This weekend the 2022 World Cup kicks off with host country Qatar against Ecuador this Sunday Nov. 20th. The United States plays on the 21st against Wales in Group B play and the favorites are pretty clearly established.
The countries with the most bets to win the World Cup pic.twitter.com/stJCHazVMh— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 15, 2022
I’m sure a lot of people are making a significant number of homer bets on the United States Men’s National Team and I have to admit those are decent odds to make a long shot bet. But we know the favorites like South American giants Brazil and Argentina, Iberian greats Portugal and Spain, reigning World Champions France, or my pick, the low countries of Netherlands and Belgium.
Sure some pesky upstarts from Group B like the USA or Wales or England might make a deep run in the knockouts, but who is going to win it all? Now you only get one pick technically and we’ll teams we’re rooting for in a separate post.
Our staff roundtable has decided on their picks below but we want to hear from you in the comments - who do you think will lift the 2022 FIFA World Cup trophy?
Jake - Netherlands (and Belgium)
That’s right, I’m taking the entire lowlands region and would absolutely put Luxembourg on this list if they had qualified. Yes, my official pick is the Netherlands based off their display in the UEFA Nations League where the swept their neighbors Belgium en-route to a runaway victory in Group 4.
The Oranje are in tremendous form losing just one qualifier at Turkey and going unbeaten in Nations League play with a handful of veterans leading an ever increasing and seemingly endless group of young wonderkids. It’s a favorable path for a deep knockout run, as a Pot 2 team with the host country Qatar and then a favorable Group B opponent.
Belgium gets one last run at international glory, as a golden generation of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, and Jan Vertonghen among others aren’t getting any younger. The Red Devils don’t have as easy a path as the Dutch and likely have a Round of 16 knockout game with either Germany or Spain from Group E but they have the top end talent to compete at the very top of the world.
Sam - Brazil
This is sort of a homer pick as my wife is Brazilian. If I don’t pick them I might be served divorce papers.
But the talent in Brazil is too much. Vinicius and Neymar will lead the way but selecao also features the likes of Lucas Paqueta, Gabriel Jesus, Richarlison, Marquinhos, Fabinho, Allison, Ederson, and the list goes on and on.
I originally was going to go with France but the losses of Presnal Kimpembe and Christopher Nkunku will be too much. It’s also extremely difficult to repeat as World Cup champion.
The veterans of Brazil such as Thiago Silva will get to go out on top and will be lifting the trophy at the end of the tournament.
Josh - Netherlands
The Netherlands has a solid squad that will surprise many who did not expect much from them.
Solid players like Remko Pasveer, Justin Bijlow, Virgil Van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Xavi Simons, and Noa Lang provide quality all over the field for The Netherlands, which will help them make a long run in the tournament.
A part of Group A featuring Ecuador, Senegal, and hosts Qatar, a top two should be an easy accomplishment for this Netherlands squad. I think you will see The Netherlands atop Group A.
Entering the Round of 16, The Netherlands will easily bypass Group B’s Iran to progress to the Quarterfinals, where they will face a highly praised Argentina. As much as I would love to see Messi lift the World Cup, I think this Argentina squad will slip at some point. That point will come in the Quarterfinals, as The Netherlands will survive and move on to the Semifinals. Like Argentina, I also feel Brazil is one of the highly touted teams entering Qatar that will fall short.
The Netherlands will face off against a newly invigorated Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal. After conquering the likes of Argentina and Brazil, no one is stopping The Netherlands as they secure their first World Cup title!