What you need to know to bet the first games in Group A and Group B

The 2022 World Cup is upon us.

The tournament kicks off on Sunday with hosts Qatar against Ecuador. That’s the only game of the day ahead of three games on Monday with the opening round of Group A concluding and the first two matches in Group B.

The United States and England are in Group B and both are looking for three points ahead of their massive Black Friday clash. Both teams are favored in their opening games and would be in great position to advance with wins on Monday.

Here’s what you need to know to place wagers during the first two days of the World Cup. All odds are from BetMGM.

Odds to win Group A

  • The Netherlands (-250)

  • Senegal (+450)

  • Ecuador (+500)

  • Qatar (+1600)

Odds to finish top 2 in Group A

  • The Netherlands (-1400)

  • Ecuador (-110)

  • Senegal (-105)

  • Qatar (+375)

Qatar vs. Ecuador (over/under 1.5 goals)

11 a.m. ET Sunday, Fox Sports 1

  • Qatar to win (+220)

  • Ecuador to win (+140)

  • Tie (+210)

Qatar’s big moment is here. We wouldn’t be totally surprised if Qatar was buoyed by adrenaline and won the first game of this World Cup. But we’ve got our eye on the over/under. The total is extremely low for good reason. And we like it to go under at +140. Ecuador’s last three games have finished at 0-0 and you have to go back seven games to find an Ecuador match that had more than one goal.

Senegal vs. The Netherlands (2.5)

11 a.m. ET Monday, Fox

Senegal’s odds haven’t budged with the news that star forward Sadio Mane is out. We’d be inclined to place a flier on a draw, however. This is Africa’s best team and Ismaila Sarr is capable of leading the front line while Kalidou Koulibaly is one of the best defenders in the world.

Odds to win Group B

  • England (-350)

  • United States (+550)

  • Wales (+600)

  • Iran (+1800)

Odds to finish top 2 in Group B

  • England (-2500)

  • United States (+100)

  • Wales (+120)

  • Iran (+275)

England vs. Iran (2.5)

8 a.m. ET Monday, Fox Sports 1

  • England to win (-275)

  • Iran to win (+950)

  • Tie (+350)

England should win this one with ease, though we’re fascinated about how this game plays out. Iran is coached by Carlos Queiroz. His teams are known to bunker in front of goal and prevent goals at all costs. England wants to play five defenders at the back and would prefer to strike on the counter. The Three Lions will dominate possession. And if there was ever a time for Gareth Southgate to play four at the back and Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Jude Bellingham all in midfield, this is it.

United St ates vs. Wales (2.5)

As you likely know, the USMNT is back at the World Cup for the first time since 2014. That drought is nothing compared to a Wales squad that’s in a World Cup for the first time in 64 years. Gareth Bale is still the star for Wales after playing a part-time role at LAFC and Aaron Ramsey is still a key component. The biggest question for the Welsh is Joe Allen; he suffered an injured hamstring in September and hasn’t played since. If Allen can’t go, there’s no real replacement for him in the squad.

We’ll take the U.S. to win this one in what could be one of the top five most critical matchups of the group stage. The loser of this game has a massive climb to make the Round of 16.

The United States and Christian Pulisic get their World Cup 2022 campaign underway on Monday against Wales. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)