World Cup 2026 Predictions & Betting tips
Presentation and predictions of the 2026 World Cup
Welcome to the World Cup betting tips section at SportyTrader! Prepare your predictions on the 2026 World Cup and its qualifying matches with our football experts, and try to make the most of your sports bets with the bookmakers.
Held in Canada, the United States and Mexico between 11 June and 19 July, the 23rd FIFA World Cup promises to be magnificent, and there will be a huge number of betting opportunities available at online bookmakers.
After the successes of France in 2018 and Argentina last year, who will win the World Cup in 2026? Before the finals are held are the qualifying rounds. How do you correctly predict each qualifying match? What statistics do you need to know? We reveal everything on this page dedicated to predictions for the 2026 World Cup.
Prediction on the winner: who will win the 2026 World Cup?
Of course, as the qualifying rounds have not even begun yet, particularly in Europe, it is far too early to offer a precise and worked-out prediction for the future winner of this 2026 World Cup.
But a number of nations are already standing out among the bookmakers, including, of course, England. It will be 60 years since they won the World Cup in 1966. They have been consistent in recent tournaments and are highly ranked. Could 2026 be the year in which they finally again lift the trophy?
There are plenty of other contenders and at present France are the current favorites. They won the World Cup in 2018 and only lost the 2022 final on penalties. They always look the team to beat and we believe they may well again be world champions in 2026. There’s a long way to go though before the finals are held so a lot could change.
2026 World Cup Prediction - The odds for the title
- France - 6.00
- Brazil - 7.00
- England - 9.00
- Spain - 10.00
- Argentina - 11.00
- Germany - 11.00
- Portugal - 15.00
- Netherlands - 19.00
- Italy - 21.00
- Belgium - 34.00
World Cup Top Scorer prediction: Who Will Win the Golden Boot?
As well as being able to bet on who will win the World Cup and all the individual matches, the bookmakers offer you the chance to predict who will be the competition's top scorer. While it may seem too early to make any predictions, here are a few names to keep an eye on before the tournament kicks off, particularly during the qualifiers:
- Kylian Mbappé (France)
- Julian Alvarez (Argentina)
- Harry Kane (England)
- Darwin Nunez (Uruguay)
- Alvaro Morata (Spain)
- Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
- Victor Osimhen (Nigeria)
In terms of predictions, the SportyTrader editorial team can only advise you to try the Mbappé odds when they become available. He was highly impressive in the 2022 World Cup and is likely again to be among the top scorers if France make it to the finals. Remember, this is taking place in three years time. Will the player you fancy to be top scorer still be at the same level in 2026?
Beginner Guide - How does the 2026 World Cup and its Qualification phase work?
Before looking in detail at the composition of the qualifying groups for the 2026 World Cup, let's talk about the essentials: the format and organisation of the competition.
The qualifying period, which will run from 7 September 2023 to autumn 2025, will see a total of 211 teams competing for one of the 45 remaining places for the 2026 World Cup. It should be noted that there will be 48 participants in the tournament, with the three hosts already assured of their place in the finals.
In total, the qualifiers will be divided into 6 confederations, each with a different number of places. The AFC (Asia) confederation will bring together 46 teams and will offer 8 or 9 places. CAF (Africa) will bring together 54 teams and offer 9 or 10 places. CONCACAF (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) will bring together 35 teams and offer between 6 and 8 qualifying places, including 3 already taken by the host countries.) CONMEBOL (South America) will see 10 teams compete, and will offer 6 or 7 places to take part in this World Cup. The OFC (Oceania) will be offering just one or two places for the 11 teams competing in the qualifiers. And finally, UEFA (Europe) will bring together a total of 55 teams for 16 places at the 2026 World Cup.
Note that the number of places is not fixed for 5 of the 6 confederations, since intercontinental play-offs will have to be contested for the final tickets. So much for Qualifying!
The main tournament
And there is some important information to bear in mind when it comes to the tournament itself, which could change everything when it comes to your future predictions on the competition or its qualifying matches.
For the first time in its history, 48 nations will qualify for the 2026 World Cup (previously 32). This means that all these nations will be divided into 12 groups (instead of 8) of four for the group phase. There had been talk of groups only having three teams but that has now been ruled out after the exciting group stages of the 2022 tournament.
The group stages will see each country playing each other once. The top two teams qualify for the knockout rounds. That sees 24 countries qualify and the eight best third placed sides will also go into the knockout phase of the 2026 World Cup. Therefore, out of 48 competing teams, only 12 will be eliminated after the group matches have been played.
The knockout rounds will be longer than in previous World Cups. A team will have to win five matches to win the trophy, one more than in the last tournament. The two losing semi-finalists will play in the third and fourth place play-off.
There are some great betting opportunities waiting for you with the World Cup, so don't hesitate to take a look at our analysis of the tournament. Every prediction is worth making in this edition.
Our prediction for the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers
Would you like to find out more about the 2026 World Cup qualifying phase? You can find our prediction for the qualifiers for each zone in the world below.
UEFA Zone (Europe)
The nations will be divided into 12 groups of 5 or 6 teams, and the winners of each group will qualify directly for the 2026 World Cup. In a second phase, the teams finishing 2nd in each group, as well as 4 teams from the 2024/2025 UEFA Nations League, will take part in play-off matches, divided into four play-off lanes, each with four teams and a single qualifier. At present, we do not yet know the composition of the qualifying groups for the European games.
CONMEBOL Zone (South America)
The format for South America has not changed since 1998: a single group, two-legged matches, with the top six qualifying directly, while the 7th-placed team will have to go through the continental play-offs. There are Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador.
These are the first matches to be played in these Qualifiers, which kick off in September 2023. Naturally, there are clear favorites in this group, with Brazil and Argentina well ahead of the competition, as is often the case. Behind them, however, are a number of nations with the qualities needed to reach the 2026 World Cup without a hitch. Our CONMEBOL Qualifiers prediction: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Paraguay qualify for the 2026 World Cup!
CAF Zone (Africa)
The African Zone qualifiers will be divided into two parts. Firstly, the nations will be divided into 9 groups of 6, and only the first place will qualify directly for the 2026 World Cup!
In the second stage, 4 of the 9 best runners-up will play in a mini-tournament (semi-finals and final) to qualify for the intercontinental play-off.
And in almost every group, there is a clear favorite for top spot and a ticket to the World Cup. Our CAF Qualifiers prediction: Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon, Morocco, Côte d'Ivoire, Algeria, Tunisia and Mali qualify for the 2026 World Cup!
CONCACAF Zone (North America, Central America and the Caribbean)
Here, the format will be reviewed, and remember that 3 nations have already qualified as hosts: Canada, Mexico and the United States.
For these qualifiers in the North, Central America and Caribbean zone, 30 teams will be divided into 6 groups of 5 teams, playing single matches (two at home and 2 away, so no home-and-away). The top two teams in each group qualify for the next round.
Finally, the remaining 12 teams will be divided into 3 groups of 4, this time playing home-and-away matches between September and November 2025. The top teams in each group will qualify directly for the 2026 World Cup, while the two best runners-up will go through the intercontinental play-offs to try and reach the World Cup.
Once again, the composition of the groups is not yet known for this zone.
AFC Zone (Asia)
The road to the 2026 World Cup is a long one, as the qualifiers are divided into 5 rounds!
First, the 22 lowest-ranked nations in the UEFA rankings meet in play-offs (two-legged matches) to try and reach the second round.
Next, 36 teams are divided into 9 groups of 4 teams and play each other over two legs, with only the top two teams in each group qualifying for the third round.
At this stage of the qualifiers, only 18 nations remain, divided into 3 groups of 6. This is where things get interesting, as the top two teams qualify directly for the 2026 World Cup!
But for the teams occupying 3rd or 4th place in each group, the qualifiers continue: they are divided into 2 groups of 3 nations, and the two winners of the two groups also book their ticket for the World Cup.
To finish off this 5th round, the two runners-up (from the fourth round) face off in two-legged matches, with the winner earning a ticket for the intercontinental play-offs!
OFC Zone (Oceania)
Finally, the OFC (Oceania) Zone will offer just one or two places for a total of 11 teams taking part in the qualifying phase. More information on the latter in the coming days.
So there you have it, our various forecasts for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. To further your knowledge of the World Cup and to ensure that you have all the cards in your hand for your sports betting, we are now offering you a full review of the tournament. Tips on how to place the right bets and full statistics: everything you need to know to make the right World Cup predictions!
How to make reliable predictions on bet on the World Cup?
To make reliable predictions on the tournament, there are several good practices you can adopt. Thus, we strongly advise you to:
- Check the form of the two teams playing
- Know what form the key players are in
- Know the team line-ups
- Study the tactics both teams are using
- Analyze the head-to-head results
- How important is the match?
With these six best practices, you should be able to build more reliable analyzes around the 2026 World Cup matches, and thus increase your chances of success. Reading our excellent World Cup betting tips will also help a great deal. A short description of each best practice is given in the paragraphs below.
Check the form of the two teams playing
In order to bet on a match well, you must of course know the form of the two countries that are facing each other. You will also need to look at the line-ups that countries have been playing. It is unlikely that full strength teams will be played, especially in friendlies. Looking at results in the World Cup qualifiers, Nations League, AFCON, Euros and Copa America will show you just how good or bad teams have been playing. Look at statistics such as how many shots and chances teams have been creating and their defensive records. How many chances did the nations have? How many shots, corners, free kicks? All these questions will have to be studied.
Know what form the key players are in
Paolo Rossi in 1982 with Italy, Diego Maradona in 1986 with Argentina, Romario in 1994 with Brazil, Zinedine Zidane in 2006 with France or Luka Modric in 2018 with Croatia...the paths of nations are often dependent on the performances of their best players.
Therefore, it is essential to study the form of the major players of each nation, before betting on a match. If the best players aren't playing well, that can seriously affect their teams chances of success. If they are playing well, then that team has a good chance of success (for example, Son for South Korea, Mbappé for Les Bleus and Kane for England).
Don't forget that in modern soccer, there are no more "small teams" and that matches are often played on the differences created by star players.
If a nation does not have its best player in form, be very wary. Our World Cup 2026 betting tips will include details about the form of key players.
Know the team line-ups
Before making your prediction, always take care to check theteam line-ups. Suspension, injury, choice of coach... the reasons for a major absence can be numerous during a FIFA World Cup. So don't get trapped when placing your sports bets online for the 2026 World Cup.
In this regard, we strongly advise you to wait to know the official composition of the teams before validating your prediction. Even if you haven't bothered to find out beforehand, you'll be able to spot the absence of a major player in a matter of moments.
Is Mbappé unavailable for Les Bleus? Courtois for Belgium? Memphis Depay for the Netherlands? They won't be the same teams for sure. So always take the time to check whether or not there are any absentees for the match you want to bet on.
Study the tactics both teams are using
4-4-2, 4-3-3, 3-4-3 or 4-2-3-1...the tactics used by the coaches can differ widely in a competition such as the World Cup.
Therefore, it will be important to know how each team usually plays, to determine the chances of them being able to dominate their opponent.
For example, against a nation that likes to play defensively and come out on the counter, a team that is not used to playing the game could have difficulty finding the break. The same reasoning applies to a nation that rarely resists the pressure imposed by its opponents. Paraguay, for example, who have less technical players than the top European teams, could find it hard to resist a team with aggressive and intense attack style.
To help you make the best possible football prediction, take an interest in the tactical aspect of each team. This will enable you to refine your predictions and therefore accumulate as many winning bets as possible.
Analyse the last head-to-head results
Although there are always new blood come to the tournament every year, it's a fact that we often see the same teams involved in the World Cup finals.
France, Spain, England, Brazil, Germany, Argentina... the historic giants are often in the World Cup line-up, and this means that some teams are eagerly awaiting a reunion.
Neymar and his teammates, for example, still have in mind the humiliation of 2014 against the Germans (1-7), while the Belgians will always want revenge against Les Bleus, since the famous semi-final loss in 2018. As you will have gathered, the aim is to observe the latest encounters between each nation with a view to detecting a certain animosity, a desire for revenge or quite simply an inferiority complex.
Taking a look at the last duels played will give you a better idea of the psychological context of the match, and therefore enable you to make the best possible prediction for your match. Never forget this check.
How important is the match?
Finally, the sixth good practice to make good predictions will consist in considering the mental and psychological aspect of the match. In other words, you must know the motivation of each player and each team, the pressure that surrounds them (fans, journalists, president ...), their ability or not to shine in the competition, and their experience at the highest level.
When it comes to betting on knockout matches, for example, it is always preferable to predict the success of an experienced nation, even if they have not played as well as their opponents since the start of the event. From Jorginho and Antoine Griezmann to Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo, the 2026 World Cup could well bring together many experienced players on both sides. These players will be real assets to their national teams as they prepare for the tournament.
From this psychological context to the usual tactics, not to mention the form of the key players and the possibility of absentees - several factors can influence the outcome of a match. So, make it a habit of always studying them, if you want to make better and better sports predictions.
What not to do with your World Cup 2026 football predictions
In addition to the good practices mentioned above, you should know that there are also some behavior that you should totally avoid. Not doing so will limit your chances of success.:
- Betting without doing any research - learn as much as you can before placing your bet.
- Betting on short odds for no reason - these don't always win.
- Prioritizing too many combined (multi) odds - the high odds are attractive but reduce your chances of winning.
- Chasing your losses - this can lead to further losses being incurred.
- Placing too many in-play bets - these can often be made rashly and without thought.
Unfortunately, many novice bettors often fall into one of these traps during a major competition like FIFA's premier event. So do everything you can to avoid making these mistakes.
Remember that in sports betting, it is the quality of the analysis and the odds that are important, not the quantity. A good sports analysis and a bet on odds of 2.25 will always be more profitable than 10 bets placed on odds of 1.50 without having taken the time to look into the events. To succeed in sports betting, research is so important.
Key statistics to know for 2026 World Cup matches
Now that you know the best practices for betting, it's time to look at the useful statistics of the World Cup. In order to make the most successful FIFA World Cup 2026 predictions, you need to know the key figures of the competition, which will help you build the most accurate analysis. Our 2026 World Cup betting tips will all include excellent statistical information.
To help you make the best possible bet during this tournament, our soccer experts have been busy looking at the key statistics, based on the 2026 World Cup. Enjoy reading!
Statistics for your bets on the 2026 World Cup
- Average number of goals: 2.68
- Matches with + 0.5 goals : 89,1
- Matches with + 1.5 goals : 73,4
- Matches with + 2.5 goals : 46.9
- Matches with + 3.5 goals : 25
- Matches with + 4.5 goals: 18.8
- "Both teams score: yes": 46%
- Quarter-hour with most goals: 76-90 (24.4%)
- Quarter-hour with the fewest goals: 0-15 (8.7%)
- Goals in first half: 39
- Second-half goals: 61
- Top scorer: Kylian Mbappé (8 goals)
- Number of players with more than 3 goals: 4
So, after reading these different statistics, the World Cup should have no more secrets for you. Of course, these figures may differ from one edition to another, but they are still consistent with what we have seen for many editions of the competition. So, don't hesitate to use them when making your predictions on each match of the 2026 tournament.
That brings us to the conclusion of this page dedicated to the FIFA World Cup 2026. For even more analysis, we invite you to consult our predictions on each match of the World Cup earlier on this page. They have been studied, thought through and written by a team of passionate experts. You can read and use them as inspiration for your success with the bookmakers. Good luck!
Our current World Cup predictions:
There are no previews at the moment for this competition
Best odds to bet on at the 2026 Football World Cup