World Cup 2026 Qualifying Betting Tips & Predictions

Get the latest predictions and betting tips from Squawka Bet’s team of experts as the nations of the world look to secure their route to the Canada, Mexico and USA World Cup finals in 2026.

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We’ve got a shorter wait than usual for the biggest spectacle in world football after the drama of Qatar 2022, with World Cup football returning to our screens in 2026 from the USA, Mexico and Canada in what will be a new look format for the tournament that is adored by football fans the world over.

With 48 teams now competing in the finals from six confederations, we’re set to see one of the biggest and best World Cups of all-time but first there’s the small matter of which 48 teams will find their way into the finals via the qualifying campaigns.

The finals will include 16 teams from Europe, one from Oceania, six from South America, six from Central and North America (including the three host countries), nine from Africa and eight from Asia – plus a further two to be determined via the play-off process.

The first qualifying fixtures will be taking place in September 2023 in South America. By the end of 2023, the Asian and African federations will have also begun their qualifying process, with CONCACAF and the OFC set to start in 2024. UEFA qualifying is not beginning until March 2025 following the conclusion of the European Championships and UEFA Nations League group stages.

World Cup 2026 key dates

Event Dates
CONMEBOL Qualifying Starts 7th September 2023
AFC Qualifying Starts 12th October 2023
CAF Qualifying Starts 23rd November 2023
CONCACAF Qualifying Starts March 2024
OFC Qualifying Starts September 2024
UEFA Qualifying Starts March 2025
OFC Qualifying Ends March 2025
CONMEBOL Qualifying Ends September 2025
AFC, CAF & CONCACAF Qualifying Ends November 2025
UEFA Qualifying Ends March 2025
Playoffs March 2026
Finals Tournament June-July 2026

Today’s World Cup Qualifying tips

Not only do we add a tips box for every game which you will find above ahead of each round of World Cup fixtures, but we also produce special betting previews on games involving the biggest nations where possible.

Our betting previews include our tips, of course, but they also include the odds from a host of different bookmakers, our key stats ahead of the fixture, the predictions of our expert writers and a look back at previous meetings between the two nations.

World Cup Qualifying In-Play betting tips

In-play betting has become more and more popular by the year. A lot of punters will be watching each and every game live as it unfolds, giving ample opportunity for some in-play betting.

That means you’ll be able to place bets based on how the game is playing out before your eyes, whether you fancy that minnow nation to nick an unlikely equaliser, or the big man up front is looking dangerous from set-pieces and you want to back him to score the next goal.

And what’s more, with most bookmakers also offering cash out on bets, you can react to the action to cash out for a portion of your potential winnings before the game is over.

Full-time results

The most popular market on any sportsbook, a full-time result bet is as simple as it sounds – you’re betting on the eventual outcome of the game.

The beauty of the World Cup sees some of the greatest players and teams in the international game go head-to-head and whichever way you see the game heading, you can bet on the outcome with the full-time results market.

You can even bet on which team will win each half or be leading at a certain point. There are also correct score markets, where you can bet on the exact result at full-time, or indeed half-time.

To score and win tips

You might get more value on those short-price odds for the favourites by combining your team to win tip with a goalscorer tip!

Of course, there are plenty of goalscoring markets available regardless, including first scorer, any time scorer, last scorer, to score two or more and many others.

Both teams to score

Exactly what it says on the tin – both teams must score in the 90 minutes for your bet to come in.

These are particularly popular bets to place as multiples, when you’re betting on for example four games and essentially eight different teams to score. Easy pickings with some of the attacking talent set to be on show!

Over 2.5 goals

Similar to the BTTS market, in these markets you’re betting on more than two goals to be scored in the game, which can be particularly popular if you’re expecting a thumping win for one side – or if you’re backing both teams to be on the scoresheet a lot.

Of course, you can also bet on Under 2.5 goals if you’re expecting a lower-scoring game, or you can change the parameters to bet on Under or Over 1.5, 3.5 or 4.5 goals and more.

Double chance

Think the bookies have got the odds all wrong and fancy those underdogs to get the better of their more illustrious opponents?

The double chance bet is perfect for this kind of hunch, as it allows you simply to bet on a team not to lose, giving you both the victory on your chosen team and the draw within the odds.

Player total shots

Obviously, here at Squawka Bet, we are keen on the player stat bets and at the World Cup, you can expect a deluge of stats and analysis to best inform you for these types of bets

One such market is the Player total shots market, where you can bet on how many attempts at goal a player will take during the match.

You can also bet on team shots, or player shots on target. Bet365 are one of the bookmakers to offer odds in these types of markets on the biggest games.

Player total tackles

Which players will rack up the most amount of total tackles, you ask? Well, we’ll have tips for these markets too, based on how many tackles players

have won in their domestic leagues and continental competitions. Looking around the domestic leagues of Europe, players like Cristian Romero of Argentina, Marcelo Brozovic of Croatia and Casemiro of Brazil will be worth watching in this particular market.


With passions and tensions always likely to be running high at the World Cup when teams are fighting for their nation’s hopes, expect cards to feature in almost every game.

There are plenty of markets available here, from total bookings, overs and under markets and which team will pick up the first booking in a game. Plus, you can even bet on whether a specific match will feature a red card.

There are also markets available on specific players to be carded or even sent off in a game.

Corners taken

Most bookmakers now offer bet-builder style markets where you can combine different bets from corners, cards, goals and result markets to create a specific, bespoke bet on the game.

But corner markets are worth backing themselves and you can bet on a certain amount of corners in the game, overs and unders markets, team specific amounts and who will win the first corner among other bets.

This week’s World Cup Qualifying predictions

Feel you’re ready to start placing your World Cup Qualifying bets? Read on for a little more information if you’re still looking to be armed with everything you need before you start looking to bash those bookmakers.

World Cup 2026 price boosts

It would be foolish not to take advantage of the excellent price boosts, new customer offers and specials available on World Cup qualifying – and the tournament itself.

With some bookmakers such as Sky Bet, you’ll find a raft of boosted prices on every single game once the main tournament itself kicks off.

World Cup Qualifying accumulators

The accumulator markets are perhaps best utilised over days where there are multiple matches, the World Cup is perfect for such a bet.

BTTS and Win-Draw-Win accumulators are most popular when it comes to accas, but you can mix and match with different markets from different matches if you so desire.

The possibilities are almost endless!

Best bookmakers for World Cup Qualifying

Qualifying for the 2026 World Cup is now in full swing so if you haven’t already, it’s best to get used to which bookmakers you want to use now!

Such an influx of action means you may not be able to distinguish the good from the best. Fortunately, at Squawka Bet, we’ve done the legwork for you. Check out the crème of the crop below:

What other competitions do we offer tips for?

The World Cup isn’t the only competition we provide dedicated tips and betting insight for. Indeed, there are plenty of other tournaments and leagues we cover with just as much zest and accuracy.

So, without further ado:

Read below for a comprehensive list of the competitive action we offer tips on alongside international football.

World Cup 2026 offers & free bets

Aside from our World Cup 2026 qualifying tips and predictions, there’s plenty more betting contributions to delve into, chiefly the World Cup betting offers and free bets.

These will most be present for every knock-out game with specials, promotions and enhanced odds available to wager on.

So, strap yourselves in, arm yourself with our betting content, and sit back as the games come in thick and fast for an international tournament unlike any other.