FIFA World Cup betting is getting bigger and better as, for the first time, football’s most famous tournament will be expanded to 48 teams. That means more games for World Cup betting for the tournament which starts in June 2026. In total, there will be a massive 104 fixtures at the 2026 World Cup, a steep rise from the 64 matches in the previous edition.
The next World Cup will be jointly hosted by three nations for the first time. Canada, Mexico and the United States are sharing hosting duties. It’s the second time that the USA has hosted, while Mexico will host for a record third time, and Canada makes its debut as a World Cup host nation.
Argentina will head to the 2026 World Cup as the reigning world champions. At Qatar 2022 Lionel Messi put the feather in the cap of his astonishing career, as he led the Albiceleste to victory. Messi scored twice in the World Cup Final as Argentina claimed their third World Cup crown in a 4-2 penalty shootout against France following a 3-3 draw (AET).
FIFA confirmed that the three host nations will all automatically qualify, leaving 45 spots open. With qualification bids set to start in 2024, there is a lot to look forward to. UEFA will again provide the bulk of the participating nations at the World Cup.
Six playoff spots for a mini intercontinental tournament will settle the final two World Cup places. The AFC, CAF, CONMEBOL and OFC, all have one play-off spot open, while CONCACAF has two and UEFA none.
Even though the tournament is getting bigger, the teams at the head of the World Cup Winner betting market are not going to change. Brazil and Argentina are big presences in the market, breaking up the strong, heavy European contingent like France, England, Germany and Spain.
There will be 12 groups of 4 teams at the World Cup. From that, the top two teams will automatically move forward, joined by the eight best third-placed finishers. Once the World Cup 2026 draw has been finalised, there will be some interesting group stage betting options, before a new Round of 32 as things shift gears into the knockout stages.
Who will collect the Golden Boot at the 2026 World Cup? Will it be a superstar youngster like Bukayo Saka or Argentina’s Julian Alvarez? What impact will megastars Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé have? Or will someone from the veteran side of things like England’s Harry Kane, Brazil’s Neymar or the great Lionel Messi do the business?
|Qatar 2022||Kylian Mbappe||France||8|
|Russia 2018||Harry Kane||England||6|
|Brazil 2014||James Rodriguez||Colombia||6|
|South Africa 2010||Thomas Muller
|Germany 2006||Miroslav Klose||Germany||5|
For World Cup 2026 odds there is a lot of betting variety available. Options for Group Stage betting sees market options such as To Qualify, To Finish Second and even To Finish Bottom.
Another good angle into World Cup betting is the Stage of Elimination options. Instead of backing Brazil, for example, to win the tournament outright, you can scale back expectations on them to maybe the Quarter or Semi-Finals.
For 2026 World Cup betting, punters are going to have a lot more fixtures to wade through. The exploration of markets like the Correct Score, Half-Time/Full-Time Handicap, Margins, Totals and Both Teams To Score adds so many layers to World Cup odds.
Live betting takes that even further, with popular in-play markets for World Cup 2026 odds including the Next Team To Score, Next Goalscorer, Final Score and Match Result.
The 2026 World Cup Final is booked for Sunday, July 19th, 2026 as determined by the FIFA Council.
Depending on where the matches are being played, Central European Time (CET) is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Time, and 9 hours ahead of Pacific Time.
Brazil is the all-time leader in terms of World Cup victories with a haul of five. The next most successful nations are Italy and Germany with four wins each.
The greatest soccer tournament in the world will be heading to the United States, Canada and Mexico with a total of 16 host cities.