The 2022 World Cup kicked off Sunday, Nov. 20 with the first of 64 games to determine which of the 32 teams that qualified will lift the World Cup Trophy as the best team in the world. With 64 games to be played, there will likely be several upsets, including a big one that happened Tuesday.
What Happened: One of the biggest upsets in the 2022 World Cup occurred Tuesday, Nov. 22 with Saudi Arabia defeating Argentina with a score of 2-1.
Prior to the match, Argentina had not lost in 36 straight games, the longest active streak of international teams.
Before the start of Tuesday’s match, Argentina was listed with odds of -904 to win the game at DraftKings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG), which means a bettor had to wager $904 to win $100 if Argentina won, making them a heavy favorite.
A draw for the match had odds of +800.
Saudi Arabia had odds of +2249 to win the game. This means that anyone who bet on Saudi Arabia to win the match prior to its start turned $100 into $2,349, or a profit of $2,249.
After the shocking win by Saudi Arabia, several unlikely bets were shared across social media. Sports betting reporter Darren Rovell highlighted a bet by a PointsBet user that correctly predicted that Argentina would be leading at halftime and Saudi Arabia would win the match. The $20 bet paid out $4,000.
PointsBet shared that Saudi Arabia was listed with odds of 125-to-one after Argentina took a 1-0 lead in the game, making the comeback the biggest upset in World Cup history.
BetMGM, a joint venture between Entain and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), said on Twitter the game was the biggest upset in World Cup history and added that Argentina hadn’t lost a World Cup match in which it led since 1958.
SkyBet, a British betting company also owned by Flutter, shared that 28 of its customers had bet on Saudi Arabia to win the match with the correct score of 2-1, which paid out 80-to-one.
Saudi Arabia, who is ranked 51st in the world, has declared Wednesday Nov. 23 as a holiday for employees in the public and private sectors and for students. The holiday will celebrate the country’s “stunning victory” over Argentina.
Many in the United States may not have watched the game and instead woke up to the news of the incredible defeat. The match was broadcast at 5 a.m. ET on FS1, a unit of Fox Corporation (NASDAQ: FOX)(NASDAQ: FOXA). The game was also broadcast in Spanish on Telemundo and on the Peacock streaming platform, two assets owned by Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA).
What’s Next: The loss by Argentina doesn’t rule them out for the rest of the tournament, as it represents one of three games in the group stages prior to the elimination matches.
Argentina is the most bet-upon team to win the 2022 World Cup at DraftKings, according to Rovell. A total of 25% of the betting handle in dollars is on Argentina winning the tournament. Fourteen percent of the bets placed, by number of bets, are on Argentina, trailing only tournament favorite Brazil with 17% of bets.
Caesars Sportsbook, a unit of Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR), said Argentina was the team most bet to win the World Cup by percent of tickets through Nov. 18 at 17%, ahead of the USA and Brazil both tied at 14%. Argentina had 27% of the betting handle through Nov. 18, ranking first, ahead of Brazil and the USA at 15% and 13% respectively.
Prior to the game between Argentina and Saudi Arabia, the odds for Group C teams were the following, with odds to win the group, advance from the group, make it to the quarterfinals, make it to the quarterfinals and win the 2022 World Cup:
Argentina: -250, -1600, -225, +130, +500
Poland: +400, -110, +500, +2000, +15000
Mexico: +450, -120, +400, +1400, +13000
Saudi Arabia: +2200, +600, +3500, +15000, +80000
After Saudi Arabia’s surprising win over Argentina, the other Group C game happened with Poland and Mexico playing to a 0-0 draw, netting both teams one point. The standings in Group C are now:
Saudi Arabia: 3 points
Poland: 1 point
Mexico: 1 point
Argentina: 0 points
Argentina will play two more games in the group stage, taking on Mexico and Poland with a chance to finish in the top two and advance.
Here are the current odds to win Group C and advance from Group C, from DraftKings:
Argentina: +150, -225
Saudi Arabia: +300, -135
Mexico: +350, +120
Poland: +350, +120
Argentina remains the favorite to win the group and advance. The loss impacted the overall odds to win the 2022 World Cup, but not by a lot.
Argentina now has odds of +800 to win the 2022 World Cup, trailing Brazil at +275, England at +600 and France at +750.
Argentina star Lionel Messi, who scored his team’s only goal Tuesday, is ranked with the third-best odds for the Golden Boot (most goals) for the tournament at +1000, trailing only Brazil’s Neymar and France’s Kylian Mbappe.
Photo: Courtesy of shutterstock.com