World Cup 2022 – Odds for Every European Qualifying Group

World Cup Qualifying

FILE – In this Monday, June 13, 2016 file photo, Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic applauds during the Euro 2016 Group E soccer match between Ireland and Sweden at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, France. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has come out of international retirement at the age of 39 and is set to play for Sweden for the first time since the European Championship in 2016. The AC Milan striker has been included in Sweden’s squad for World Cup qualifiers against Georgia on March 25 and Kosovo three days later as well as a friendly against Estonia on March 31. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

  • European qualifying groups for the 2022 FIFA World Cup get underway this week
  • The traditional powerhouses are all expected to qualify
  • Which teams represent betting value to feature in the World Cup?

Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup starts this week. There are ten groups of varying intrigue, with each of the stronger nations favored heavily. Only 13 of the 55 teams will progress to the World Cup, with the group winners going straight into the World Cup group stages. Runners-up will have to navigate a playoff format.

The ten second-placed teams will be joined by the top two Nations League group winners (who finished outside the top two of the their qualifying group). These 12 nations will be split into three playoff paths, with the ‘path winners’ progressing to the World Cup.

Group A Odds

Team To Win Group To Qualify
Portugal -305 -3335
Serbia +300 -400
Republic of Ireland +1000 +200
Azerbaijan +50000 +2000
Luxembourg +50000 +2000

All Odds taken on Mar 23 from DraftKings

Cristiano Ronaldo might be aging, but Portugal remain one of the strongest teams in Europe. Ronaldo is still a factor, and the next generation of Portuguese talent should comfortably win this group. Portugal have been in good form, keeping five clean sheets in their last seven matches.

There’s obviously not much value in backing Portugal to win the group. The real contest is for second place here, and Serbia are deservedly ahead of the Republic of Ireland. Recent results are not necessarily an indication of the talent in this squad given how many players were unavailable for the friendlies.

Ireland didn’t win a match in 2020. They failed to score in their previous six. With Serbia possessing better top-end quality, Ireland need to be playing their best football to compete. That isn’t the case right now, and while it could change, it’s hard to have any confidence in them to finish in the top two here.

Best bet: Portugal to win group (-305)

Group B Odds

Team To Win Group To Qualify
Spain -560 -10000
Sweden +500 -400
Greece +1500 +250
Kosovo +5000 +1800
Georgia +10000 +2500

Spain had some mixed results in the Nations League. They wrapped the campaign up with a 6-0 thrashing of Germany, however, and they begin their qualification for the 2022 World Cup as comfortable favorites. The 2010 world champions went unbeaten in their Euro 2020 qualifying group, which also included Sweden.

The Spaniards needed an added time equalizer to draw with Sweden back in 2019. That was one of two matches they failed to win in the group, and Sweden will be quietly confident of making life difficult for the favorites.

Greece are unlikely to compete for a top-two spot, though they have a big role to play here. If they can take points off Spain or Sweden, that could be what sways the top of the group. There’s some value backing Sweden to win the group at +500 given Spain’s recent results.

Best bet: Sweden to win group (+500)

Group C Odds

Team To Win Group To Qualify
Italy -250 -10000
Switzerland +200 -1667
Bulgaria +4000 +600
Northern Ireland +5000 +700
Lithuania +25000 +2500

Italy and Switzerland are heavily favored to qualify from Group C. Switzerland are looking to qualify for the World Cup for a fifth successive time, but it’s far from a foregone conclusion. Northern Ireland endured some poor results in 2020, and they aren’t exactly laden with big names, yet they have proven themselves as a difficult opponent.

Switzerland hasn’t got a good record against Europe’s top teams. They struggled in the Nations League and lost to Denmark in their Euros qualifying campaign. Italy, too, are not the force they have been in previous years.

Northern Ireland and Bulgaria could spice this group up by taking points off the top two. Group C is open. Italy are deserving favorites having gone unbeaten in 2020, but don’t write off a surprise run from one of the other teams. If the Swiss can snatch some points off the Italians, they could force Italy into the perilous playoff format.

Best bet: Switzerland to win group (+200)

Group D Odds

Team To Win Group To Qualify
France -835 TBD
Ukraine +900 -125
Bosnia & Herzegovina +1300 +140
Finland +5000 +400
Kazakhstan +50000 +2500

France will be able to use these qualifiers to experiment. Didier Deschamps has an easy group and such a wealth of talent at his disposal – these matches could be an opportunity to see what some fringe players can do.

Overmatched in the Nations League, Ukraine’s form is not good. Bosnia & Herzegovina’s recent record isn’t much prettier, however, with four straight defeats and no wins in 2020. Edin Dzeko and Miralem Pjanic lead Bosnia, and the pair will need to be on top of their game if they are to qualify from this group.

Ukraine has experience and talent, though some may worry about the lack of a proven striker with Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka into their thirties. The price on Ukraine to qualify, or even win the group, looks like great value. They topped a Euros qualifying group including Serbia and Portugal – this squad has far more talent than Bosnia.

Best bet: Ukraine to qualify (-125)

Group E Odds

Team To Win Group To Qualify
Belgium -670 TBD
Czech Republic +500 -286
Wales +1500 +200
Belarus +15000 +2000
Estonia +30000 +2500

It’s an easy path to the 2022 World Cup for Belgium. They made light work of their last qualifying campaign, winning all ten of their matches and conceding just three goals. A similar performance is to be expected here even as some of the core members of Roberto Martinez’s squad deal with injuries and decline.

Wales and Czech Republic will do battle for second place. Both teams got some impressive results during the Nations League. This tussle could well be decided by the form of Gareth Bale, who has shown flashes of getting back to his best with Spurs recently.

Bale has carried this Wales team in the past, and he will need to do so again if The Dragons are to enter the playoffs.

Best bet: Wales to qualify (+200)

2022 FIFA World Cup Odds Tracker

Group F Odds

Team To Win Group To Qualify
Denmark -134 -835
Austria +150 -500
Scotland +1000 +200
Israel +3000 +900
Faroe Islands +30000 +3000
Moldova +50000 +3000

Scotland and Austria must have been delighted to avoid the juggernauts of European football. While Denmark are understandably favorites for this group, they are not as daunting an opponent as England, France, Germany or Spain.

The Scots and Austrians have squads equipped to make them hard to beat. Low-scoring matches will dominate Group F. The decisive factor may well be which team can find some attacking magic out of nowhere. Che Adams declaring for Scotland gives Steve Clarke a boost in the final third. Austria, in contrast, are short on proven international goal scorers. David Alaba is the only player in their squad with more than eight goals at this level.

Denmark are the best team in this group. It’s a safe bet to back them to finish top.

Best bet: Denmark to win group (-134)

Group G Odds

Team To Win Group To Qualify
Netherlands -375 -10000
Norway +500 -112
Turkey +700 -112
Montenegro +5000 +1400
Latvia +20000 +4000
Gibraltar +50000 +5000

The books can’t split Turkey and Norway. Even with Virgil van Dijk injured to start the qualifying campaign, the Netherlands should win this group comfortably. Behind them, though, it’s set to be a fascinating duel. Norway and Turkey will both be expecting to qualify.

Turkey have the international pedigree. They were excellent in Euros qualifying too, conceding only three goals in ten matches and taking four points off two meetings with France. Norway are Europe’s most exciting young team, though, and in Erling Haaland, they have arguably the most unstoppable striker in world football. The Dortmund phenom has six goals in seven international caps.

Results are yet to match the talent level of this Norway group, but they are going to breakthrough on the international sooner rather than later.

Best bet: Norway to qualify (-112)

Group H Odds

Team To Win Group To Qualify
Croatia -143 -670
Russia +200 -200
Slovakia +600 +140
Slovenia +3000 +400
Cyprus +25000 +2500
Malta +50000 +15000

This should be the most competitive group. Four teams enter with realistic hopes of finishing in the top two. Croatia endured a difficult Nations League, leaking goals at an alarming rate, and they have entered a period of rebuilding. The core of their World Cup final team has either begun to decline or retired – their place in the 2022 World Cup is far from guaranteed.

While this is a more level playing field than other groups, the overall standard is lower. Russia and Slovakia have not been picking up results. Slovenia’s recent record is better, but that’s largely due to some weak opposition. There is a lack of top-tier attacking talent to carry teams through outside of Slovenia’s Josip Ilicic.

Any combination of the top four could finish in the top two. With Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic still controlling the midfield, Croatia are the best team on paper, but there are plenty of opportunities to slip up here.

Best bet: Croatia to win group (-143)

Group I Odds

Team To Win Group To Qualify
England -500 -10000
Poland +400 -400
Hungary +1300 +250
Albania +10000 +2500
Andorra +50000 +20000
San Marino +50000 +20000

Many books have England as favorites to win the upcoming Euros. Gareth Southgate’s team should cruise into the 2022 World Cup. The Three Lions are ranked fourth in the world at the start of this qualification campaign, and despite some disappointing losses in 2020, look set to wrap this up with matches to spare.

Poland has the star names, notably Robert Lewandowski and Piotr Zielinski, which sets them apart from Hungary. Looking to appear in their first World Cup since 1986, the Hungarians will fancy their chances in what is a good draw for them.

They registered positive results against Russia, Turkey and Serbia in 2020. If they can repeat that feat when they face Poland, they could sneak into second place here.

Best bet: Hungary to qualify (+250)

Group J Odds

Team To Win Group To Qualify
Germany -1250 N/A
Romania +900 -250
Iceland +1700 +180
North Macedonia +5000 +1800
Armenia +10000 +2500
Liechtenstein +50000 +20000

Germany will have been delighted with this draw. With Joachim Loew leaving after the Euros and the squad experiencing considerable turnover, Germany should benefit from the opportunity to try players out in their Group J matches. The older generation have been replaced with a talented, though comparatively unproven, fresh crop of German players.

Although ranked outside the top 30, and having not made it to a World Cup since 1998, Romania are clear favorites to finish runners up. Iceland are not the team they were a few years ago – they have lost seven of their last eight.

Romania will be massive underdogs if they go into the playoffs, but they’re the obvious pick to join Germany in the top two here.

Best bet: Romania to qualify (-250)