- Joined ESPN in 2014
- Journalist covering gambling industry since 2008
Sportsbooks have installed Brazil as the favorite to win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with France, England and Spain among the top contenders.
After the draw was released Friday, Caesars Sportsbook opened Brazil as the favorite at 5-1. France is next at 11-2, followed by England at 601 and Spain at 15-2.
The United States is an 80-1 long shot. Mexico is 100-1 at Caesars Sportsbook.
The USMNT was placed in Group B with England, IR Iran and the winner of the last remaining European playoff. Either Scotland or Ukraine will face Wales in June for the final European spot at the World Cup. The U.S. will face the playoff winner in its World Cup opener on Nov. 21, before facing England on Nov. 21 and IR Iran on Nov. 29.
England opened as a -400 favorite to win the group with USMNT next at 6-1.
Odds to win the 2022 World Cup have been up for years, and bookmakers in the U.S. are already facing significant liability on the Americans. Caesars Sportsbook’s liability on the USMNT winning the World Cup has reached seven figures, according to assistant director of trading Adam Pullen. It’s only going to grow, too, Pullen added.
“Usually the U.S. and Mexico are the teams that if they ever do win, we’re going to be in big trouble,” Pullen said. “The liability’s going to be there, and as bookmakers we’re not going to want them to win, but as patriotic Americans, it would be great to see them advance far. I don’t know how much patriotism it will take for me to overlook a huge amount of liability.”
Other top contenders, according to Caesars’ odds, include: Germany (10-1) and Argentina (11-1). Belgium and Portugal are each at 12-1.
Costa Rica, which beat the U.S. 2-0 in qualifying this week, is the biggest long shot, listed 1,500-1 at Caesars Sportsbook.
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