In 2022, the FIFA World Cup was held in the Arab world for the first time. The tournament was held Nov. 21 through Dec. 18, 2022, in Qatar.
Argentina won the 2022 tournament. It is the country’s third title.
For the first time since 1986, Canada competed in the World Cup. That bodes well for 2026 when the World Cup will be held, jointly, in Canada, the United States and Mexico. At that time, the tournament will expand to 48 teams.
As always, World Cup odds will prove interesting. The 2026 FIFA World Cup promises to be a big deal here, as you can bet on World Cup futures right now and bet on every single match and stage throughout.
How to bet on the World Cup in Canada
You can bet on World Cup soccer the same way you bet on any other kind of soccer. That starts with futures betting, where you can place a bet on a team to win the World Cup well in advance of the actual tourney. World Cup futures bets are locked in at currently posted odds when you make the bet.
That means even if those odds change ahead of (or during) the World Cup, if the team you bet on wins, you’ll get paid at the odds as they were when you placed your bet. That means the odds are usually better for real contenders the further away the World Cup actually is.
By the time a team wins its group or makes it through the first couple of rounds in the Knockout Stage unscathed, the World Cup betting odds on that team winning will drop significantly. That makes it best to bet on most teams well ahead of the World Cup kickoff.
World Cup futures may also include World Cup Group Stage records and finishing position betting, as well as Knockout Stage finishing position betting.
Outside of the World Cup futures market, you can bet on each match in the World Cup in a variety of ways. Just keep in mind that basic soccer betting is three-way betting or 1X2 betting. That means moneyline markets allow you to bet on one of three possible outcomes: a home team win, an away team win or a tie.
That said, there are no ties in the Knockout Stage of the World Cup, returning the betting to two-way, with only two possible outcomes. There’s also World Cup spread and totals betting, as well as other soccer-specific bets, including:
- PK: a spread bet on a game ending in a draw
- Double Chance: a moneyline bet at reduced odds that covers two of three possible outcomes—a home team win and tie or an away team win and tie.
- Cards: over/under on the number of red and yellow cards issued in a game.
- Corners: over/under on the number of corners awarded.
- GG or NG: a moneyline bet on both teams scoring (GG) or one or both not scoring (NG).
- Props: over/under and moneyline bets on team and individual in-game stats.
- Live betting: soccer betting during games at odds that change with the action in the game.
When & where is the 2026 World Cup?
- Location: Canada, the United States and Mexico
- Dates: June 3 to July 8, 2026
How does the FIFA World Cup work?
The World Cup final tournament format has been in place since 1998, but the 2022 World Cup will be its final time in use. The event is moving to a 48-team format in 2026.
The current format features 32 national teams in two stages, including the Group Stage and the Knockout Stage. The Group Stage sees teams compete within eight groups of four. Each group plays a round-robin tournament, with each team playing one match against the three other teams in its group. Teams earn three points for a win and one for a draw. The top two earning teams from each group advance to the Knockout Stage.
The Knockout Stage is a single-elimination tournament starting with the top 16 teams advancing from the Group Stage. The games are one-off matches decided by extra time and penalty shootouts if the game is tied. It starts with a Round of 16 where the winner of each group plays the runner-up of another. Winners advance through to the quarterfinals, semifinals and final. There is also a third-place match between the two semifinal losers.
The new 48-team World Cup format in 2026 will consist of 16 groups of three in the Group Stage. Two teams from each group will qualify for a 32-team Knockout Stage with an additional round.
World Cup betting tips
Here are three sure-fire tips for betting on the World Cup:
- Bet futures early and often: Bet on a team to win the World Cup early enough, and you’re sure to find some pretty decent odds. A year out, even a favourite like Brazil is at +500. Get World Cup winner odds that large, and there will be room left to bet more than one team and still make a profit if one of your sides comes through.
- History and recent results: Look at history, as in who has won the most recent World Cups. But look at more recent history as well, as in who has won the most recent international competitions, like the Euros, Copa America and Gold Cup. These results will tell you who is capable of winning on the biggest stage and who most recently fared best against more regionalized international competition.
- Shop around: Once you’ve developed your picks, shop around for the best prices on your bets. Look around at the different sportsbooks because finding better odds on your bets is as good as money in your pocket.
Bet on the Women’s World Cup 2023
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will go off in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 through Aug. 20, 2023. The 2023 tournament will feature 32 teams for the first time. The United States is a two-time defending champion, with wins in 2015 and 2019. However, Canada is coming off an Olympic gold medal win in Tokyo in 2021. The format includes a Group Stage with eight groups of four teams, and the top two teams from each group advance to a Knockout Stage tournament starting with a Round of 16, similar to the 2022 World Cup format. Qualifying will begin in September 2021 and end in late 2022.
You should be able to bet on Women’s World Cup qualifying and eventually the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup via provincial lottery-run and provincially licensed but privately run online sportsbooks.
World Cup past results
Here’s how the five World Cups in the new millennium have finished:
- 2022 – Argentia won 4-2 on penalty kicks over France at Lusail Stadium in Qatar.
- 2018 – France 4–2 over Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia
- 2014 – Germany 1–0 in extra time over Argentina at Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- 2010 – Spain 1–0 over the Netherlands at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa
- 2006 – Italy 5–3 on penalties after a 1–1 with France at Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany
How do teams qualify for the World Cup?
The host country automatically qualifies for the World Cup. The other 31 teams can qualify through qualifying competitions held by FIFA’s six continental confederations. Here’s how that stacks up:
- CAF (Africa): 5 teams
- AFC (Asia): 4.5 teams (not including host nation)
- UEFA (Europe): 13 teams
- CONCACAF (North and Central America and Caribbean): 3.5 teams
- OFC (Oceania): 0.5 teams
- CONMEBOL (South America): 4.5 teams
The half teams can qualify through inter-confederation playoffs.