After missing out on the 2018 World Cup, Team USA is back in the mix for the 2022 World Cup, being held in Qatar. Here’s a look at their group, early betting odds and media companies that could win big for this year’s event.
What Happened: USA qualified as the third ranked team in the CONCACAF region with 25 points from 14 games and a 7-4-3 record. Canada and Mexico topped the table with 28 points each. Team USA’s 21 goals were second only to Canada’s 23.
USA struggled a bit down the stretch with their last three games a 2-0 loss to Costa Rica, 5-1 win to Panama and 0-0 draw to Mexico.
Team USA qualified for each World Cup from 1990 to 2014 before failing to qualify in 2018. The best finish for the USA was a third place finish in the 1930 World Cup. USA made it out of the group stages into the round of 16 in both the 2014 and 2010 World Cups.
Team USA Makes Group B: Team USA finds itself in Group B, what some have referred to as the Group of Death. USA is in a group with England, Iran and a fourth team that will be entering the tournament after a playoff.
England ranks fifth in the world in the FIFA rankings. Team USA ranks 15th and Iran ranks 21st. The strength of the group could be determined by the fourth team that makes it.
Wales is favorite to qualify and rank 18th in the world. Ukraine and Scotland rank 27th and 39th respectively.
If Wales qualifies, Group B would have the most teams ranked in the top 21 in the world, making it a potential Group of Death.
Team USA’s three matches for the group stage are:
Nov. 21: vs. qualifying team
Nov. 25: vs. England
Nov. 29: vs. Iran
If USA wins the group, they would play the runner-up from Group A. If USA finished second in the group, they will play the winner of Group A. A third or fourth place finish sends Team USA home.
Netherlands are favored to win Group A at odds of -200.
Betting Odds: After the World Cup draw, Brazil became the favorite from DraftKings Inc DKNG to win the 2022 World Cup at odds of +450. France and England rank second at +600, followed by Argentina and Spain at +750, Germany at +1000 and Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium all at +1200.
USA is low on the ranking for an overall bet to win the 2022 World Cup offered at odds of +10000 on DraftKings betting app.
England is the large favorite to win Group B at odd of -300. USA has odds of +1000 to win the group, followed by Wales at +1000, Iran at +1600, Scotland at +2000 and Ukraine at +2000. The odds will likely change when the fourth team is officially determined.
FanDuel, a unit of Flutter Entertainment PDYPY, offers bets on teams to qualify from the group stage with the USA offered at +135, ranking third behind England (-1100) and the play-in team (+100). Team USA to reach the quarterfinals pays +470, followed by +1600 to reach the semifinals and +4200 to reach the finals.
BetMGM, a unit of MGM Resorts International MGM and Entain, is offering Team USA at +8000 to win the World Cup and at +100 to advance out of Group B.
Betting is not available on Team USA’s first game as they don’t know the opponent. BetMGM early has odds on the matchup vs England with England favored to win at -165, a draw to pay +275 and Team USA to win at +500. A draw or Team USA winning pays +130. Those thinking Team USA can score at least one goal vs England get odds of -135 on over 0.5 goals.
Other North American teams Canada and Mexico found themselves in tough groups. Mexico is in Group C with Argentina, who is the favorite to win the group at -300. Mexico pays +450 to win Group C.
Canada is ranked last in Group F at odds of +900, with Belgium the favorite at -190.
BetMGM saw Team USA as the most popular bet for the 2022 World Cup with 30.4% of tickets prior to the group draw, ranking ahead of France and Brazil at 9.6% each. Brazil led the way with 32.2% of the betting handle, followed by the USA at 22.7% and France at 10.6%.
Harry Kane of England is the favorite to win the Golden Boot as the top goalscorer, an award he won for the 2018 World Cup, at odds of +550. Romelu Lukaku (+700), Neymar (+900) and Kylian Mbappe (+900) are the next favorites. Well known world superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are offered at +1200. Ronaldo tied for the most goals in the Euro 2020 competition.
USA players Christian Pulisic (+8000) and Ricardo Pepi (+15000) are the top ranked American players on the Golden Boot betting odds. Pulisic had five goals in 10 qualifying games and Pepi scored three in 10 games.
Media Stocks To Watch: One big winner from Team USA qualifying for the World Cup is Fox Corp FOX, the media company who has rights to air the games in the U.S.
Telemundo, owned by Comcast Corp CMCSA, will have Spanish language rights to 2022 World Cup games in the U.S.
Viewership for the 2018 World Cup averaged 5.0 million viewers on Fox Sports and Telemundo, down 37% from the 2014 World Cup.
Fox will enjoy having Team USA back in the tournament and could find itself the benefactor of a huge three-day stretch of sports coverage with an NFL Thanksgiving Day game on Thursday, USA vs England on Friday and the potential to air the University of Michigan vs. Ohio State football game on Saturday.
Outside the U.S., BCE Inc BCE will air the World Cup in Canada and could see strong demand for its games featuring its home country. The 2022 World Cup marks only the second for Canada and first since 1986.
In Mexico, Grupo Televisa TV has rights to air games, but also found itself sued for bribery charges with FIFA.
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