World Cup betting: Oddsmakers favor USA in opening match against Wales

World Cup betting: Oddsmakers favor USA in opening match against Wales with Americans expected to wager $1.8B on this year’s tournament

  • Americans are expected to wager a whopping $1.8 billion on the 2022 World Cup
  • USMNT is the slight favorite in their opening match against Wales on Monday
  • Oddsmakers list Brazil as the overall favorite to win the December 18 final
  • US vs Wales will kick off at 2pm ET on Fox, Telemundo and streaming on Peacock 

It’s been eight years since the US Men’s National Team appeared in the World Cup, and in that time sports wagering has enjoyed widespread legalization in more than half of US states.

It means that this year’s tournament in Qatar will likely be the most bet-upon World Cup in US history, with Americans expected to wager a whopping $1.8 billion on tournament, according to industry projections.

The USMNT will kick off its World Cup campaign with a match against Wales at 2pm on Monday, and oddsmakers slightly favor the US side to win.

On Caesars Sportsbook, the moneyline last paid +145 for a US win (risk $100 to win $145), +210 for a Wales victory, and +200 for a draw. 

The US National Men's Team will kick off its World Cup campaign with a match against Wales at 2pm on Monday, and oddsmakers slightly favor the US side to win

The US National Men’s Team will kick off its World Cup campaign with a match against Wales at 2pm on Monday, and oddsmakers slightly favor the US side to win

USMNT captain Tyler Adams is seen in practice ahead of Monday's game against Wales. The moneyline last paid +145 for a US win, +210 for a Wales victory, and +200 for a draw

USMNT captain Tyler Adams is seen in practice ahead of Monday’s game against Wales. The moneyline last paid +145 for a US win, +210 for a Wales victory, and +200 for a draw

People make sports bets at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey in a file photo. Americans are expected to bet a whopping $1.8 billion on the 2022 World Cup

People make sports bets at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey in a file photo. Americans are expected to bet a whopping $1.8 billion on the 2022 World Cup

US vs Wales Odds 

Three-way Moneyline

  • USA +145
  • Draw +200
  • Wales +210

Over/Under

  • Over 0.5 (-1000) | Under 0.5 (+600)
  • Over 1.5 (-210) | Under 1.5 (+165)
  • Over 2.5 (+145) | Under 0.5 (-185)

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Futures bets favor Brazil to win the World Cup final on December 18, with a $100 bet on Brazil to win it all paying $340.

Brazil is followed in the odds by Argentina (+500), England and France (both +800). 

The US team, which has never before advanced to the World Cup final match, is still a distant long shot to win it all at +10,000.

Tied for the longest odds to win the final are Iran, Saudi Arabia and host nation Qatar, all listed at +75,000. 

The US team’s long odds aren’t discouraging record wagering on the tournament.

About 20.5 million American adults plan to bet on the biggest soccer tournament in the world, legally or otherwise, the American Gaming Association estimated last week. 

The majority plan to place bets online, with a bookie or at a physical sportsbook. 

The survey is the trade organization’s first for World Cup betting.

A general view outside the stadium ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between USA and Wales at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Monday

A general view outside the stadium ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between USA and Wales at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Monday

Thirty-one states plus Washington, D.C., currently offer legal sports betting, with five additional markets due to begin soon.

‘As the first World Cup with widespread availability of legal sports betting, this will certainly be the most bet-upon soccer event ever in the US,’ said Casey Clark, the group’s senior vice president. 

‘With more than half of all American adults having access to legal betting options in their home market, legal sports betting will deepen American fan engagement in the most-watched sporting event in the world.’

Legal wagering is currently available to 132 million Americans in their home states. That is up dramatically from the 2018 World Cup, when only 10 million had access to it in just three states.

That was the year New Jersey won a US Supreme Court case clearing the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting if they so choose.

Cristian Roldan of United States warms up during the USA Training Session at Al Gharafa SC Stadium on Sunday

Cristian Roldan of United States warms up during the USA Training Session at Al Gharafa SC Stadium on Sunday

Weston Mckennie of United States looks on during the USA Training Session Sunday

Weston Mckennie of United States looks on during the USA Training Session Sunday

Kellyn Acosta of United States looks on during the USA Training Session Sunday

Kellyn Acosta of United States looks on during the USA Training Session Sunday

The survey asked respondents what they would bet on if they were given $50 to make a wager on the winner of the tournament. The results were: United States (24 percent); Brazil (19 percent); Argentina (17 percent) and Germany (10 percent).

It also shows plenty of room for growth in terms of betting on the World Cup. Less than 3 in 10 Americans who plan to watch the tournament say they will bet on it.

As for Britain, roughly 50 percent of sports gamblers in the country say they are ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to bet on this year’s World Cup, according to a YouGov Direct study released in September.

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