The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is certainly unique.
For one, it will be played in late fall, a drastic change from its usual early summer slot.
In Michigan, it will also be the first World Cup played in the age of legal sports betting. As the World Cup is often the only soccer viewing experience many Americans have, it could also be the first soccer betting experience for many in the Great Lake state.
But don’t worry, we have you covered. This guide will explain how to watch the World Cup, including the United States Men’s National Team, how to bet on soccer, and which players and teams you should watch.
How to watch the World Cup
The first match of the World Cup will be played between host Qatar and Ecuador at 11 a.m. EST on Sunday, Nov. 20. The Group A game will be shown on FOX.
All of the matches through the group stage will be on either FS1 or FOX. The daily schedule through most of the group stage will be 5 a.m., 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The earlier two matches will be on FS1, while the later matches will be on FOX.
The final four days of group stage play (Nov. 29 through Dec. 2) will have two matches at 10 a.m. and two at 2 p.m.
The group stage features eight groups of four teams, which will play in a round robin format. The top two from each group will advance to the knockout rounds, or bracket play.
The knockout rounds will be on the following schedule, with all matches outside of Dec. 4 being televised on FOX:
- Round of 16: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 3-6
- Quarterfinals: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10
- Semifinals: 2 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14
- Third-Place Match: 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 17
- Final: 10 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 18
The games can be streamed through FOX online, or on the FOX Sports app.
Peacock will have Spanish-language livestreams of the games, with the first 12 matches available for free. The remaining games will require a Peacock Premium subscription.
Where to watch the World Cup in Michigan
If you feel like leaving home to watch the World Cup, you have several options. You could head to one of Michigan’s retail sportsbooks to combine the viewing and betting experiences.
There are also several soccer bars in Michigan where you can enjoy the games with fellow fans. Here are the soccer bars listed on the Premier League website:
- Regents Field, 204 S. Main St., Ann Arbor
- Conor O’Neill’s, 318 S. Main St., Ann Arbor
- McShane’s Irish Pub, 1460 Michigan Ave., Detroit
- Mercury Bar, 2163 Michigan Ave., Detroit
- Royal Oak Brewery, 215 E. Fourth St., Royal Oak
- Thomas Magee’s Sporting House, 1408 E. Fisher Service Dr., Detroit
- Detroit City Clubhouse, 3401 E. Lafayette St., Detroit
- J’s Penalty Box, 22726 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
US World Cup schedule
The United States Men’s National Team is in Group B with Wales, England and Iran. It’s match schedule is about as viewer friendly as you could ask for in a tournament on the other side of the world.
- Vs. Wales, 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21, FOX
- Vs. England, 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, FOX
- Vs. Iran, 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, FOX
If the USMNT were to win the group (its odds to do so are at ), it would play its Round of 16 match at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4, on FS1.
A second place finish in the group (the USMNT carries odds to advance out of group play), means a Round of 16 match at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, on FOX.
The USMNT is a longshot to win it all, of course, at .
How to bet on the World Cup
There are hundreds of World Cup betting markets available at Michigan sportsbooks.
When betting on the World Cup, you can keep it as simple as picking a team to win the whole thing in the futures market. Or, you could sweat out the total number of corner kicks taken in the first half of a 5 a.m. game between Morocco and Croatia.
Betting on soccer isn’t much different than betting on anything else. You can setup multi-game parlays or single-game parlays. There are totals, moneylines and spreads.
Goal scorer props are basically touchdown scorer props — you can bet first, last and anytime.
Beware of ties when betting on soccer
There is one big wrench in soccer betting, however, specifically when it comes to the group stage games: ties.
Yes, teams can tie, and they won’t go to overtime to settle it in any match prior to the knockout rounds. So, where a football moneyline almost always has a favorite with negative odds and an underdog with plus odds, a soccer match could — and often does — have three outcomes with plus odds.
Take, for instance, the USMNT opener against Wales. The US is the favorite at +165, while Wales is +195 and a draw is also at +195.
There is a “draw no bet” option in soccer, which eliminates the draw. If you pick either team in a draw no bet and the game ends in a tie, your bet will be treated as a push, returning the money to you.
It’s all pretty straight forward in the group stages, but if betting on the knockout rounds, make sure to read carefully. If your market reads “after regulation” or “after 90 minutes”, your team winning in extra time isn’t going to pay out.
5 Teams to watch at the World Cup
South American giants Brazil and Argentina are the favorites to win, followed by the best in Europe: France, Spain, England and Germany.
Here are five teams not in that group that you should make time to watch.
OK, you were going to watch them anyway, but let this serve as confirmation. The USMNT is as deep as it’s ever been in terms of players with European club experience. It’s also very young, with most of its top players under 25. Forward Christian Pulisic — who we are claiming as our own in Michigan — is the most well-known name, and he can be spectacular. But it’s Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie who is the heart of this team. Expect him to be a household name by Christmas.
The Dutch are in Group A, likely the easiest group of the tournament. They carry odds to win the whole thing, which isn’t bad for a team ranked fourth in the world based on ELO ratings. They’re led by Liverpool center back Virgil van Dijk, and have a strong complement of players from their country’s best club team, Ajax, which could be an advantage at a winter World Cup.
Three of Mexico’s four projected starters on defense play together at Monterrey. That’s a huge advantage in a tournament where most of the players on the best teams were playing with completely different people a week ago. Combined with the danger Hirving Lozano and Raul Jimenez can provide up top, Mexico could be very dangerous.
Once thought of as the next big European power, it now comes in as a relative longshot at despite high FIFA (2) and ELO (5) rankings. The defense is ancient, and some of the better offensive players have fallen off in recent years, but they have Kevin De Bruyne (more on him later) in the midfield and maybe the world’s best goalkeeper in Thibaut Courtois.
A very tough draw into Group E with giants Germany and Spain, as well as a fellow potential upstart in Costa Rica, isn’t ideal for Japan’s hopes at advancing. But it is ideal for those of us watching. Japan enters the tournament with the coolest nickname (The Samurai Blue), and a style that makes for very entertaining matches. With every point being crucial in this group, that should make for a fun time.
5 players to watch at the 2022 World Cup
It should come as no surprise that many of the best and most popular players in the world are on the teams favored to win.
Neymar (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Harry Kane (England) and Kylian Mbappe (France) are names that are at least somewhat familiar to sports fans. Cristiano Ronaldo will also be on the pitch for Portugal.
But here’s a look at five players worth your time over the next month.
Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium
The previously mentioned De Bruyne is arguably the world’s best playmaker. He won’t be surrounded by the same level of talent or be playing in the same system as he does at Manchester City, but that shouldn’t stop him from making a handful of passes that belong in the Louvre.
Karim Benzema, France
The last time we entered a World Cup without Messi or Ronaldo as the reigning Balon d’Or winner was 2006. This year, Benzema has that honor, and he certainly earned the distinction as world’s best player in 2022. He just finds ways to score goals in huge moments.
Vinicius Junior, Brazil
At 22, Vinicius has already established himself as one of the world’s most dynamic forwards, and has a Champions League-winning goal to his credit. Real Madrid secured his services before he turned 18, and this World Cup could put him on a path to surpassing Neymar in terms of international name recognition.
Alphonso Davies, Canada
Our neighbors to the north haven’t been in the World Cup since 1986, and a major reason for their return is Davies. He essentially plays forward for Canada, but is a left back for Bayern Munich, showing how ridiculous his range is. A hamstring injury is likely to slow him a little, but it should still be fun to watch one of the world’s best young players on the biggest stage.
Darwin Nunez, Uruguay
The 23-year-old forward was one of the Premier League’s most expensive transfers this summer, going to Liverpool from Benfica. His straight line speed, ability to put himself in scoring areas and a pairing with savvy veteran Luis Suarez could make him extra dangerous in a month-long tournament.