The FIFA World Cup is the most popular sporting event in the world. Every four years, the top national team squads take to the field to determine the world champion of international soccer. The tournament is run by FIFA, the international governing body of world football.
It takes years for countries to qualify, as each continental body holds its own qualification process to fill their spots for the tournament. UEFA, the European governing body, sends the most teams to the World Cup because they have the most teams that compete at a high level. The tournament will be shifting from 32 to 48 teams for the 2026 World Cup.
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World Cup Matchups
Games are played in a round-robin, with eight groups of four making up the field. Every nation plays each team in their group once, and the top two teams based on points (three for a win and one for a draw) go through to the knockout round. Each knockout round game is just one 90-minute match, with the winner advancing and the final game winner to be named World Cup Champions.
The tournament usually takes place in the summer while players have an extended break from competing at the club level. Still, in 2022 the tournament will be played in November to accommodate the host nation of Qatar’s brutal heat.
Typical favorites for FIFA World Cup odds tend to be South American heavyweights Brazil and Argentina and European giants Spain, Italy, France, England, and Germany. Those teams have won every World Cup Final Matchups since 1950.
Point spreads usually favor the European sides but are never all that large because of the low-scoring nature of the game of soccer. Betting on teams to draw is often allowed when making FIFA World Cup picks. Sometimes, there will be an option to choose a team to either win or draw.