Content Editor at Free Super Tips, Alex was born in the shadow of Old Trafford and is an avid Man Utd fan. After graduating from university he combined his love of football, writing and betting to join FST and now closely follows goings-on in all of the top European leagues.
Major international tournaments often throw up a few surprises and Qatar 2022 could be even more unpredictable, with the competition shoehorned into the middle of the European domestic season and taking place across November and December.
As the hours count down to kick-off in Qatar we continue to delve into all the World Cup analysis you could possibly hope for and next up is a special, in-depth look at some market trends from previous tournaments.
World Cup match betting trends
After analysing all World Cup group games across the last three tournaments – that’s 144 fixtures in total – and taking the top price quoted in the Racing Post each day, some interesting trends started to appear.
For example, backing all the underdogs blind would have returned a profit in each of the last three World Cups, with the betting outsiders winning 12, 11 and 12 matches respectively across these tournaments.
We can slice the data further and see that the underdog win rate rises from 24% to 27% in the final round of games, possibly due to many of the favourites having already wrapped up qualification to the knockout stage.
While a couple of extreme shocks, notably 17/1 South Korea’s triumph over Germany in 2018, could skew the data, slicing the data by the bookmaker prices show this isn’t the case.
The average price for Group-Stage outsiders is 4/1 and matches on both sides of this price have returned a profit, with the dogs shorter than 4/1 actually outperforming the bigger priced winners.
So, how do you apply this? As with all betting, there is obviously no guarantee, but backing against favourites that are evens or greater could be a good starting point.
Looking at the first round of group games, there are four fixtures that feature a favourite at 1/1 or greater. If you’re feeling lucky, backing the underdogs in this quartet of games results in a massive 110/1 accumulator.
World Cup group betting trends
The data analysed came from the last five World Cups and the prices used were printed in Racing Post’s pre-tournament World Cup pullout.
Once again, underdogs are the way to go.
Costa Rica’s 50/1 triumph in 2014 is the standout shock, but four of the last five reigning champions have been dumped out in the Group Stage and three of these were priced at 1/2 or shorter, with 8/11 Spain being the only exception.
There is a middle ground, though. The group favourite has topped the group in at least six of the eight groups in three of the last four tournaments, so it’s a case of picking and choosing which underdogs can upset the pecking order.
We’ve done exactly that, sprinkling in a couple of impressive underdogs among the favourites in our huge 132/1 World Cup group winners acca!
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