Soccer remains one of the most popular sports in the world, with millions all over the globe tuning in to catch their favorite player or team. With the World Cup months away, the game will be on the world’s biggest stage once again soon.
The World Cup, formally known as the FIFA World Cup, was first played in 1930 and put together by the Federation Internationale de Football Association, with Uruguay winning the first tournament. Aside from the break when World War II was going on, the World Cup has been taking place every four years since then.
To qualify for the World Cup, teams compete around the world in qualifying tournaments. These tournaments started in 1934 to lessen the field of teams and are held within FIFA’s six continental zones of Africa, Asia, North/Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Europe and Oceania, with the respective confederations overseeing each zone. FIFA determines how many spots each zone gets prior to the tournament based on the strength of the teams within each confederation.
The tournaments can differentiate between each confederation, and the qualification process can start as early as three years before the World Cup. Depending on how many spots are awarded to each zone, the top-finishing teams will automatically qualify while teams placing at the bottom will have to compete in an intercontinental playoffs to secure their spot in the World Cup.
As it is with most soccer events, fans can also bet on the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, with various betting options given. At BetUS, fans can bet on the moneyline, handicap bets, draw no bets, prop bets and first-half bets. If you are just starting out in soccer betting, moneyline and first-half bets are the best options.
Moneylines are one of the most common types of betting in soccer, wherein the bettor decides what team will win the game. There are both two- and three-way moneyline betting, with three-way offering the option of the game ending in a draw at the end of regulation.
In first-half bets, bettors are deciding either what team will be up at halftime or if the game will be tied at that point. A first-half bet or halftime bet is pretty similar to a moneyline bet, except that it happens in the middle of the game.
How World Cup Qualifiers Playoff Odds Work
It’s relatively easy to understand soccer odds once you get used to reading them. The team that is favored will have a negative number while the underdog is given a positive number. In the case of a two-way moneyline, there’s only two options, however a bettor can bet the game will end in a tie if they choose three-way moneyline betting.
In the case of the final World Cup Qualifiers, New Zealand and Costa Rica faced off in an intercontinental playoff for the final spot in the World Cup on June 14. Costa Rica, ranked No. 31 in the world and having won their last four of five, were favored to win while New Zealand, ranked No. 101 in the world, had a tough test. The three-way moneyline for that matchup was Costa Rica (-130), New Zealand (+475), Draw (+225).
If the bettor had decided to place a $100 bet that the game would end in a tie, they would have won $225 if neither team won in regulation. However, if the bettor decided to go with the favorite and placed their money on Costa Rica, they would have needed to place a $130 bet to win $100.
Most Important Teams
While the teams can vary from year to year based on who qualifies for the World Cup, there are a number of teams who have been more successful than others. Brazil has won the World Cup the most times in history, winning it five times, while Italy and Germany both took home the trophy four times each. Finally, Argentina, France and Uruguay have all won the tournament twice in its history.
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