2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Groups: Which Teams Could Advance?
With the Women’s World Cup kicking off on Thursday, July 20th with both Australia and New Zealand hosting the tournament, it’s a wonderful time to get into the sport. Two years after Canada took home gold at the Tokyo Olympics on the backs of American heartbreak, the U.S. women’s national team goes for a record third consecutive World Cup title. The USWNT are among the nations that are huge favorites to advance beyond the group stage in Women’s World Cup group odds. We’ll break down each group below.
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2023 FIFA WOmen’s World Cup Group Odds
The group of teams in bad form – Norway, Switzerland, and New Zealand – all enter this tournament with bad results this year. Norway’s conceded nine goals in its five games this year, New Zealand has seven losses in nine friendlies as they prepared for this tournament, and Switzerland has drawn all of Poland, Zambia, and Morocco this year, which doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in their form.
Picking a winner between these three with any confidence is hard – New Zealand is hosting, but their bad run of form this year have almost exclusively been at home anyways. Norway is probably the most talented, and they did make it out of the group stage in France in 2019, but if their defense is going to be as shambolic as it’s been so far this year, they’re very gettable by the Swiss.
Reigning Olympic Champions Canada and host Australia headline one of the most competitive groups at the top. This group is overwhelmingly likely to come down to those two, as neither Ireland or Nigeria project to push two of the heavyweights of women’s soccer.
With Australia hosting, and a lackluster run of form for Canada in recent months, the Matildas being favored could make some sense, but Canada is still a better team. Canada’s defense is rock solid and has been a lynchpin for them across major tournaments, only conceding four goals in six games en route to Olympic gold.
In all likelihood, the second-placed team in this group has to play England, while the winner likely ends up with a much weaker matchup, so winning this group is especially crucial for both sides. Canada is by no means a lock to win this group but they’re the best underdog price on the board.
Group C is another where we know the two teams who will come out of the group with near certainty – Spain and Japan are the two best teams in the group and should easily advance. The intrigue comes in whether the Spanish are quite as dominant as they appear. Winners of the U-20 World Cup last year and runners up in 2018, this Spanish team is quite young and inexperienced at the senior level, but what’s that youth experience worth?
Against a Japanese team that’s mediocre at best when it strays from the easy confines of their region, Spain should be able to beat them, as they did in the SheBelieves Cup earlier this year. That said, Japan can’t be ruled out, solely because of the possibility the Spanish blink when the stage gets big.
Reigning Euro Champions England are a bit of a disaster right now, with four key contributors to that Euro Championship either retired or injured. England will have a hard time scoring without Euro Golden Boot winner Beth Mead, and their results in recent months have been bad – three draws and a loss to Australia in their last four matches, scoring 1 goal in the process.
Is Denmark the right team to take advantage? Not really, but if the Lionesses’ offenses struggle, this group could be won with relatively few points, and Denmark should be good enough to at least make it worth a bet.
The USWNT is the favorite to win Group E, with their only push likely coming from the Netherlands. Portugal and Vietnam are debut teams who don’t have the high end talent of their opposition. The Americans are perceived as sizeable favorites, but the Americans suffer from their traditional problem, which is complete uncertainty whether their best players will play.
If the US wants to win, they can’t be running out Megan Rapinoe or Alex Morgan in key moments, but the USWNT’s unwillingness to move on cost them in Tokyo, when their offense stagnated constantly in the final third against good teams. If they run out team sheets on the basis of nostalgia and not talent, the Netherland are a good shout.
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If either of the two CONCACAF bottomfeeders take points off the French or the Brazilians it will be the miracle of the tournament, meaning this group will come down to the head to head result, and possibly even goal difference. The Brazilians have managed the task of squad renewal from their older generation well, and won the Women’s Copa America in 2022, while the French lost to the Germans in the 2022 Euro Semis.
The French are probably a little deeper on talent, but the coaching edge is what makes Brazil worth a shout. Pia Sundhage won 2 Olympic Golds while USWNT coach, beat the USWNT as Sweden’s coach in 2016 on route to a silver medal, and has consistently performed well as Brazilian coach. The French, on the other hand, have in Herve Renard, someone who has never coached high level tournament women’s soccer, coming from the men’s game. That coaching edge alone makes Brazil worth a bet.
This is probably the least interesting group on the board – the Italians have made great strides with their program in recent years and will make a formidable test for someone in the Round of 16, but Sweden is head and shoulders better than them and should run through this group with ease. The Swedes, who made the European Championship Semis in 2022, will be well tested for tournament football and should be able to put in a performance accordingly. Argentina are better than most third teams in their group, but they get boatraced every time they play a team from CONCACAF or UEFA and that should continue.
Germany will win this group – it seems almost impossible to consider they wouldn’t – but trying to figure out who might come second is tough. Columbia and South Korea are both enigmas, teams that usually play badly when they leave their Federation but quite successful inside it. With that said, CONEMBOL is generally a harder federation, so Columbia making the 2022 Women’s Copa America Final is enough of an edge to think they can come second in this group.
How I’m Betting Women’s World Cup Group Odds
In terms of Group Winner bets, Canada from Group B (), Brazil from Group F () and the Netherlands from Group E () are the three best underdogs for realistic bets.
In Group D, Denmark () has gotten a small amount of my money as well, mostly because of those English injuries, but bettors looking to fade England should be looking more to the Knockout Rounds, where England is almost assured to play Canada or Australia in the Round of 16 and could go home as substantial favorites in one of those currently hypothetical matches.
Best of luck wagering on Women’s World Cup group odds
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