FIFA World Cup Soccer Betting Guide for 2021

The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of international soccer. World Cup betting in USA is a big deal just like everywhere else, and this is our guide to it.

On this page you’ll find the following:

Top Online Soccer Betting Sites in 2021

An Introduction to the FIFA World Cup

There’s plenty of World Cup betting advice on this page, but before we delve into that let’s cover the basics:

The FIFA World Cup finals are held every four years in different host countries

While the hosts get an automatic place at the tournament, qualifying takes place among FIFA member states around the world

Qualification is based on the various confederations of FIFA, which largely reflect the world’s geography based upon continents

Notable exceptions are Israel playing in UEFA (European) qualifiers and Australia in the AFC (Asian) confederation

Intercontinental play-offs exist for countries that don’t seal automatic qualification

A total of 32 teams (expanding to 48 from 2026) play at the World Cup finals

The current World Cup finals format is a group stage and a knockout phase

World Cup tournament finalists are split into eight groups of four and play the other three teams in their pool once

If a country wins or finishes second in its World Cup finals group, then they advance to the knockout phase

The knockout phase is then a series of single elimination rounds as 16 become one. Winners of the World Cup final itself are crowned the best soccer nation on planet Earth

How FIFA World Cup Odds Work

If gambling on soccer is new to you, then we’ll show you how it works. Here’s a typical example of FIFA World Cup odds for a game:

In this match, Brazil are favourites to win. For every C$4 staked, you would get C$6 in profit and a total return of C$10 if betting on the Samba Boys.

A tied game in 90 minutes is possible at whatever stage of the World Cup. In this scenario, the same C$4 stake would yield C$9 of profit and returns of C$13.

Supporting Germany in the betting, meanwhile, gives C$7.50 profit from a C$4 wager. You’d get C$11.50 back from that outcome.

We’ve expressed our example of World Cup betting in USA through decimal odds that are most common there. You may also see prices displayed the British way (in fractions) or in American moneyline terms.

For more on how those compare, see our handy odds calculator:


FIFA World Cup Betting Options

When it comes to the World Cup and betting options, you’re spoilt for choice. Here are some of the most popular FIFA World Cup odds with bettors:

Match winner (money line)

The example we touched on above is a World Cup bet in its most basic form. Who will win a match or will it be a tie?

Match result and both teams to score

Enhancing the three possible outcomes from who will win a World Cup match to six can happen by adding both teams to score. It’s either a yes or no next to home win, away win or draw.


How any game of soccer is shaping up at half-time and the result come the final whistle can be different. Again, the permutations are increased by betting on half-time/full-time all in one bet.

Handicaps or spread betting

Sometimes, World Cup qualifiers or finals group games pit underdogs against hot favourites. The latter look sure to win, but are a short price in the regular match result market to do so.

That is where handicap or spread betting comes in. Betting traders use such markets for exactly this kind of match. Using statistics, they’ll come up with a bracket or margin by which the favourites should win by.

If the better team can overturn an imagined deficit, then they’ve covered the spread/handicap.

Goalscorer markets

Which soccer player will score anytime, first, last, next or two or more goals in a match? Goalscorer markets are found across regular fixed odds, futures and live betting.

You can bet on who will be top goalscorer at the World Cup finals.

Outright winner

Speaking of futures markets, these are very popular for FIFA World Cup betting. Backing a country to win the whole tournament is a common bet.

To qualify

Bets on qualifying can mean a few different things related to the World Cup. It can be to reach the tournament finals or to advance from the finals group stage.

To qualify can also mean progress from a two-legged play-off tie or to win a knockout phase game at the finals that goes beyond the regulation 90 minutes.

Stage of elimination

You can also bet on which stage of the World Cup finals a country is eliminated. This can be anywhere from a group stage exit to winning the whole tournament.

What is FIFA World Cup Live Betting?

Past FIFA World Cup Winners

Only eight different countries in soccer history have lifted the World Cup:


We hope you’ve enjoyed our comprehensive FIFA World Cup betting guide. You should have everything you need to go out there and bet on the greatest soccer show on earth!

If you do have extra questions, then there’s more World Cup betting advice in our FAQs section.


What is the FIFA World Cup?

The World Cup is an international soccer tournament held every four years in a host nation which FIFA member countries have to qualify for. It is the most prestigious prize in the sport.

What are the most popular World Cup bets?

The most popular types of World Cup betting in USA in terms of markets are:

What are the best FIFA World Cup betting sites?

You’ve come to the right place to find out. Only the best World Cup betting sites make our list of top casinos on this page!

Can I bet on the World Cup on mobile?

Absolutely. Most bookmakers will make it clear throughout the tournament.

What is FIFA World Cup live betting?

Live or in-play betting is where you wager on soccer matches while they happen. FIFA World Cup odds on all qualifying and tournament finals games should have some live betting on offer.