The World Cup only comes around once every four years, unless they bizarrely award it to Qatar where it must be played in the winter, in which case, it comes around every 4.5 years. We’ll have a full betting preview coming before the World Cup begins but here are our power rankings, from 1-32 of the teams in Qatar.
1. Argentina (+550)
Messi’s 5th and final chance to bring the World Cup back to Argentina. We think it’s coming home (*to Rosario).
2. France (+750)
No team has longer odds than France’s +850 to be eliminated in the group stage.
3. Brazil (+320)
Since Brazil won its first World Cup in 1958, its longest drought without a cup has been 24 years. If they don’t win it all in Qatar, their winless streak will reach 24 years.
4. England (+750)
England could benefit from matching up with a weak Group A second place side if they win Group B.
5. Belgium (+1700)
No European team’s players will have more familiarity with each other than Belgium, who have fielded a similar lineup with Courtois, De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, and co. for years.
6. Germany (+1000)
It is Spain (-115) and not Germany (+115) that is the current favorite to win Group E.
7. Uruguay (+3800)
I don’t hate Federico Valverde for Golden Ball at 80-1.
8. Denmark (+2400)
Denmark beat fellow Group D competitor France twice this season in Nations League games and will have confidence from making the semifinals at Euro 2020.
9. Netherlands (+1200)
Netherlands finished second in 2010, third in 2014, and then missed the tournament in 2018. No team has an easier path to the quarterfinals, with the Dutch having been placed in the weakest group and getting the second place in Group B, which could be the U.S., Wales, or Iran.
10. Spain (+750)
Sergio Busquets is the only player remaining from Spain’s 2010 cup winning team. Jordi Alba was on Spain’s 2012 European championship team.
11. Croatia (+3800)
Croatia is old. Luka Modric, who won the Golden Ball at the last World Cup, played in the 2006 World Cup.
12. Mexico (+9000)
After being eliminated in the round of 16 seven straight times, will Mexico snap the streak in the good way (making the quarterfinals) or the bad way (getting eliminated in the group stage)?
13. Portugal (+1500)
It’s hard for the vibes to be worse than they are around Portugal right now. If there was a Cristiano Ronaldo under goals prop anywhere, we’d be all over it.
A popular sleeper pick, Senegal is the only team to not have a single player on their roster who plays domestically.
15. Serbia (+9000)
Serbia’s all-time leading scorer, Aleksandar Mitrovic, has scored 52 goals in 56 league games since the start of last season for Fulham.
16. Switzerland (+9000)
For the second straight World Cup, they’ve been drawn with Brazil and Serbia. A draw with Brazil and a 90th minute Shaqiri goal against Serbia, saw them advance to the knockout stage, where they lost to Sweden.
17. Poland (+15000)
Robert Lewandowski has 28 career World Cup qualifying goals, but is still looking for his first goal at a World Cup.
18. Japan (+25000)
Japan has switched off being knocked out in the group stage and the round of 16 since 1998. The pattern this year indicates a group stage elimination.
19. United States (+15000)
Despite having almost unquestionably the most talented roster in team history, it’s hard to remember the last time the U.S. entered a World Cup with this little momentum.
20. Wales (+12000)
Wales makes its return to the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
21. Canada (+25000)
Captain Atiba Hutchinson made his international debut for Canada in 2003.
22. Ecuador (+21000)
The team can’t complain about their draw, which sees them open the tournament against Qatar.
23. South Korea (+25000)
This is South Korea’s tenth straight World Cup. The breakdown:
1 Round of 16
7 Eliminated in the group stage
24. Morocco (+25000)
The form of Youssef En-Nesyri will be a huge factor. The striker, who scored a sweet header to secure a 2-2 draw with Spain at the last World Cup, had 18 La Liga goals for Sevilla in 2020-21, but has not scored once in league play this season.
25. Iran (+55000)
With an average age of 28.9 years, Iran is the oldest team in the tournament.
26. Ghana (+25000)
Ghana is the youngest team in the tournament with an average age of 24.7… The team’s most capped player, Andre Ayew, actually plays professionally in Qatar.
27. Cameroon (+25000)
Cameroon became the first African team to make a World Cup quarterfinal in 1990, but have not made it back since.
28. Tunisia (+55000)
This is Tunisia’s sixth chance at getting out of a group stage. They did take a step in the right direction in 2018, snapping a 13 match winless streak by beating Panama.
29. Costa Rica (+55000)
They have a brutal draw, with Germany, Spain, and Japan awaiting, but the last time they were in a Group of Death they made the quarterfinals, beating Uruguay, Italy, and Greece along the way.
30. Saudi Arabia (+55000)
Has been outscored 28-0 in its last seven World Cup games against European teams. Watch out for Poland on November 26.
31. Australia (+55000)
The majority of Australia’s roster either play at home or, randomly, in Scotland. Only one player has more than 8 goals for the Socceroos. (Matthew Leckie, 13).