Canada World Cup Betting Preview
After much anticipation, the FIFA World Cup in Qatar is finally set to begin. The top favourites are the usual suspects: 5X winner Brazil, Lionel Messi-led Argentina and the defending champions in France. But in the middle of the odds board, ahead of 13 other nations, are Team Canada, who’ve had an incredible run thanks to a young, talented roster and world-renowned head coach. Our Canada World Cup betting preview should offer an insight on just how far our boys can go.
This will be Canada’s second time competing at the men’s World Cup, with their only other appearance coming in 1986 when they exited in the group stage, failing to score any goals. We expect the Canadians to have a better run this time around and will discuss Canada’s World Cup odds for the early stages of the tournament, as well as the probability of them winning the entire thing.
Can Canada Upset the World?
Checking in at No. 29 on the Elo ratings, Canada are part of Group F, which they share with No. 5 Belgium, No. 13 Croatia and No. 32 Morocco. This is the third-most competitive group when you add up the highest average pre-tournaments ratings of all eight FIFA groups. They’ll need to pull off an upset just to make it through the group stage, which is feasible; upsets are a regular occurrence at this point in the tournament. Just look back to “The Miracle on Grass” World Cup group stage game that saw Team USA upset England in 1950. If you think Canada can at least finish runner up in the group, scoop them up at +250 on the futures tab. That is sure to be one of the most popular picks on the Canada World Cup betting board.
If Canada survives the group stage, they’ll be in new territory in the round of 16. If they finish as runner up to Belgium, they’d be matched up with the winner of another group. The group they get matched up with would likely dictate their fate. Group A, with Netherlands, Ecuador, Senegal and Qatar would bring optimism; however, a matchup with the winner of Group G (Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon) would be a much taller order for the Canadian underdogs.
The FIFA World Cup is not known for its parity. 21 Cups have gone to just eight different nations, and the team with the lowest rank to win (since ranks started to be tracked in the ‘90s) were France at No. 18 in 1998 when they hosted the tournament. Canada winning the Cup would be the ultimate Cinderella story—one worthy of its own place in history. At +15000 odds to win outright, they could be worth a flier.
Canada’s Star Men
The offensive punch on Team Canada comes from Cyle Larin (Club Brugge), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) and Jonathan David (Lille). You’d be forgiven for thinking we’re going to get carried away with our Canada World Cup betting and back us to go all the way, but we’re keeping a level head. Brampton, Ontario native Larin has had his ups and downs throughout his senior career, but under the guidance of coach John Herdman, he has found his scoring touch on the national team and has been a dominant force throughout the World Cup qualifying, where he’s scored 13 goals in 16 appearances.
Davies is coming off of his third Canada Soccer Player of the Year award. He has played a critical role with FC Bayern Munich, where he helped them reach the quarter-finals of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League. He has also helped Canada get to the World Cup by registering eight assists and scoring five goals in the World Cup qualifying games.
David rocked the Belgian Pro League world in his debut game against Zulte-Waregem when he came on as a substitute and scored the equalizer at the 95th minute. Since then, he’s moved on to Lille, where he was part of the first-team squad when they were crowned league champions in 2020-21. David has been the secondary goal scorer in Canada’s World Cup qualifying matches, netting a total of nine goals in 18 appearances.
John Herdman: The Main Man
John Herdman’s coaching career stretches back to 2001 when he was the development coach at a youth academy for the Sunderland Association Football Club at the tender age of 26. Two years later, he moved to New Zealand to pursue new coaching opportunities and eventually became the head coach for the women’s national football teams, leading the U-20 squad to the U-20 World Cup in 2010 and the senior squad to the FIFA Women’s World Cups on two occasions.
Herdman made his way to Canada to coach the women’s national soccer team in 2011 and gained a lot of respect and attention for the incredible results they achieved. In his first year with the team, he led them to a gold medal finish at the Pan American Games and then went on to qualify for the London Olympic Games, where they earned a bronze, which they defended at the subsequent event. Under the guidance of Herdman, the women’s national soccer team made it further than they’d ever been in the World Cup, reaching the quarter-finals in 2015.
When the men’s coach Octavio Zambrano was fired in 2018, it opened up the door for Herdman and provided him with an opportunity to do what he does best: take a program that’s down-and-out and build it up to become highly competitive. He managed to get the women’s team up to No. 4 in the world (following the 2016 Olympics) and took on the men, who were ranked No. 94. With just four years of work on the men’s side, Herdman has gotten them to the FIFA World Cup, where they enter as No. 29 on Elo.
Bet on the FIFA World Cup with Crypto
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