2022 FIFA World Cup Sleeper Teams to Bet On

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The 2022 FIFA World Cup gets underway next week on Monday, November 21 with tournament hosts Qatar facing Ecuador in Match 1 at Al Bayt Stadium (Grass) in Al Khor.

As we examine this field of 32 teams, there are a handful of World Cup sleepers worth considering. Not only do they have legitimate shots of winning their groups, but also making some noise in the Round of 16 (Knockout Stage) which kicks off on December 3.

Each of the eight groups playing in the upcoming FIFA World Cup this month and next month all have their team (or teams) who aren’t the oddsmakers Favorites at FIFA World Cup betting sites.

Let’s take a closer look at the three best 2022 World Cup sleeper teams.

?? Can Luka Modrić take his nation one step further in #Qatar2022?

Find out Croatia's path to #FIFAWorldCup glory ?

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 12, 2022

Denmark 33/1 to Win 2022 FIFA World Cup

Confederation: UEFA
Method of Qualification: UEFA Group F winners
Pot: 2
FIFA Ranking: #10
Head Coach: Kasper Hjulmand
Best Player: Christian Eriksen (Manchester United, 139 caps)’
Nickname: De Rød-Hvide (The Red and Whites)
Last World Cup Appearance: 2018
Best WC Performance: Quarterfinals (1998)
World Cup Appearances: 6
Odds to Win Group D: +240
Odds to Qualify Round of 16: -240
Odds to Win World Cup: 33/1

My favorite of the 2022 World Cup sleeper teams is 2022 World Cup Group D’s Denmark. As mentioned, the Danes, ranked #10 in the world right now by FIFA, had an extremely impressive showing in the 2018 World Cup, making it all the way to the Round of 16.

But there another of the better World Cup sleeper teams, Croatia was waiting and eliminated De Rød-Hvide (Red and Whites) in a Penalty Kick Shootout (3-2) at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium after playing to a 1-1 Draw after 90 minutes plus Injury Time.

Head Coach Kasper Hjulman and Denmark welcome icon Christian Eriksen (Manchester United) back and with Captain and CB Simon Kjær (AC Milan), Martin Braithwaite (Espanyol, 62 caps, 10 goals) and Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen, 41 caps, 9 goals).

Also on Denmark’s 26-man Roster are some unheralded players like Alexander Bah, Yussuf Poulsen, Christian Nørgaard, Frederik Rønnow, Robert Skov, and Thomas Delaney.

? FULL Denmark World Cup Squad!#ForDanmark pic.twitter.com/74as1N5KFl

— Danish Football (@DanishFooty365) November 13, 2022

Denmark has already beaten defending World Cup champions France twice in 2022, holding Les Bleus to just one goal in over 180 minutes of play. So, this team won’t be intimidated and can maybe steal the group by beating France when they meet.

In World Cup play against France, the two nations have met three times with Les Bleus winning 2-1 in the 1998 World Cup, Denmark prevailing 2-0 in the 2002 World Cup, and the two sides playing to a scoreless Draw (0-0) last time in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Even if Denmark loses to France, it can still finish second in the group. It opens up Group D play against Tunisia (DEN -230) on Tuesday, November 22 and with Australia not as strong as in previous years, getting at least 6 points and advancing seems a certainty.

In the Knockout Stage, it will take a lot of defense and some timely goals from Denmark. But this is a team that may shock some in this 2022 FIFA World Cup and is a real sleeper not worth sleeping on. Back the Danish Dynamite in their Group D opener against Tunisia.


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Croatia 55/1 to Win 2022 FIFA World Cup

Confederation: UEFA
Method of Qualification: UEFA Group H winners
Pot: 4
FIFA Ranking: #12
Head Coach: Zlatko Dalić
Best Player: Captain Luka Modric (Real Madrid, 154 caps)
Nickname: Vatreni (The Blazers)
Last World Cup Appearance: 2018
Best WC Performances: Runners-up (2018)
World Cup Appearances: 6
Odds to Win Group F: +240
Odds to Qualify Round of 16: -210
Odds to Win World Cup: 55/1

Croatia is one of the great 2022 World Cup sleeper teams. Only France went as far and played as many matches as this perpetually underrated UEFA team did in Russia in the 2018 World Cup, won by France over this talented Croatian team, 4-2.

Luka Modrić has scored 23 goals in his career with the Vatreni and the left-footed playmaker has some quality teammates in MF Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), and prolific Forwards Ivan Perišić (Tottenham Hotspur), and Andrej Kramarić (1899 Hoffenheim).

GK Dominik Livaković (Dinamo Zagreb) has 22 Caps and will back for the Vatreni who won’t catch anyone by surprise this time around after making it all the way to the 2018 World Cup Final in Russia four years ago.

?? Can Luka Modrić take his nation one step further in #Qatar2022?

Find out Croatia's path to #FIFAWorldCup glory ?

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 12, 2022

Croatia will play its Group F opener on Wednesday, November 23 and online oddsmakers have Modrić and the Vatreni as -125 favorites over underdogs Morocco (+340) with a Draw at +220 in the 3-way market. This is a great spot to bet on the favorites Croatia.

Croatia and Morocco have only played one time and that was in a Friendly back in 1996 that ended in a 2-2 tie. This game at Al Bayt Stadium (Grass) in Match 12 (13:00) will give Croatia a chance to start off on the right foot and earn the 3 points.

The Kockasti (The Checkered Ones) second Group F match will be played on Sunday, November 27 at Khalifa International Stadium (Grass), Al Rayyan vs. Canada, making just its second appearance in a World Cup. It will be the first meeting ever between the two.

And the big Group F match, Croatia against Belgium, will take place on December 1 (18:00), but by that time, both may have already qualified for the Round of 16. In short, Croatia is always a team not to take lightly with Modrić and Perišić on the Roster.

Uruguay 50/1 to Win World Cup

Confederation: CONMEBOL
Method of Qualification: CONMEBOL Round Robin Third Place
Pot: 2
FIFA Ranking: #14
Head Coach: Diego Alosno
Best Player: Captain Diego Godin (Vélez Sarsfield, 159 caps)
Nickname: La Celeste (The Sky Blue)
Last World Cup Appearance: 2018
Best WC Performances: Winners (1930, 1950)
World Cup Appearances: 14
Odds to Win Group H: +190
Odds to Qualify Round of 16: -240
Odds to Win World Cup: 50/1

Uruguay is one of the best World Cup sleepers, hiding in plain sight comfortably in the long Soccer shadows of fellow South American (CONMEBOL) powerhouses Brazil (FIFA #1) with Neymar, and Argentina (#3) with Midfield magician and icon Lionel Messi (PSG).

Of all of the World Cup sleeper teams. Uruguay may have the best chance to spring an upset. Why? Elite Defense and a solid attack with a nice mix of veterans like Godin, leading scorer Luis Suárez (68 Goals) and Edinson Cavani (Valencia, 58 Goals), both 35 years old.

Uruguay, winners of 15 Copa América trophies and two World Cups, is one of the most reliable 2022 World Cup sleeper teams as you can blindly back them in most matches. And at 50/1, they are a true longshot to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

La Celeste is an impressive 7-1-1 (W-D-L) this year, only losing to Iran (0-1) and tying with the USA (0-0). Uruguay has allowed only 2 goals all year—one to Venezuela and one to Iran—and have registered 7 Clean Sheets, so this Sleeper plays lockdown Defense.

Are Uruguay dark horses for the World Cup? ? pic.twitter.com/6NkPODI4Qz

— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 12, 2022

Uruguay hosted and were victorious in the first FIFA World Cup in 1930 and like quality sides Argentina, Belgium, and Croatia, were eliminated by Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) and eventual World Cup champions, France in Russia in the 2018 World Cup.

Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray, 133 Caps) is the starting GK for La Celeste and with veteran Defender Godin (Vélez Sarsfield), José Giménez (Atlético Madrid), Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) and rising star Darwin Núñez (Liverpool), Uruguay is the real deal.

Group H play for La Celeste will kick off against South Korea at Education City Stadium (Grass) in Al Rayyan on Friday, November 24 (Match 14). Online oddsmakers have Uruguay as -140 favorites with South Korea at +370 and the Draw lined at +230.

Under new HC Alosno, Uruguay have only lost one time and allowed two goals, so this World cup sleeper is worth backing against South Korea, Ghana, and for maybe a modest $5 to $10 recreational bet to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

De Rød-Hvide. Denmark. The Red and Whites enter their 7th World Cup tournament and go to Qatar with their best player back in the fold. pic.twitter.com/y7NDrPC2k3

— ™️ (@TMorgan0404) November 14, 2022

Possible 2022 World Cup Sleepers Come From Each Group
All eight groups have at least one sleeper team and a couple have two including Group G with Switzerland and Serbia. Being a real sleeper (or dark horse) means having a chance to advance on and make the Round of 16 and maybe win a game or two after that point.

No African (CAF), Asian (AFC) or North America (CONCACAF) team has ever won the World Cup, so despite Senegal, Japan, and the USA potentially being 2022 World Cup Sleepers, all will eventually be put to sleep by a team from the UEFA or CONMEBOL.

History always repeats itself. Even in professional and in amateur sports.

Here are the 2022 World Cup Sleeper teams I see emerging from each of the groups:

Group A Sleeper: Senegal at +380 to win Group, 110/1 to win World Cup
Group B Sleeper: USA at 6/1 to win Group, 100/1 to win World Cup
Group C Sleeper: México at +425 to win Group, 200/1 to win World Cup
Group D Sleeper: Denmark at +240 to win Group, 33/1 to win World Cup
Group E Sleeper: Japan at 14/1 to win Group, 300/1 to win World Cup
Group F Sleeper: Croatia at +240 to win Group, 55/1 to win World Cup
Group G Sleeper: Switzerland at +550 to win Group, 110/1 to win World Cup
Group H Sleeper: Uruguay at +190 to win Group, 50/1 to win World Cup

?? Could Serbia be one of the tournament's dark horses?#FIFAWorldCup | @FSSrbije

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 14, 2022

CONCACAF sides USA and México may surprise this World Cup but the USMNT will have to get by a tough Wales team with Gareth Bale who are a semi-sleeper of their own. I give El Tri a better chance of making the Round of 16 and shocking some than I do the USA.

The three teams worth playing the closest attention to are Croatia, Denmark, and Uruguay. The teams aren’t as sexy and don’t get the same spotlight as those experts are picking to win this 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but all three field very quality teams here.

France beat or eliminated two of these 2022 World Cup sleeper teams—Croatia and Uruguay—so both will remember who kept them from achieving that ultimate goal. And this Denmark team has dominated Les Bleus this year and may play them twice in Qatar.


Author: Ralph Baker