Canada World Cup Odds: Can The Canadians Make A Run?

Written By Evan Scrimshaw on April 4, 2022
Canada World Cup odds

After a miracle run to the World Cup ended with Canada winning the CONCACAF qualifying group, the Canadian Men’s National Team are looking to build on their successes – and that of the victorious Women’s National Team, who took Gold at the Tokyo Olympics – with a run at the World Cup. Below are Canada World Cup odds and betting analysis.

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Group Stage Odds

World Cup Group F Odds

Belgium
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-200
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-200
Croatia
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+275
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+225
Morocco
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+900
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+1200
Canada
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+1100
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+1600

These odds are, plainly, insane.

We can start with the fact that Morocco, who for reasons passing understanding have a bigger outright price than Canada does, is +900 to win this group whereas Canada odds are +1600, which makes absolutely no sense.

We can go to the fact that Croatia is only this well respected because their UEFA World Cup Qualifying group was them, Russia, and four truly terrible countries, and they’re riding the wave from their fluke 2018 run still despite crashing out of the 2021 Euros in the Round of 16 after a 4 point group stage.

Canada is priced as if they were the third place squeaker into this tournament from CONCACAF, not the dominant buzzsaw that saw us win 6 straight games over three different international windows – including the last three without our best player.

Belgium should win this group, in all likelihood – two wins and a draw probably gets them through, and they should be able to avoid an outright loss, even if they don’t go 3/3.

That said, if Belgium – with their aging Golden Generation not quite as good anymore – stumbles, Canada has a path to 7 points and at least a fighting chance to win the group.

Outright Odds

Odds To Win WC

Brazil
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+450
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+500
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+500
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+500
France
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+600
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+550
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+550
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+550
England
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+600
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+550
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+550
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+600
Spain
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+750
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+800
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+800
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+750
Argentina
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+750
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+900
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+1000
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+1100
Germany
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+1000
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+1000
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+1000
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+1000
Netherlands
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+1200
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+1100
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+1300
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+1400
Portugal
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+1200
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+1200
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+1400
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+1200
Belgium
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+1200
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+1100
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+1200
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+1200
Denmark
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+2500
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+2200
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+2500
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+2800
Croatia
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+4000
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+4000
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+5000
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+3500
Senegal
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+5000
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+6600
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+8000
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+6500
Uruguay
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+5000
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+3300
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+5000
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+5000
Serbia
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+8000
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+8000
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+15000
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+5000
Switzerland
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+8000
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+8000
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+8000
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+8000
Poland
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+10000
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+10000
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+12500
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+6500
Mexico
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+10000
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+10000
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+12500
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+10000
USA
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+10000
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+8000
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+12500
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+8000
Ecuador
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+15000
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+15000
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+20000
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+15000
Ukraine
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+15000
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+15000
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+25000
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+20000
Ghana
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+20000
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+15000
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+25000
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+15000
Japan
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+20000
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+20000
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+25000
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+25000
Qatar
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+20000
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+10000
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+10000
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+15000
Morocco
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+20000
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+25000
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+30000
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+20000
Cameroon
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+20000
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+15000
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+20000
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+25000
Tunisia
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+25000
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+35000
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+20000
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+25000
Peru
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+25000
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+20000
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+20000
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+25000
Canada
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+25000
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+20000
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+12500
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+25000
South Korea
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+30000
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+25000
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+25000
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+20000
Scotland
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+3000
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+25000
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+30000
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+40000
Australia
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+50000
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+30000
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+50000
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+30000

Canada’s not winning the World Cup.

200/1 is an attractive price but they’re not going to win in this generation’s first trip there. It’s a fun bet, but we just don’t see longshots at these kinds of tournaments. Even Croatia in 2018 were only 30/1 pre-tournament, and they lost to +550 France. This isn’t a tournament for longshots, but 200/1 still feels high.

Analysis

Goalkeeping

Milan Borjan was one of the stars of the Canadian team run as advanced analytics positioned him as the second best goalkeeper of CONCACAF.

With the second most Goals Prevented – an advanced metric based on the number of goals conceded against the number of expected goals – in the region and having held six clean sheets in 10 games, Borjan was stellar when the team needed him.

Conceding only four goals in the tournament, Borjan never conceded a bad goal, and when the spotlight was highest – the closing minutes of the Mexico game in Edmonton, the US game in Hamilton – he shone the brightest, with his goal line dive to keep the win at the Iceteca inarguably a top moment in Canadian soccer history.

Backup keeper Maxime Crepeau is no slouch either – holding Mexico to only one goal at the Azteca is an accomplishment, and holding a clean sheet in Jamaica was an impressive performance. For the Canadians, if anything were to happen to Borjan – who missed the October window of games with COVID – Crepeau would be an admirable filler.

That said, Borjan has been the keeper who has given Canadian men’s soccer fans their two best moments of the century – the home wins against the US and Mexico – and those successes were his accomplishments in large part.

Defense

How to discern credit for the fact that the Canadians conceded the least goals in CONCACAF between Borjan and the defense in front of him is hard, but the Canadian defense is certainly no slouch.

Against the lesser lights of CONCACAF, the defense was able to roam freely, pushing the pace and helping the offensive players move upfield quickly while avoiding getting beaten on the counter, but against the best teams, they could sit back more and adroitly handle pressure.

The Mexico and US home games are instructive of their talent. The backline was able to help progress play early on, and then when the Mexicans and Americans were down late and pressing, they were able to limit progress into high value scoring areas and funnel their attacks into bad shots.

Thirteen shots and only three hitting the net for the Americans in Hamilton is the classic example of what this Canadian defense is capable of. They’ll let you have your will outside the box, but they won’t let you do anything with the ball once you’re looking to get to dangerous areas.

Offense

This is where the Canadian team excels itself, with an ability to win games in multiple ways and an offense that can hold up under any conditions.

In both the US and Mexico road games, the team fell behind 1-0 before stealing a draw, and against Panama in Toronto, they fell behind early before scoring 4 to win the game handily.

At various points – mostly in Canada – they were able to press forward and push the envelope from the start, and were able to get multiple goal victories in 6 of their games – and the last four of those came without Alphonso Davies, the best player in CONCACAF, as he recovered from a bout of myocarditis from his January COVID infection.

Prospects

If one wants to make a case against the Canadians, it would be that the team did manage to be shut out three times in the 14 games, but even that valid criticism belies just how good this team is.

All three of the games they did not score – Jamaica away in October, Costa Rica and Panama away  – were road games where the other team sat back and made the Canadians break down a set box for most of the match. The Panama game is essentially a write-off, being the last game of a three game window and one that Canada didn’t need to win for anything but pride.

Teams in the World Cup won’t sit back against Canada in the way that they saw at times in CONCACAF, and the Canadians’ ability to play solid defense, funnel the shots to the side, and play good defense on set pieces will do them well.

They’re not going to win the World Cup, but for the first time they’re going not as a plaything for the big boys to chew up and spit out. They have a very good chance of getting out of their group, and maybe even winning a round afterwards.

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