World Cup 2022 – Breakdown, Predictions, & Inevitable Tears

I can’t count how many times the English national team has made me cry.

Growing up in the UK, it didn’t matter whether you are a local butcher or the richest man in town, football was, and remains today, a religion. During the ’96 Euro, our middle school teachers wouldn’t teach, they would just wheel in a TV and put on the England match. Businesses would shut down early, streets were practically empty… the entire country watched our team together.

And that was the EURO, not the World Cup.

Football is the national sport for the majority of countries in the world and the World Cup viewership is 10 times that of the Super Bowl. It is the greatest and most popular sport on the face of the earth and for 30 days this fall, countries will shut down and willingly suffer economic downturns to watch 64 games for a glimmer of hope to see their team lift The Jules Rimet Trophy.

It’s the world’s version of March Madness on Nyquil chicken. Let’s see who has a realistic chance and who’s going to go home a crying 36 year old. Predictions ahead.

Group A

CountryBest FinishOdds to WinOdds to Advance
Qatar1st time in WC+1400+500
EcuadorRound of 16 2006+600+100
SenegalQuarter finals 2002+450-138
NetherlandsRunners-up ’74, ’78’, 2010-250-800

Netherlands should run away with the group with their talent in attack, 2nd will come down to the last group game between Senegal and Ecuador, where I think Senegal will come out on top. Sadio Mané will get them to the knockout stages. Qatar, thanks for the beautiful stadiums.

Group B

CountryBest FinishOdds to WinOdds to Advance
EnglandWinners 1996-300-2000
IranNever out of group stage+2000+400
USAThird 1930+550+100
WalesQuarter finals 1958+600+110

On paper, England should win the group. They always seem to have a slip up to make things harder on themselves, but their young talent should get them there. England will advance as group winners, 2nd again will come down to USA vs Wales. Wales will have the best player on the pitch (Gareth Bale) and he put the team on his back and got them to their first finals tournament since 1958. Think they will squeak by the USA 2-1 and finish 2nd. Sorry USA, but it will be an early exit.

Group C

CountryBest FinishOdds to WinOdds to Advance
ArgentinaWinners 1978 & 1986-250-1200
Saudi ArabiaRound of 16 1994+2000+500
MexicoQuarter finals 1970 & 1986+500-110
Poland3rd place 1974 & 1982+400-110

Messi and company should finish top of this group fairly easily, but 2nd place is going to be interesting. Mexico had trouble scoring through qualifying and hope that can change at the tournament. Poland has good midfield setup, and of course one of the best finishers in the World Cup in Robert Lewandowski. This will come down to goal difference and Mexico’s struggle with scoring will rear its head. Argentina 1st, Poland 2nd.

Group D

CountryBest FinishOdds to WinOdds to Advance
FranceWinners 1998 & 2018-250-1200
AustraliaRound of 16 2006+1000+225
DenmarkQuarter finals 1998+300-175
TunisiaNever out of group stage+1200+250

The defending champs with Mbappe will stroll through this group and easily finish 1st. Denmark should hold onto that 2nd place with relative ease also. Australia and Tunisia, we’re sorry, but early flights home for you (I hear Qatar Airways is fantastic).

Group E

CountryBest FinishOdds to WinOdds to Advance
SpainWinners 2010-120-900
Costa RicaQuarter finals 2014+3300+600
GermanyWinners ’54, ’74, ’90, 2014+120-600
JapanRound of 16 2002, 2010, 2018+1000+333

The two powerhouses in this group will advance: Germany and Spain. The only question is who will win, and who will finish 2nd. Spain are favorites to win the group, but I like Germany with the + money. They have a new coach since the last World Cup and their explosive wingers in attack (Gnabry & Sane) will be the difference.

Group F

CountryBest FinishOdds to WinOdds to Advance
Belgium3rd place 2018-188-900
CanadaNever out of group stage+1200+275
MoroccoRound of 16 1986+1000+200
CroatiaRunners-up 2018+250-175

Belgium will come out on top of this group fairly easy. This could be the last time we see this fantastic generation of footballers together. Hazard, De Bruyne and Lukaku are great talents and should lead this experienced team. Croatia will give them a tough game, but will finish 2nd in this group behind maestro Luka Modric.

Group G

CountryBest FinishOdds to WinOdds to Advance
BrazilWinners ’58, ’62, ’70, ’94, 2002-225-900
Serbia4th place 1930, 1962+550+125
SwitzerlandQuarter finals ’34, ’38, ’54+450+100
CameroonQuarter finals 1990+1200+240

Brazil will be Brazil and roll through the group stages, just a matter of how many goals they score. Now 2nd place is definitely up for grabs in this group, but the defense and midfield of Serbia will keep them in their games and they will grab 2nd in this group.

Group H

CountryBest FinishOdds to WinOdds to Advance
Portugal3rd place 1996-150-550
GhanaQuarter finals 2010+1100+225
UruguayWinners 1930, 1950+200-200
Korea Republic4th place 2002+1100+225

This is the group where many surprises will happen. First, Portugal will advance but it will be in 2nd. Cristiano Ronaldo is still great, but his defense isn’t the same. Uruguay will struggle and not make it to the next round, which means… Ghana +1100 is my pick to win this group. Ghana has a lot of players who play across the top leagues in Europe and are young and hungry. There’s always one surprise a World Cup and this is my bet for that one.

*Note: odds are not a recommendation to play any of these games as actual bets, this is for entertainment purposes only.

Festival Updates

SportsTechX, The Player’s Impact & MassChallenge Join as Major Conference Partners

We're excited to announce some key programming and networking partners for the PokatokX sports conference.

GeneralOur Takes

AL Wild Card Race Heats Up As October Approaches

Jay Arnold talks about the AL Wild Card Race as three teams look to lock down two spots left in the post-season as we close in on October.

GeneralOur Takes

NL Wild Card Race Sets Up Thrilling Conclusion to MLB Regular Season

Jay Arnold dives into the NL Wild Card Race and predicts who he thinks finds their way into the Major League Baseball postseason.

Our Takes

Champions League Predictions

With Champions League action about to kick off in Europe, Bav gives his predictions on who he sees advancing from the Group Stage.