The 2022 World Cup gets underway on Sunday. It's one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and the fact that it only happens every four years adds to the excitement level. Even if you're not the biggest soccer fan, the World Cup is captivating. It's a month of high-stakes and emotional soccer at the highest level.
Of course, this is the first World Cup where sports betting is legal in many spots across the U.S. As a result, the betting action is plentiful with more expected in the next few days and throughout the duration of the tournament. BetMGM has odds posted for each individual game, teams to win or advance out of their group, stage of elimination bets, leading goal scorers and plenty of other options.
With the tournament just a few days away, there's already been plenty of noteworthy action, including a massive bet on the favorite to win it all.
Bettor can win $600k on Brazil
Brazil enters the World Cup as the betting favorite at +350. The Brazilians have the most titles in World Cup history with five. However, they haven't won it all since 2002. One bettor certainly hopes that drought ends this year.
One bettor at BetMGM risked $150,000 on Brazil to win the World Cup at +400 odds. If Brazil ends up winning it all, the bettor will profit a neat $600,000. As a result of the bet, Brazil's odds to win it all have dropped to +350.
As mentioned above, Brazil is the betting favorite and for good reason. They have no real weaknesses. In goal, they have Alisson, who plays his club football at Liverpool. On defense and in the midfield, they have standout talent such as Marquinhos, Thiago Silva and Casemiro.
The most recognizable name on Brazil is Neymar, who provides the attacking flair the Brazilians are known for. Neymar has battled injuries in recent years, but he appears to be in top form ahead of the World Cup. Joining Neymar in the attack is Vinicius Junior and those two are a lethal combination.
According to BetMGM, Brazil winning the World Cup would be a bad result for the sportsbook and this mega wager is probably a main reason why.
Brazil not the only big bet
There are plenty of other teams getting betting action ahead of the World Cup, though none are at the size of the wager on Brazil.
$14,000 to win $392,000 on Denmark to win the World Cup (+2800)
$2,500 to win $625,000 on Canada to win the World Cup (+25000)
$1,000 to win $100,000 on the Serbia to win the World Cup (+10000)
$1,000 to win $100,000 on the USA to win the World Cup (+10000)
Obviously, these are some longer shots and oddsmakers probably aren't expecting to sweat these bets as much as the Brazil wager. Nevertheless, if any of these countries can go on a surprising run, there will be some happy bettors out there winning six figures.
Argentina and USA join the list of popular bets
Which teams are receiving the most betting action ahead of the World Cup? Well, in rather unsurprising news, it's the two betting favorites and the hometown United States.
Argentina is actually the most popular bet at BetMGM. They have the second-best odds of any team at +500. Overall, 18.5% of the betting action is backing Lionel Messi in what could be his best and potentially last chance to win the World Cup.
Brazil is the betting favorite at +350 and it's getting a little over 13% of the betting action. The United States is a 100-to-1 long shot to win the World Cup, but that's not stopping people from throwing a few bucks down to incentivize rooting for their country. The USA has received 11% of bets, making it the third-most popular bet.
Other popular bets to win the World Cup include:
France +700 (9.1% of bets)
England +800 (8.0% of bets)
Germany 10-to-1 (7.4% of bets)
Belgium 14-to-1 (4.6% of bets)
Netherlands 14-to-1 (4.3% of bets)
Spain +800 (4.2% of bets)
Portugal 14-to-1 (4.0% of bets)
Popular bets to win their group
For a full group-by-group breakdown of teams ahead of the World Cup, check out Nick Bromberg's preview here. Which teams are the most popular bet to win their respective groups at BetMGM?
Group A: Netherlands -250 (41% of bets)
Group B: United States +550 (83% of bets)
Group C: Argentina -250 (56% of bets)
Group D: Denmark +275 (76% of bets)
Group E: Germany +110 (68% of bets)
Group F: Canada 11-to-1 (51% of bets)
Group G: Brazil -350 (62% of bets)
Group H: Uruguay +200 (54% of bets)