Gonzalo Montiel’s penalty concluded the 2022 World Cup as Lionel Messi and Argentina lifted the famous trophy.
As Albiceleste celebrate, the other 31 teams will interrogate.
Fans, players and coaches are already well into their inquests on what happened on the pitch in Qatar. Deciding what went right and what didn’t.
Punters go through a similar process. ROI and profit/losses are calculated, as are the processes that led to the decisions.
I’ve made plenty of mistakes in the last few weeks and every one of them is a learning opportunity. Here are my betting lessons for the 2022 World Cup.
It’s rare for a major tournament winner to encounter too many tough matches. Argentina’s path to the final was a fair bit easier than it might have been. No France/Denmark in the round of 16, no Brazil in the semis. Their quarter-final with the Netherlands was Argentina’s most difficult match before the final.
France’s route was similarly manageable. A tricky quarter-final against England but other than that, it was plain sailing for Didier Deschamps’ side. Their round of 16 opponents had odds of 280.00 to win the World Cup. Their semi-final opponents had pre-tournament odds of 351.00. Offer that path to any pre-tournament favourite and they’d snap it up.
As we’ve so often seen, major tournaments are won by the teams that take the fewest hits along the way. World Cups are brutal with matches every three/four days over the course of a few weeks. If you don’t get knocked out by another big side, the match will tire you out.
Of the 10 pre-tournament favourites, only France and Argentina won two matches against another of those teams. Morocco were the only side to win three ties against one of those 10 teams.
The Netherlands were the only other side from those 10 that Argentina faced before France in the final. They needed penalties to get past them both which shows how fine the margins are at the top. If you don’t get knocked out by one of those big sides, the match will tire you out to an extent
The changes to suspension rules created a big opportunity for betting value. Unlike in previous tournaments, players would not have missed the 2022 World Cup final by earning multiple bookings. Only a red card would have caused a suspension.
A wipe after the quarter-final also affected matters. Many players used this as an opportunity to add a little extra in challenges in the quarters.
The data is plain to see. In the round of 16, there was an average of 1.875 cards per match in the eight games. During the quarter-finals and before the yellow card wipe, there was an average of 6.75 cautions per game and 0.5 sendings-off. There was a red for one player and yellows for 14 others in that Netherlands vs Argentina game that does much of the heavy lifting. Still, all four games had over 35 booking points so it’s something to keep an eye on in 2026.
It was Turkey at the 2020 European Championships. A near-faultless qualification campaign was combined with a solid defence and a winnable draw to create a perfect storm of value. The odds dropped with every think piece as the betting hipsters (myself included) offered up Turkey as the value pick. Zero points and eight goals conceded in three was the result.
This time was supposed to be different. Denmark were the value banker. A remarkable European Championships last year and a winnable draw at this World Cup. They had a fine record against group-favourites France who were themselves struggling with injuries. I had them to top the group. One goal and one point from three games was the result.
These two examples are cautionary tales for the next major tournament. This was a Denmark team coming out of a period of overperformance. Last year, Turkey were going through something similar. While it may be true that both teams were a little overpriced initially, the pre-tournament buzz shortened the odds to the point where they should be counted against.
If enough light is shining on a dark horse, it ceases to exist.
I was initially sceptical of Jacqui’s article on warm weather nations at the World Cup. This tournament has converted me. There’s something in that old cliche. +12.36% ROI for the Asian handicap market and +151.8% ROI for the 1X2 is proof of that. We can thank Saudi Arabia for much of that good work. Their win over Argentina on matchday 1 brought in the lion’s share of profit but there is still something there. It’s definitely something to look out for in 2026.
This is the final and the most important betting lesson I learned at the 2022 World Cup. The 2022 World Cup Betting Value Report Cards was the first edition of the series that wasn’t profitable overall.
A skim reader of the article may find that hard to believe. After all, eventual winners Argentina were the highest-rate team in the piece. Belgium were bottom and endured an embarrassing early exit.
But much like Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 heist classic, Ocean’s Eleven, my 2022 World Cup Value Report Cards had a sharp opening, an exhilarating ending and a lot of forgettable moments in the middle.
My combination bets for the various groups lacked the chemistry of Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan. There was just no cohesion.
A lot of that was down to my feast or famine approach to some of the groups. I went too big in groups like D, E and H. I had an exact finishing order in my mind and my bets were based on that, ignoring the value picks that didn’t follow my script. With my expectation that France would underperform, I went big on Denmark to top the group at 4.00 odds.
Group E wasn’t much better. 3/4 of my best bets on Group E teams lost. Not even a 4.50 winning punt on Japan to qualify could salvage things. But the biggest losses came from Group H. All four bets lost as I pinned too many of my hopes on Uruguay beating Portugal to top spot.
I should have played it a little safer with the C and D bets and gone further with the A+ and F grades. Although most had small stakes, only three of my 18 bets at 2.80+ odds cricket world cup betting rates2022 World Cup： 5 Betting Lessons Learned won. I want that to change next time.
The preparation for the 2024 European Championships starts here. Only 543 days to go…
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