2022 World Cup Odds and Picks for Matchday 1&2

Christian Pulisic United States soccer player
USA’s midfielder Christian Pulisic (L) takes part in a training session at the team’s training camp in Doha on November 16, 2022, ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup football tournament. Ozan Kose OZAN KOSE / AFP

Let’s begin our venture into World Cup betting as we’ve hand-selected the best picks for Sunday and Monday’s opening Qatar 2022 games. You can also check the futures odds to win the tournament in order to get a better idea of which teams are deemed stronger as the event progresses.

Read on for this week’s World Cup Matchday 1 & 2, betting odds analysis and previews for Group A and Group B fixtures, involving:

  • Qatar vs. Ecuador
  • England vs. Iran
  • Senegal vs. Netherlands
  • USA vs. Wales

Qatar vs. Ecuador

Sunday, November 20 – 11:00 AM EST at Al Bayt Stadium

The World Cup Opening Fixture Tradition Continues

Qatar and Ecuador will be opening the World Cup festivities on Sunday morning. A reoccurring trend has a huge potential of repeating itself when the nation host and the youthful South American squad battle.

The World Cup hosts own the lone home-field advantage during the tournament, and although they’re big underdogs, the Asian champions can emerge as Group A dark horses. That said, with 33 goals conceded in their 18 meetings against top 50 ranked teams, it points us towards another opening World Cup fixture that delivers goals.

The previous four World Cup opening games have seen a total of 17 goals. Qatar boasts an impressive partnership in the final third as Akram Afif has been supplying Almoez Ali with the goods, as the latter netted nine goals during the 2019 Asian Cup and another four at the Gold Cup.

Ecuador scored 27 goals during their World Cup qualifying campaign, the highest total ever reached by an Ecuadorian team in the qualifiers.

The Pick

With two teams capable of finding the net, expecting both teams to score, removes the nerve-racking approach of picking an outright winner.

Soccer Pick: Both Teams to Score (+110) at Bet365

England vs. Iran

Monday, November 21 – 08:00 AM EST at Khalifa International Stadium

The Three Lions Will Dominate Iran

World Cup history hasn’t been kind to Iran, as they’ve won just two games, lost nine, and drawn four on the big stage. Their previous two World Cup appearances delivered just three goals, and their opening Group B fixture will be against last year’s European Championship finalists.

England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in France and lost. They then went on to the Euro 2020 finals and lost. Is 2022 the year of the Three Lions?

Despite recent form suggesting otherwise, the English regularly impress in major competitions. With defending Golden Boot holder Harry Kane spearheading the attack, they should have no issues dominating Iran in their Group B opener.

During the Euro 2020 competition, this squad won four games without conceding a goal and allowed just two goals throughout the tournament.

The Pick

Backing England to win to nil can significantly assist the juiced moneyline and give us some excellent betting value.

Soccer Pick: England Win to Nil (-120) at PointsBet

Senegal vs. Netherlands

Monday, November 21 – 11:00 AM EST at Al Thumama Stadium

Value on the Dutch Moneyline

Of all the top 10 ranked teams entering Qatar, the Netherlands is one of the few that have delivered a trustworthy level of form as they remain undefeated in 2022, winning six with two draws. And when we look deeper into their win/loss record, they haven’t suffered defeat since Euro 2020, making it 15 consecutive games without losing a game.

On the other hand, Senegal has won just four of its last 10 games. However, they possess a goal-scoring threat despite losing Sadio Mane to injury and the Dutch have notably allowed the opposition to score in six of their previous eight.

The Picks

While both teams may find the net in this game, the Oranje’s current form and squad depth are too tempting to ignore that moneyline value at -160.

Soccer Pick: Netherlands to Win (-160) at Caesars Sportsbook

Soccer Pick: Both Teams to Score (+120) at PointsBet

USA vs. Wales

Monday, November 21 – 02:00 PM EST at Al Rayyan Stadium

The Game That Could Decide Group B’s Runner-Up

While England is expected to top the World Cup’s Group B, the debate has continued on whether the USA or Wales has the greater ability to land the second-placed position and reach the playoff stage of the tournament. Well, this dispute could be settled in their opening game, as they’ll face each other on Monday afternoon.

As the aforementioned implications will be on the minds of both USA and Wales managers, we shouldn’t expect an all-out slugfest where defenses are willing to open too much. The Welsh defense plays deep at the best of times, so we can expect another tight back four as Gareth Bale and co. float around the top end laying in wait for a counterattack.

The US squad is also solid in defense and rarely allows the opposition to score. After winning last year’s Gold Cup, they finished this North American continental competition with just one conceded goal.

The Picks

The winner of this game could easily be decided with a 1-0 margin, but it could equally end in a bore draw. For this reason, our top betting prediction is backing the under 2.5 goals and a half-time draw.

Soccer Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (-194) at FanDuel

Soccer Pick: Half-Time Draw (-110) at Bet365

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