The 2022 FIFA World Cup has been one for the books. Even those who don’t follow the local Toronto FC MLS team or the Canadian national men’s team have probably heard a few headlines swirling about Qatar. There have been headlines galore, from huge upsets like Spain’s loss to Morocco (and then Portugal’s loss to Morocco) to Canadian captain Atiba Hutchinson getting creative when fixing a nosebleed against Croatia.
But what about fans who are closely following this tournament’s action? Even for the most hardboiled football fans, this World Cup has been a wild ride—and one that’s nearly impossible to predict. Over the World Cup’s 21-tournament history, favourites have taken home the trophy nine times, which only makes this year’s up-and-down clashes so memorable.
As the final approaches, all eyes are on the usual favourites, including France and Argentina. However, with so much uncertainty around this tournament’s favourites, not everyone is backing a team. For example, with the Canadian national team eliminated, many local fans are instead having fun with FIFA World Cup betting by selecting player props, like top goal scorer.
Viewed in this way, the question isn’t ‘who should Canadians back?’ Instead, it’s about focusing on which bets they can have fun with as the rollercoaster in Qatar continues. Here are some of the top bets available that don’t focus on the outright winner.
Argentina & France: Tournament’s Top Goalscorer
As mentioned above, predicting this World Cup’s top goal scorer is one of this year’s most popular bets. Much of this hype is because two of the world’s most elite players are competing for the crown: France’s Kylian Mbappe and Argentina’s Lionel Messi. With Mbappe only one goal ahead of No. 10, the race is on.
Adding even more excitement is France’s Olivier Giroud. Thanks to his efforts later in the tournament, Giroud is now also tied with Messi in terms of total goals scored. Will Mbappe continue his dominant performance and take home the Golden Boot Award? Or will teammate Giroud step ahead before Messi makes his claim? With so many quality goal scorers in contention, this bet is sure to challenge fans, especially those that find it hard to wager against Messi.
First Goal Scorer in the Finals
Clearly, there’s a lot of emphasis placed on striking in the World Cup. Even if a team has a backline full of Virgil van Dijks, none of it matters if they can’t tally points. For those who will focus on the World Cup’s top scorer, consider also predicting who will score the first goal in the Finals.
This allows bettors the chance to figure out which team will score first and which player will lead that charge. If you’re new to betting and you’re not sure how to analyse a team or player, then simply dive into the stats of your favourite pick. When do they normally score? Against which type of opponent do they struggle? And how does their offence stack up against an opponent’s defence?
In a similar vein, another common bet type is whether both teams will score in the final game. Of course, this wager requires bettors to understand a team’s offence—and how that offence will interact with the opponent’s defence. For example, in the past, a bettor might not back Messi to score a goal if they knew Sergio Ramos would be defending him.
The Holy Grail: Finals Over/Under
If you’re feeling comfortable analyzing a matchup’s offence and defence, then predicting the total number of points at the end of the game (called an over/under or totals bet) is a great option. This lets you analyze the game from multiple angles, comparing striking power to goalie readiness to the strength of the backline.
It’s also one of the most exciting bets, as the result doesn’t just determine a payout but also the champion of the FIFA World Cup. If you want to dive deeper into the details, then you can search out props and parlays that cover the over/under, which teams will score how many points, and even which players will score them.