Top 2022 FIFA World Cup Group Stage Week 1 Matchups

By Hank Blaine

The 32 teams that qualified for this year’s World Cup cycle begin their quest for the trophy next week. On Sunday, Ecuador and host nation Qatar open the festivities then on Monday things pick up big time when the United States is in action against Wales. Check out soccer odds, analysis, and free picks for the top matches to bet during the World Cup’s group stages first week.

2022 FIFA World Cup Group Stage Week 1 Betting Picks

READ MORE: 2022 FIFA World Cup Odds, Matchups & Schedule

USA vs. Wales

  • When: Monday, November 21st, 2022

  • 2022 FIFA World Cup Odds: USA +163 // Wales +208

The United States hasn’t looked good in their last 3 matches. Team USA drew 1-1 against El Salvador, lost to Japan 2-0 in a friendly, and then drew 0-0 versus Saudi Arabia in a friendly.

The problem the Americans have is they don’t possess a legit striker. Christian Pulisic is a great player. But he’s not a pure striker. Wales’ best striker remains Gareth Bale. Gareth has lost a step, or two, or, maybe, even three. But Gareth is a far better option than what the U.S. possesses. Wales can pull off the upset win.

READ MORE: Wales

Mexico vs. Poland

  • When: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

  • 2022 FIFA World Cup Odds: Mexico +174 // Poland +180

Poland will have the best player on the pitch by far in Robert Lewandowski. Not only that, but Poland beat Wales and Chile in their last 2 matches. The Polish enter the World Cup playing excellent soccer. The problem Poland could have is dealing with Mexico’s speed.

El Tri is one of the faster teams at this year’s World Cup. Yes, Sweden beat Mexico in El Tri’s last. But it was by a goal and it was in a friendly. The full force of Mexico’s quickness will be on display in this. The Mexicans get the nod.

READ MORE: Mexico

Spain vs. Costa Rica

  • When: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

  • 2022 FIFA World Cup Odds: Spain -2.0 -109 // Costa Rica +2.0 -105

There’s no love going to Costa Rica, which makes sense. El Rojo has become one of the hottest teams at this year’s World Cup to lift the trophy.

The Spanish boast an electric team. But two goals is a lot. Costa Rica sends the best goalie in the world to the net.

Keylor Navas can single-handedly change the outcome of a game. The now 35-year-old keeper has sat on the bench at Paris Saint-Germain this season. That could be good news. It means Navas will be fresh for the Cup. Costa Rica keeps the loss to 2 goals or less.

READ MORE: Costa Rica

Spain vs. Costa Rica

  • When: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

  • 2022 FIFA World Cup Odds: Spain -2.0 -109 // Costa Rica +2.0 -105

There’s no love going to Costa Rica, which makes sense. El Rojo has become one of the hottest teams at this year’s World Cup to lift the trophy.

The Spanish boast an electric team. But two goals is a lot. Costa Rica sends the best goalie in the world to the net.

Keylor Navas can single-handedly change the outcome of a game. The now 35-year-old keeper has sat on the bench at Paris Saint-Germain this season. That could be good news. It means Navas will be fresh for the Cup. Costa Rica keeps the loss to 2 goals or less.

READ MORE: Costa Rica

Portugal vs. Ghana

  • When: Thursday, November 24th, 2022

  • 2022 FIFA World Cup Odds: Portugal -238 // Ghana +787

Portugal is much more talented than Ghana. However, there isn’t another team with more drama heading to Qatar than Portugal.

Ronaldo, Portugal’s captain, is in a tense fight with Manchester United, his club team. Ronaldo’s head may not be in the right space to lead Portugal.

That doesn’t mean Ghana wins this but the massive underdog can force a draw. Ghana has some decent players. A draw is possible.

READ MORE: Draw

USA vs. England

  • When: Friday, November 25th, 2022

  • 2022 FIFA World Cup Odds: USA +508 // England -161

-161 on England makes Harry Kane and his mates an overlay. The English struggled during Nations League play, but the team is too deep to lose to a squad like the United States.

Kane and Phil Foden will handle the scoring duties. If Jude Bellingham turns into the distributor that he has the talent to become, the English can win the entire tournament.

Not having to lay goals and having only to lay -161 on England to beat the United States is like striking gold before breaking out the shovel.

READ MORE: England

France vs. Denmark

  • When: Saturday, November 26th, 2022

  • 2022 FIFA World Cup Odds: France -103 // Denmark +321

In the last head-to-head, Denmark trounced France 2-0. Sure, a lot of Euro squads write off the Nations League as a money grab.

That doesn’t matter. Denmark still outplayed France. Not only that, but the French will be missing 2 key midfield players and 2 backers. Denmark is healthy and Christian Eriksen is ready to lead the Danes after suffering the heart attack at EURO 2020. The dog pulls off the upset win.

READ MORE: Denmark

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