2022-11-18 · 3 min read · FIFA World Cup/Soccer
Brazil National Football Team and Lautaro Martinez

Sporting News | UEFA via Getty Images

Qatar 2022 is the most controversial World Cup ever staged, but it might also be the most unpredictable.
European teams have been crowned champions at every tournament since 2002, with the trophies shared among Italy, Spain, Germany and France, but expectations are swelling in Argentina and Brazil that the time has come again for one of the two South American powerhouses. There are plenty more sub-plots to occupy us: can Harry Kane become the first player to win two Golden Boots? Has Denmark replaced Turkey as everyone’s favourite dark horse? And which youngster will make the stage his own? Here’s my take on what will happen down in Qatar.
Winner: Brazil (+320).
Here’s the thing about predictions. Every World Cup Brazil are a potential winner, yet every World Cup since they last conquered in 2002, they have fallen flat. Three quarter-final exits and a semi-final that felt even worse (1-7). Anyway, with these forwards and more, it’s time to rise again.
Golden boot winner: Lautaro Martinez (+2000).
I’m going off the grid with this one. Harry Kane, Mbappe, Messi, Neymar, Benzema all have better odds as finishing the top goal-scorer but quite often it is simply a striker on a good team who takes home the award. Although I am backing Brazil, there’s a good case for Argentina to flourish at this World Cup. If so, in-form Martinez has the capacity to plunder goals, and plenty of them.
Best Bets
These are some bets that, considering the odds, are ones I feel relatively confident on and can make you a good bang for your buck.
Group H Winner (Ghana, Portugal, South Korea, Uruguay)
THE PICK: Uruguay (+188). Portugal are the favorites in this group and while they're a talented bunch, they are, at this point, weighed down by Cristiano Ronaldo. The megastar's career is clearly in decline but the team, despite a host of talented attackers like Rafael Leao and Bruno Fernandes, insist on running everything through Ronaldo. Portugal are the quintessential worse than the sum of their parts team and Uruguay will take advantage.
To Reach the Quarterfinals
THE PICK: England (-175). England have a potentially easy path in the early parts of this tournament. Argentina and Brazil have similarly cushy draws, but as the favorites, there is less value in picking them than doing it this way. That's especially true for Argentina, who could have a tricky round of 16 matchup with France in their future. All it takes is for the French to finish second behind Denmark and Argentina to win the group.
Stage of Elimination: Mexico
THE PICK: Round of 16 (+150). Do you know the last time Mexico weren't eliminated in the round of 16? It was 32 years ago in 1990 when they weren't in the tournament. That's so long ago that a country that no longer exists (West Germany) won the whole thing. Every tournament since, El Tri have finished exactly in the round of 16. And this time around, they have a group where they have a great chance of finishing second to Argentina and then their most likely round of 16 opponent will be either France or Denmark. Give it up for consistency.
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By: Aaron Cantin


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