Football World Cup Betting Guide

Learn how to place more winning bets on the world-renowned FIFA World Cup – the most followed sporting event in the world of Football!

Every nation's skilled football players compete to be the best at the FIFA World Cup. Among the clash of pride and patriotism are huge stakes predicting which team is taking home the trophy.

This guide will show you the basics of the World Cup sportsbook and how to make wagers like an experienced punter.

Betting on the FIFA World Cup

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup is a significant tournament held once every four years. 32 teams worldwide compete for the coveted trophy and the title of the best football team.

Numerous sports bettors worldwide have their money fixated on the World Cup due to the event's display of global-class football skills and strategies. Bookies have satisfied the appetites of punters worldwide with a rich selection of sports markets tailored explicitly for this football tournament. These markets let you make money by predicting a match's winner, each team's score gap, and who will be the World Cup champion.

Matched Betting vs Correlated Parlays

Below are two solid betting methods that increase your chance of making money during the World Cup.

Matched Betting

Betting on both outcomes is the basic principle of matched betting, where you can guarantee a profit no matter if your moneyline wins or loses.

To pull this strategy off, you need to create an account on a sports betting site where you will create your back bet and another account on an exchange site to make a lay bet. Back bets are made with free bets on the World Cup, which are regular promotions offered by the significant sportsbook. Lay bets are a wager you set opposite your back bet, such as Argentina losing the match. The profit from your back or lay bet will be enough to pay for the lay stake while earning you a nice profit.

Keep in mind that sports betting operators frown upon the practice and will suspend any bettor they believe is match betting. You can avoid this by doing matched betting a few times or making wagers that are likely to lose.

Correlated Parlays

Correlated parlays are made of World Cup wagers tied to one another. Correlated wagers increase the chance for these parlays to win due to the likelihood of all legs occurring if one of them happens.

An example of correlated wagers is Argentina getting over 1.5 goals during the first half and the entire game. If the team scores two points more than the total in the first or second period, they are likely to do so by the end of the match.

Note that you cannot create correlated parlays under normal circumstances since sports betting platforms do not allow you to add wagers from one game. To make correlated parlays, you must find bookies offering same-game parlays for the World Cup. Same-game parlays allow you to add multiple legs to a bet builder within a single game.

How The World Cup Odds are Determined

Every line or bet for the World Cup comes with its price or odds. Bookies use odds to show how likely that wager will win and its potential payout. Markets with a higher payout are precarious or are less likely to occur. An excellent example of a bet with a large payout is a low-ranking team taking home the World Cup trophy.

How do bookies know the price of a World Cup line? The odds are determined by consultants or line makers connected to sports betting companies. Experts consider the team/player's condition and historical performance to know their chances of winning against other nations or if they can complete a specific achievement during a game. Once the odds are determined, line makers will add the bookies' vigorish or the betting business' profit for the bet.  

All sports betting odds are displayed in different formats. UK sports betting platforms usually display their prices in decimal format, while US bookies have theirs in American format. The decimal odds are straightforward since it shows how much you can win with one pound or dollar stake. If you put $100 on France's moneyline with odds of 3.40, you get a payout of $340 or a profit of $240.

Odds with a minus sign are the stake amount needed to gain $100. American odds are rooted in bets made with a $100. If Brazil is set to win with -150, a $150 bet will get you $100. On the other hand, favorable American odds with a positive sign is the amount you will win if you bet $100. If Denmark were to win with +350 odds, a $100 bet could grant you $350.

Knowing how to read the prices on money lines or point spreads for the World Cup lets you find lines you are comfortable making.

Types of World Cup Bets

Anyone new to sports betting will likely be surprised at the variety of wagers made apart from picking the winning team. Below is the type of World Cup bets available in any sportsbook.


Wagers for predicting who will win a World Cup match are moneylines. Despite the weird name, even non-punters are familiar with this kind of wager. Prices for these lines tend to be the highest or lowest, especially in games with a significant performance gap between the competitors.

One example of a World Cup moneyline is +400 for Croatia and -120 for Argentina. Based on their prices, Argentina is favored to win against Croatia in that game. Meanwhile, Croatia offers a better payout than Argentina due to the team's slim chances of winning the game.

Some bookies offer three-way moneylines or the addition of a "draw" result where both teams tie. Prices for a draw largely depend on the performance gap between both football competitors.

Point Spread

Point spreads are about the gap or margin between the team's score at the end of a World Cup match. This soccer line is famous in games between a firm favorite and a low-ranking underdog. Even if the underdog loses, you can still win the bet if they cover the spread.

Spreads usually look like -1.5/+1.5 on a sportsbook platform. Scores with minus signs indicate the margin a favorite needs to cover the spread. A spread with plus signs is assigned for underdogs who need to have a specific margin at the end of the match. If you see a -2.5 next to Brazil, the team must score 3 points or more than the opposing team. Brazil winning 8-4 against Argentina means the team covered the spread of -2.5. On the other hand, Argentina also covers the spread of +2.5.

Totals Over/Under

Totals are bets based on whether the teams can achieve a higher or lower score than the predicted total. Most bookmakers determine the predicted total by the combined score of the competing World Cup teams. An over/under line is one of the most accessible wagers available since you only need to predict whether a team can over or underperform.

An excellent example of this line is Morocco over 2.5 and France under 2.5. If their match ends in Morocco winning 3-1, those who made an over bet win. However, under bettors win if Morocco wins 1-0.


Prop bets are wagers on different scenarios, milestones, or achievements. These lines provide actions not covered by moneylines, spreads, or totals, providing bettors with numerous alternative wagers for their favorite World Cup matches.

A good number of proposition bets are point spreads for the first or second half of the game instead of the entire match. Other notable game-period props include a draw result or no one scoring a goal right before halftime.

You can also find player-centric props, such as the first player to score a goal between England and France or if Kylian Mbappe will score a goal at any time during the game. Player propositions also let you bet on which players will get booked in a game.


Futures or outright are identical to props as alternative wagers to moneylines or spreads. What makes these lines unique is their prediction of milestones or achievements won at the end of the season. The most popular future is the World Cup Winner of the year or which teams will reach the finals.

Outright also has player bets, such as the top goal scorer of the current World Cup and who provided the most assistance for the entire tournament. One of the most wagered futures is the FIFA Golden Glove winner or who is the best goalkeeper of the World cup.


Accumulators are unique wagers made from more than one moneylines, spreads, totals, props, and futures called legs. No matter what kind of bet is added, this wager is a prediction that all of its legs will win. Losing a single one of its collective wagers would mean voiding the entire accumulator or parlay bet.  

Payouts for accumulators are incredibly high when more legs are added to them. A two-team parlay for the World Cup can grant you a 2.5 out of 1 payout, while a five-team accumulator has a 20 to 1 payout. This reward is due to the significant risk of losing just one leg.


Teasers are a parlay that lets you create your point spread wager for two or more games. If Croatia vs. Argentina has a +3.5/-3.5 spread, teasers will lower or increase the score, such as +5.5/-1.5.

The idea of a teaser is to create bet builders that can easily win since its legs increase the likelihood of a team covering the spread. Due to the reduced risk of the wager, teasers tend to have a lower payout than regular parlays or most straight bets. Teasers can still make you a decent profit if the score adjustment does not stray too far from the original.

World Cup Live Betting Mechanics

Sports betting platforms offer a unique market called live betting or in-play betting, where punters can make wagers during the middle of a World Cup game. It is possible to make moneylines even after halftime with this betting feature. With a game nearly over, most people can easily predict which national football team will win. You are reading this wagering system correctly.

What makes bookies confident in providing in-play betting? Every punter will likely wait until late in the game to stake money on the leading team, regardless of whether they are the favorites. The dynamic odds system of live betting will likely make you think twice about creating moneylines or spreads after halftime.

As the game progresses, in-play odds change to reflect the current standing between each team. If a favored team has a price of -150 to win before the match and is getting hammered by the opposing team who is two points ahead, the favored moneyline goes down to +300 during live betting.

In-play betting allows bettors to see the players' condition before making any bet. There is a chance Olivier Giroud has been benched from the France team due to unknown reasons, making them the underdog against Mexico or Australia.

Smart bettors can also take advantage of in-play betting if the exemplary scenario occurs. This includes Croatia having favorable odds of -130 pre-match but receiving +400 after conceding one point to Morocco before halftime. Seasoned punters will notice that Croatia had Dominik Livaković benched during the first period. If Dominik comes out to play for the second quarter and Sofyan Amrabat from Morocco receives a yellow card, Croatia's chance of winning increases. Professional bettors can profit more from a Croatia moneyline thanks to live betting.

3 Simplest Betting Tips

Set a Bankroll

A bankroll is a set of funds designated for sports betting, ideally for the World Cup. The increase or decline of your bankroll will help you know whether your bets are making you money. A decrease in your bankroll signals that you must rethink your following wagers.

Line Shop

Betting establishments tend to have closer prices for World Cup lines regarding moneylines, spreads, or totals. However, some bookies might have better prices than others, where their lines have a slightly better payout. You can find these sites by line shopping or going through at least five sports betting brands for your favorite World Cup match.

Look For Sharp Actions

A sharp is a clever sport betting term for a profitable punter who can find value bets for World Cup tournaments. Following their betting habits allow anyone to find profitable lines for the football tournament. You can find sharp activities on social media or forum group pages about sports betting, especially those discussing World Cup games.


What can I bet on at the Football World Cup?

Moneylines are the most common wager you can make during the World Cup, which is a bet on the winning team. Other wagers include point spreads, where you bet on whether the favorites or underdog will have a specific score margin at the end of a game.

What does a -150 moneyline mean for Brazil?

A -150 price shows that Brazil is the favorite for the match. These moneyline odds also show that you can earn $100 by staking $150 on Brazil to win.

What kind of proposition bets can you make during the World Cup?

You can find player props for athletes achieving specific milestones, such as the first player to score a goal. There are also team prop bets, for example, where you predict which team will have the most points by halftime.

Can you make correlated parlays during the World Cup?

You can only create correlated parlays through a sports betting site's same-game parlay promotion. This promotion allows you to take multiple legs from a single game.

Matched bets are always legal within jurisdictions that allow sports betting. However, bookies are against this type of bet and will restrict any punters they suspect are making back wagers on their platform.

Does your football moneyline count at the end of 90 minutes?

All World Cup bets are settled after 90 minutes or the average game time. Scores made during the extra time are not counted since there is a different market for them.

How can I find World Cup favorites?

Favorites have the highest possible odds or markets that give a low payout due to their likelihood of winning. You can also use American odds to find them, where the moneyline price with a minus sign is permanently assigned to favorites.

What happens to my World Cup bet if a match is postponed?

Your bet is valid if the game resumes within 12-24 hours. All bets are canceled if the game is scheduled later, with all stakes refunded.

After going through this guide, you should be confident in visiting branded sportsbooks and making wagers for your favorite World Cup games. Remember to wager responsibly and only risk money you are comfortable losing.