The 2018 version of the FIFA World Cup lacked some luster as far as American interest goes. While the television ratings for the event were still massive, and the games themselves were largely great, the lack of representation by the American men’s national team stung.
While the United States isn’t close to being on the level of world powers like Brazil and Germany, the Americans had still been mainstays in the World Cup. 2018 marked the first time since 1986 that they had failed to qualify for the most prestigious sporting event on the planet.
Now that the 2018 edition is in the rearview mirror, we can finally turn our attention to the next one, which will take place in 2022 in Qatar, of all places. I could rant and rave all day about how ludicrous it is that Qatar is actually hosting a World Cup, but that’s a rant for another day. For now, let’s just focus on the soccer here.
The folks over at MyBookie have wasted no time. Despite the fact that the next men’s World Cup is still an awful long ways off, you can go ahead and place your bets now. There are a number of prop bets regarding the 2022 tournament already available for the wagering. If you’re into that sort of thing, why not give it a look?
It’s going to be an awful long time until we know whether these guesses will pay off, but let’s go ahead and dive into a few of the 2022 World Cup props from MyBookie.
Will the United States Qualify?
- Yes -500
- No +300
The Americans weren’t the only high-profile side to miss out on the festivities in Russia this summer. Italy, Ghana, Chile, the Netherlands and a host of other mainstays also failed to qualify. Those teams all come out of tougher federations than the United States, but all 4 failed nevertheless.
The failure of the Americans to qualify prompted the ouster of head coach Bruce Arena. He has since been replaced on an interim basis by Dave Sarachan, but U.S. Soccer is expected to name a full-time coach sometime fairly soon. The coaching search seems to be taking quite a while, but they’ll find their man or woman eventually.
Can the U.S. miss out on the World Cup again? It’s possible, but unlikely. It took a shocking defeat at the hands of Trinidad and Tobago (of all teams) for the United States to miss out this past year. A simple draw in that game would have been enough for them to qualify.
CONCACAF just isn’t a deep federation. Other than the United States, Mexico and occasionally Costa Rica, there are no teams many would consider to be anything special. Mexico and the United States are clearly the superior sides in CONCACAF, it’s just a matter of whether they will take the qualifying process seriously enough. Last time around, the Americans clearly didn’t.
There is a lot of interesting young talent for American fans to get excited about. The most obvious is Christian Pulisic, who currently plies his craft in the top division of German soccer with Borussia Dortmund. Despite still being only 19, Pulisic has already played his way into a regular rotation spot with Dortmund, and he has attracted interest from some of the best clubs in the world. Barring some sort of injury, Pulisic has the potential to be the best American player of all-time. Since he’s still so young, he won’t even have entered his prime years by the time the World Cup rolls around again in 4 years.
The U.S. has other solid young players playing in Europe, too, including Timothy Weah, Matt Miazga, DeAndre Yedlin and Julian Green, among others. There is a lot to be excited about. There is very little betting value on taking the U.S. to qualify for the next World Cup at -500, but 2017 showed us that nothing is certain.
At Which Stage Will the USMNT be Eliminated?
- Group Stage +200
- Round of 16 +200
- Quarterfinals +600
- Semifinals +1200
- Finals +2600
- USA to win World Cup +6600
When the U.S. last qualified for the World Cup in 2014, they were eliminated in the round of 16 after a hard-fought extra time loss to Belgium. It marked the second World Cup running that the USMNT lost in the round of 16 after losing to Ghana in 2010.
The Americans have been eliminated in the group stage of a World Cup 3 times ever, the most recent of which came in 1998. The best-ever finish came in 2002 when they ran all the way to the quarterfinals.
We obviously have no way of knowing when the Americans will be ousted in 2022, if they are at all. I’m as big a fan of the USMNT as the next guy, but I’m also not crazy enough to actually suggest they’re ready to win the whole thing. As amazing as it would be to nail a bet on the Americans to win the World Cup in 4 years at +6600, I’m not quite there yet.
I’d put my money on an elimination in either the round of 16 or the quarterfinals. You can get pretty good value on both of them at +200 and +600, respectively. A ton of this depends on which teams they’ll be facing, of course, and that’s something we won’t know for years. I like the betting value on either the round of 16 or quarterfinals.
Will 2022 Bring a Rematch of the 2018 Final?
- Yes +2500
- No -5000
France was one of the betting favorites heading into the tournament, so it was no surprise to see the French lifting the trophy after it was all said and done. Their opponent, however, was a dark horse. Nobody questioned Croatia’s talent coming into the World Cup, but few (if any) had the Croatians pegged for a deep run, let alone an appearance in the final.
France is one of the richest countries on the planet in terms of soccer talent, and plenty of the players that led them to glory this past summer will be back. You can bet Kylian Mbappe will still be terrorizing fools in the open field 4 years from now. Seeing France in the final again wouldn’t be a surprise.
Will Croatia get back? It’s highly doubtful. For one thing, the team’s captain, Luka Modric, is currently 32. The 2018 Golden Ball winner could certainly still crack the side at 36, but one would imagine his skills will have waned considerably by then. Modric is the heart and soul of the Croatian side, so a diminished version of him would certainly hamper their hopes considerably. Ivan Rakitic, another core piece in midfield, will be 34.
Mario Mandzukic, Dejan Lovren and Ivan Perisic will also be on the wrong side of 30 once 2022 rolls around. Mateo Kovacic and Ante Rebic will likely be tasked with becoming the new faces of the side. I just can’t see it. I don’t think Croatia will fall off a cliff by any means, but I can’t recommend betting on a rematch at +2500.
France, yes. Croatia, no.
Will Qatar Make the 2022 World Cup Final?
- Yes +25000
Qatar will qualify for the World Cup because the host nation qualifies every time. Will Qatar make a Cinderella run all the way to the final? Haha, good one.
Will Cristiano Ronaldo Play in the 2022 World Cup?
- Yes -150
- No +130
Cristiano Ronaldo, arguably still the world’s best player, was excellent for Portugal in Russia. He accounted for 4 of the 6 goals his country scored in the tournament despite having turned 33 back in May.
By the time the 2022 tournament rolls around Ronaldo will be 37 years old. We don’t often see players that old participating in the World Cup, but Ronaldo obviously isn’t your ordinary player. He’s clearly still in peak physical condition at 33, and I don’t for a second doubt his ability to play his way into the side 4 years from now.
Ronaldo is the best player in the history of Portugal, and one would imagine he will be afforded a spot on the roster if he wants it. There’s no telling what will happen between then and now. There is certainly a chance Ronaldo could still be lighting it up in one of the most prestigious leagues in Europe, but there’s also a pretty good chance he’s playing the twilight of his career somewhere in MLS. We don’t know.
I don’t think the 2018 World Cup was Ronaldo’s last. He led Portugal to its first-ever major championship at Euro 2016, and I think he will take at least one more crack at soccer’s biggest prize. It’s really the only thing he has yet to accomplish as a footballer, so I think the bet is clearly yes at -150 here.
2022 World Cup Final Kickoff Temperature
- Over 72.5 Degrees Fahrenheit -120
- Under 72.5 Degrees Fahrenheit -120
In case you didn’t know, Qatar happens to be a country that has no shortage of deserts. It is one of the hottest countries on the planet, which prompted FIFA to take the rare step to actually move the 2022 tournament. Rather than taking place in the summer when most of the major leagues around the world are in the offseason, the 2022 World Cup is going to span from November to December. They did this because it was going to be way too freaking hot to play a bunch of soccer matches in the middle of the summer in Qatar.
The 2022 final is set to take place on December 18 that year. We don’t yet have an official venue for where the final will take place, but Qatar is a pretty tiny country in the first place so the weather is basically the same everywhere.
Back on December 18 of 2017, the high temperature in the city of Doha was 75 degrees. About a week later, the high was around 85. That’s pretty hot, especially for the middle of December. Normal highs for this time of year seem to hover between 72 and 88. It very rarely seems to dip below 70 degrees during the day, so I think the over on 72 1/2 degrees here looks like easy money. Take the over here at -120. That’s not amazing betting value, but it still has a little profit potential.
Will Dave Sarachan be USMNT Coach in 2022?
- Yes +400
- No -700
Sarachan is coaching on an interim basis, but there is still a possibility he ultimately gets the job if the higher-ups are impressed with his performance. He recently led the Americans to a tough 2-0 loss to Brazil, but they bounced back with a 1-0 win over rival Mexico.
We have not gotten any indication as to what the brass of American soccer is looking for in a coaching candidate, but Sarachan was on Bruce Arena’s staff when he was sacked. Sarachan is a respectable coach, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. moved to hire a more high-profile name, especially in light of their 2018 failures.
This one is an easy bet. No way Sarachan is in charge in 4 years.
Will Harry Kane Win the Golden Boot in 2022?
- Yes +1000
- No -2000
Kane won the Golden Boot at the 2018 tournament after scoring 6 goals during England’s surprise run all the way to the semifinals. Kane became the first English player since Gary Lineker in 1986 to take home the honors at a World Cup.
Kane is still only 25, so he will be very much in the mix when England ramp it up again in 4 years. He is quickly emerging as one of the best English goal scorers ever, and he will presumably be among the Golden Boot favorites when the next World Cup rolls around.
I imagine someone like Kylian Mbappe or Neymar will be installed as the pre-tournament Golden Boot favorite, but I like the betting value here on Kane at +1000. He will still be in his prime in 2022, and strikers always have better chances of scoring goals in bunches than players at other positions. I think Kane is more than worth a punt at +1000 to repeat as the Golden Boot winner. This is my favorite prop bet on the board, as I think it has an excellent shot at ultimately paying out. Now you’ll just have to wait 4 years to count your winnings.