FIFA World Cup A-Z Guide: Betting Terms and World Cup Glossary

min read
Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas holds up the trophy after winning the World Cup final soccer match between the Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa.
AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Laura Paterson @ Nov 18, 2022, 1:08 PM
  • Here are all the World Cup betting terms you need to know.
  • The World Cup begins on November 20, 2022.

The FIFA World Cup is soccer’s penultimate competition and takes place in a different country every four years.

It offers an opportunity for players to win the most coveted title for their nation and gives bettors exciting soccer betting options.

World Cup betting differs from betting on the Premier League and other competitions in terms of the glossary used during the tournament. 

Here’s an A-Z guide for the most commonly used terms in any FIFA World Cup tournament, as well as the most important betting options you should know before the competition kicks off.

FIFA World Cup: A-Z Guide

A

Accumulators

Each choice must be correct to win a combination of different selections in a single wager. Also known as “parlays,” this is a difficult bet to get right but has attractive odds.

Advance from Group Stage

This is when a team comes within the top two spots in their group in the World Cup. They will then advance to the Round of 16.

Advantage Law

The referee allows a team to play despite a foul if a stoppage benefits the team that committed the foul. This usually happens if the team on the receiving end of the foul retains possession of the ball.

Asian Handicap/Handicap

This is the same as betting point spreads in other US sports. This is done to even out the odds when a much stronger team faces a weaker opponent. Goals are added or deducted from the teams. 

For example, France is much stronger than Tunisia, and handicap betting might put France at -1, which means that you’re betting on France to win by two goals, as they will have a goal deducted.  So, if they won 2-1, that would be 1-1, according to the sportsbook. They would need to win 3-1 or 4-2, etc., for your bet to be successful.

B

Both Teams to Score

Commonly abbreviated to BTTS, this wager is exactly what the name suggests: An opportunity to bet whether both teams will get on the scoresheet.

BetMGM also gives the option of choosing the team to win AND both teams to score, which can be profitable.

C

Correct Score

A wager on the exact final score of a particular game.

D

Double Chance

This wager gives you the option to choose two of the three possible outcomes in a match. For example, when the USA faces England, you can choose to bet on “USA or draw;” if England wins, then your bet isn’t successful. 

Alternatively, you could wager on “England or draw” or “USA or England.”

Draw No Bet

This is a straightforward full-time bet where you cannot select a draw. You must bet on one of the teams to win, and your wager is returned if the game ends in a draw.

E

Extra Time

Not to be confused with injury time, extra time is a period of time added to the end of a match if the scores are equal and the match is a knockout round. This is usually made up of two 15-minute periods with a short break in between.

F

FIFA

FIFA is the abbreviation for Fédération Internationale de Football Association or Federation of International Football Associations. FIFA is soccer’s governing body around the world.

FIFA World Rankings

The FIFA World Rankings is a ranking system for national soccer teams around the world. Rankings are based on game results, and the most successful teams are ranked the highest.

First and Last Goalscorer

Simply bet on who you think will score the first or last goal of the match.  Sportsbooks will offer odds for every player on each team.

Full-Time Result

Bet which team you expect to win the match or whether you think it will be a draw. 

Futures

Also known as outrights, futures are bets based on the outcome of a tournament, league, or game quite far in advance.

For example, you could bet on Brazil winning the World Cup as early as a couple of months before the tournament. This could also include other bets, such as who will be the top goalscorer in the World Cup, which teams will be in the final, and so on.

G

Golden Boot

The player that scores the most goals at the tournament receives the Golden Boot award.

Group Stage

The first stage of every World Cup is made up of different groups in which teams have been selected. Each group is made up of four nations that will all play each other. The two teams with the most points move on to the next round.

H

Halftime/Full-time

Select which team you expect to be winning at the halftime break and at the end of the match. You can select different teams for each half.

Halftime result

This wager has the same win-draw-win option as full-time result betting, except you are betting whether you think one of the teams will be ahead at halftime or whether it will be a draw.

Hat-trick

This is when a player scores three or more goals in one match.

I

Injury Time

Referees do not stop their watches when play is stopped. The result is that any stoppage time through injury or another aspect is added to the end of the game. 

Injury time is normally shown as 90 +3, for example. That’s 90 minutes for the match and three minutes of injury time.

P

Penalty

A penalty is given when a foul is committed inside the attacking team’s penalty box. This is sometimes referred to as PK in the USA.

Penalties

If a result is needed and extra time still can’t separate two teams, they will go to penalties/penalty shootouts/penalty kicks.

Each team gets five penalty kicks. If they are still equal, they will go to a round called “Sudden Death,” where the first team to score when the other team’s shot is blocked wins the game.

R

Round of 16

This is the second round in the World Cup, which consists of the top two teams from each group in the Group Stage.

S

Specials/Props

A specials or props bet is essentially a bet made on something that might or might not occur during a particular match. This usually has nothing to do with the outcome of the match itself.

Basically, it’s a unique bet that a sportsbook has made for a particular match or tournament. For example, you might find a bet for Phil Foden to be the first player to receive a yellow card for England, and so on.

Starting 11

The 11 players starting the match for each team.

T

Top Seed

The top-ranked team in each group, round, or game.

Total Goals (Over/Under)

Place a wager on whether you think the final score total will be over or under a certain amount. BetMGM offers a number of options for you to choose from, such as over 1.5 goals, under 1.5, over 2.5, under 2.5, etc.

V

VAR

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is an assistant refereeing system that transfers controversial plays into a board room for a group of video assistants to review and decide.

W

Win the Group

This is the team that has the most points in their group in the Group Stage.

World Cup Finals

Not to be confused with the “Final,” the World Cup Finals refers to the actual tournament taking place in one host nation. The build-up to the tournament is the World Cup Qualifiers and takes place all over the world.

Soccer Betting at BetMGM

With odds for matches around the world, there’s never a break in soccer betting at BetMGM.

Whether you’re a first-time bettor browsing World Cup odds, a casual soccer fan building a parlay, or a longtime diehard breaking down EPL trends, there are online sports betting opportunities for everyone.

Jamie Foxx holding a mobile phone next to the BetMGM's risk-free bet offer.
About the Author

Laura Paterson

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Laura is a dedicated in-house writer for The Media Image. An avid sports fan and field hockey player, she gets her fix through writing on a variety of sports for BetMGM.

Laura is a dedicated in-house writer for The Media Image. An avid sports fan and field hockey player, she gets her fix through writing on a variety of sports for BetMGM.