to our simulation.

Ronaldo (Portugal, +1600): The same deal goes for Ronaldo. We’re giving him the same three-goal projection (0.43 goals per game) and while he has longer +1600 odds, you should also resist the temptation of clicking on the popular name.