Can You Earn Crypto From Betting Against the Weakest Teams at the World Cup?

Patrick Lynch
By Patrick Lynch
Sports & Casino Expert
Updated Nov 23, 2022
Read time 12 min

In soccer betting, punters are more inclined to bet ‘for’ a team rather than ‘against’ it. Doing so could cause them to miss out on betting ‘against’ underdogs. Betting exchanges have introduced lay betting to a new generation of bettors, but a substantial percentage persist with their old ways.

However, rather than looking to bet on a World Cup 2022 winner, why not focus on weak teams that are likely to struggle? There aren’t any underdog World Cup winners, with nations such as France, Spain, Italy, Brazil, and Germany among the most recent champions.

Realistically, the percentage of times the World Cup favorite has won over the underdog is exceedingly high. Frankly, the gap in quality between the top and mediocre international teams is growing.

Most punters assume that there’s little value in backing against a World Cup underdog. Yet, if you know where to look, you could earn a reasonable profit. Alternatively, you can find value short odds bets and give your account balance slow but steady boosts.

Keep reading for an insight into the weakest teams at the 2022 World Cup and the most interesting betting markets. First, let’s find out more about World Cup underdogs who performed even worse than expected,

Historically Bad World Cup Underdogs

If you want to bet on the World Cup with Bitcoin and think a low-quality team might spring a surprise, the following tales of woe may cause you to pause for thought! Here are three of the worst-ever World Cup underdogs.

1. South Korea in 1954 (P2 L2 – Scored 0, Conceded 16)

Statistically, South Korea’s performance in the 1954 World Cup is the worst of all time. Oddly, it rarely gets mentioned when discussing abysmal World Cup underdog performances. The Asian team had the misfortune of being drawn into the same group as Hungary in a tournament full of goals. Indeed, the 1954 World Cup averaged 5.38 goals a game, more than double the rate of a few recent versions.

South Korea held out for 12 minutes against the magnificent Magyars before losing 9-0. Game #2 against Turkey went little better, with the underdogs 4-0 down by the 37th minute en route to an embarrassing 7-0 defeat. Sadly, the great Hungarian side unexpectedly lost 3-2 to West Germany in the final, having given the soccer world so much to enjoy.

2. Zaire in 1974 (P3 L3 – Scored 0, Conceded 14)

Regarded by many as the worst team to ever play in the World Cup, Zaire (now DR Congo) entered the 1974 tournament with little expected of them. Unfortunately, in what remains the nation’s only ever World Cup appearance, the Leopards fared even worse than anticipated, although behind-the-scenes issues certainly contributed.

After a 2-0 loss to Scotland, where Zaire performed to a decent standard, they were humiliated 9-0 by Yugoslavia. President Mobutu told the team that they would not be allowed to return home if they conceded more than three goals to Brazil, the reigning world champions in the final group game. Zaire just about achieved this dubious goal with a 3-0 loss. Even so, Mobutu said that the team had embarrassed the continent of Africa.  

So bad were Zaire that they overshadowed the dreadful performance of Haiti, who also conceded 14 in three games, scoring twice.

3. Bolivia in 1950 (P1 L1 – Scored 0, Conceded 8)

It was tempting to include the 1982 El Salvador team, who lost 10-1 to Hungary in 1982. However, the then war-torn country showed pride to only lose 1-0 to Belgium and 2-0 to reigning champions Argentina. One could also argue for Greece’s dismal 1994 showing, where the European nation played 3, lost 3, scored none, and conceded 10. You could even look at the 2002 Saudi Arabian team that scored none and conceded 12 in three games.

Yet, Bolivia’s truly appalling showing in the 1950 World Cup deserves special attention. The tournament was affected by the withdrawals of India and France, and there wasn’t enough time for replacements. As a result, Bolivia’s 3-team group became a straight fight between them and Uruguay.

Bolivia’s resistance lasted less than a quarter of an hour, and they were 6-0 down by the 54th minute. While Bolivia managed to avoid losing by double figures, the 8-0 thrashing was humiliating enough.

Who Are the Weakest Teams at the 2022 World Cup?

If you look solely at tournament betting, the biggest World Cup underdogs this year include:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Costa Rica
  • Iran
  • Tunisia
  • Australia
  • Qatar
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Ghana
  • Cameroon

All of the above are 251.00+ to win the 2022 World Cup. However, not every team on this list is ‘weak.’ For instance, Costa Rica and Japan have the misfortune of being drawn in a group with Spain and Germany. Iran must play England and Wales, while South Korea and Ghana have to contend with Portugal and Uruguay. Perhaps one or two of these teams may suffer a heavy defeat at some point.

However, the hosts, Qatar, are among the weakest teams and, unlike their fellow underdogs, were unlikely to have qualified if they didn’t host the event. Qatar’s world ranking of 50 is puzzling, though perhaps inflated through a couple of recent friendly wins. Matches against European opposition in 2021 resulted in two 4-0 thrashings at the hands of Serbia and another 4-0 loss to the Republic of Ireland, who is bizarrely ranked 49, just one spot ahead of the World Cup hosts!

Saudi Arabia is ranked just below Qatar at #51 and recently drew with European minnow Albania. Australia is ranked 38 but faces a mammoth task against France and Denmark. Ghana is ranked 61 and will surely struggle in its group.

Knowing the weakest teams in the World Cup is one thing; creating a strategy to profit from this knowledge is quite another!

How to Win from Betting Against the World Cup Underdog

Although there are a few avenues worth exploring, we’ve decided to keep things simple and focus on three potentially lucrative markets.

Individual Matches

Analyzing possible World Cup mismatches is a great place to start. One potentially fruitful tactic is to look at weak sides with a tough final match against a strong team that may have something to play for. Of course, you won’t know if the heavy favorite needs the win until the first two sets of fixtures have been played. 

In any case, here is a list of group games where the World Cup underdog could be on the wrong end of a heavy defeat:

  • Netherlands vs. Qatar
  • Senegal vs. Qatar
  • Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia
  • France vs. Australia
  • Belgium vs. Canada
  • Brazil vs. Cameroon
  • Portugal vs. Ghana

Group Betting

Another option is to bet on the weak team, either failing to qualify for the round of 16 or to finish bottom of the group. You may find that the odds of teams such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Costa Rica not qualifying are a bit on the short side. Therefore, it is perhaps worth looking for the team most likely to finish last in its group.

Saudi Arabia is a prime example. Its first game is against a strongly fancied Argentina side, with Lionel Messi beginning to show signs of his old self. There’s every chance the South American giants could hit a big score.  

With shattered confidence, the World Cup underdog will face Poland and another likely defeat. Then it becomes a question of trying to get a result against a Mexican side that could still be fighting for qualification.


When all else fails, look for special markets offered by bookmakers. It is common for sites to provide markets on specific teams, particularly the hosts. There will undoubtedly be markets relating to the hosts’ performance, Qatar. With Senegal and Netherlands to contend with, the hosts’ fate will likely be known after its first game with Ecuador.

Indeed, you might find that betting on the South American team to win the first game might prove a value bet. Should Ecuador defeat Qatar, it seems almost certain that the hosts will finish bottom of the group.

Presently, the odds of Qatar finishing last in Group A are short. However, you could find interesting special markets with bets at tempting odds. For instance, look for a bookmaker with a market on the hosts getting 0 points. Alternatively, there could be an over/under market on the number of goals Qatar concedes.

Betting On World Cup Underdogs to Go Under Could Be Profitable

When it is time to bet on the World Cup with Bitcoin, cast your glance toward the weakest teams in the tournament. Which nations are the most likely to be knocked out early and suffer heavy losses? Will one of the teams mentioned above join teams such as Bolivia in 1950, South Korea in 1954, and Zaire in 1974 in World Cup infamy?

Regardless of what you choose to wager on, make sure you shop around to get the best possible price. With so many crypto betting sites to choose from, searching for value is worth your while. 

Disclaimer: This article does NOT constitute financial advice, nor should you ‘expect’ to make money from betting. The process is known as ‘gambling’ for a good reason; there’s a strong possibility that you will lose in the long run. Only a small percentage of people make a steady, long-term profit from using betting as an investment strategy. Before you continue reading, please remember that it is possible to lose your entire bankroll, so NEVER risk more than you can afford to lose.

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Patrick Lynch
Patrick Lynch
Sports & Casino Expert

Patrick has been a professional writer since 2009. He knows the issues players face when trying to find reputable casinos and performs forensic analysis on every site he reviews. Since joining in 2021, Patrick has had his eyes opened by the potential of the cryptocurrency market. With a background in sports betting, he realizes the possibilities afforded to successful bettors when using digital currency.