The World Cup is the world’s most popular sporting event and Americans are definitely not outliers when it comes to World Cup betting.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) predicts that US adults will bet $1.8 billion on the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar based on its first World Cup survey. AGA Senior Vice President Casey Clark predicted that this year’s tournament will be the “most bet-upon soccer event” in the history of the country.
“As the first World Cup with widespread availability of legal sports betting, this will certainly be the most bet-upon soccer event ever in the U.S.,” Clark said in a statement. “With more than half of all American adults having access to legal betting options in their home market, legal sports betting will deepen American fan engagement in the most-watched sporting event in the world.”
More than 20 million Americans will participate in World Cup betting
The AGA predicts that 20.5 million people in the United States will bet on the World Cup, representing 8% of the adult population. Of those bettors, the AGA survey found that:
- 9.8 million plan to bet online
- 6.0 million plan to place a bet with a friend
- 4.7 million plan to bet at a retail sportsbook
- 4.1 million plan to place a bet with a bookie
- 3.5 million plan to place a bet as part of a paid pool or fantasy contest
The survey found that far fewer people plan to join office or friend pools compared to US-based events like the Super Bowl and March Madness.
Surprise, surprise: Americans are betting on America
According to the AGA’s survey, around 5 million people in the US are betting on the United States to win the World Cup, more than any other team in the tournament. It’s an optimistic wager, to say the least. The United States men’s side has never won a World Cup and has reached the semifinals one time…92 years ago.
The enthusiasm is understandable, though. This is the first time most people in the US have had a chance to legally bet on their own men’s team in a World Cup tournament. The Stars and Stripes didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Brazil is the second favorite among US bettors followed by Argentina and Germany.
American team facing long odds to make it out of their group
How plausible is the Americans’ road to the World Cup final? Not very. FanDuel has the United States as underdogs in their group-stage matches against Wales and England. The team is the favorite against Iran, however.
England is the favorite to win the group, followed by Wales and then the US. In order for the team to make it out of the group stage and into the round of 16, it will likely need at least one win and a tie.
Sportsbooks favor Brazil to win the 2022 Cup
FanDuel has Brazil (+320) as the favorite to win this year’s World Cup. It would be the country’s sixth time hoisting the trophy.
Brazil is followed by Argentina (+550) and a trio of teams sitting at +750: Spain, England, and France.
The US is a long shot at +15000. A group of six teams, including host Qatar, have the longest odds at +55000.