World Cup 2026 Tips: Who Will Triumph In North America?
A Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina won the 2022 World Cup after beating France on penalties at the end of a pulsating 3-3 draw in the final.
Betting sites wasted no time in publishing odds on who will prevail next time around, when the action shifts to North America in 2026.
Canada, Mexico and the USA are sharing hosting duties, and the number of teams will be increased from 32 to 48 as part of a major shake-up of the tournament’s format.
However, all the usual suspects from South America and Europe dominate the betting, and we have explored the most likely candidates to lift the trophy at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
World Cup 2026 Outright Odds
France came within inches of becoming the first back-to-back world champions since the great Brazilian side of 1958 and 1962, but they were thwarted by Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
The Aston Villa stopper produced a superb save to deny Randal Kolo Muani in the dying stages of extra-time, and he then played a starring role in Argentina’s shootout win.
However, the future looks brighter for France than Argentina. Their talisman - Kylian Mbappe, who finished the tournament as the top scorer after firing in a hat-trick in the final - is just 23 years of age, and he will be in his prime in 2026.
Meanwhile, Argentina will no longer be able to call upon the world-class talents of Lionel Messi in four years’ time.
There are lots of exciting youngsters in the French setup, including Aurelin Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Christopher Nkunku and William Saliba.
With Mbappe spearheading the project, Les Bleus are the outright favourites with most of the best football betting sites for 2026 glory at 6/1.
Brazil are also priced at 6/1 with Bet365 to win a sixth World Cup title when they head to North America in 2026.
The Seleçao generally head into the World Cup as the favourites, but they tend to crash out in the quarter-finals recently.
That was the case in 2006, 2010, 2018 and 2022, while they lost in the semi-finals on home turf back in 2014.
They always boast a strong squad bursting with world-class talent, but it never seems to click for Brazil in the knockout stage.
Neymar will be 34 at the 2026 World Cup, and he will bid to emulate Messi by capping his career with the one elite trophy that has thus far eluded him.
The Three Lions can count themselves a little unfortunate to lose to France in the 2022 World Cup quarter-finals following some contentious decisions from a weak referee.
Harry Kane missed a late penalty to force extra-time in that 2-1 defeat, leaving England fans facing up to more years of hurt.
However, there are nevertheless reasons to be cheerful when analysing the future prospects of this team.
After all, England were semi-finalists in 2018, runners-up at last summer’s Euros and impressive at the 2022 World Cup.
They have a young squad, and the likes of Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Reece James should be even better by 2026.
As such, the Three Lions are next in the betting at 8/1 with betting apps to win the 2026 World Cup.
Messi confirmed that Sunday’s final would be his last appearance at the World Cup, leaving Argentina without their star player in 2026.
He will be 39 years of age by then, leaving a new generation to take up the mantle.
Although, in the wake of the final victory, he assured Argentina fans he will remain in the blue and white stripes for a little longer.
There are some very exciting prospects, including Julian Alvarez, Enzo Fernandez, Alexis Mac Allister and Lisandro Martínez.
However, Nicolás Otamendi, Marcos Acuna, Nicolas Tagliafico and Angel Di Maria may be out of the picture by then, leaving Argentina with a major rebuilding job.
The loss of Messi will be the biggest blow of all, so Argentina are out at 10/1 with Ladbrokes to win the World Cup in 2026.
Ireland have been installed as 500/1 outsiders with Paddy Power to win the World Cup in 2026 after slipping to 49th place in the FIFA world rankings.
They have not qualified for a major tournament since Euro 2016, but the extended format of the 2026 World Cup gives them a great chance of securing a berth.
On the plus side too, exciting youngsters such as Nathan Collins, Gavin Bazunu, Michael Obafemi and Dara O’Shea should be hitting their peak by then.
Some new betting sites are offering just 9/1 on Spain to win the next World Cup, but you can find 11/1 if you shop around.
They flopped at the 2022 showpiece, but they boast a wealth of exciting talent, and a more direct approach under a new manager could turn them into major contenders.
A period of soul searching is underway for Germany after another humiliating, early World Cup exit, but they are priced at 10/1 with Bet365 to turn things around by 2026, with the talented Jamal Musiala leading the charge.
The future also looks bright for Portugal, with the likes of Gonçalo Ramos, Rafael Leao and Joao Felix impressing, so they are 16/1, along with the Netherlands.
You can find 25/1 on reigning European champions Italy, who did not qualify for this year’s tournament, while Belgium are out at 33/1 following the fading of their golden generation.
Hosts USA could make an interesting long-shot at 40/1 after reaching the Round of 16 this year.
Scotland and Wales are both priced at 500/1 to win the 2026 World Cup, while Northern Ireland are 1,000/1 outsiders.
Wales will no longer have Gareth Bale to lead them into battle in 2026, so they will need new stars to come to the fore.
Yet all three nations should have a better chance of qualifying under the expanded format, and anything can happen when the tournament gets underway - as Morocco showed in 2026.
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