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FIFA World Cup 2022: 3 bets we like ahead of Sunday's kickoff

Harrison, New Jersey, USA; Argentina forward Lionel Messi (10) celebrates his goal Argentina goalkeeper Andre Blake (1) during the second half at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

With the FIFA 2022 World Cup kicking off in Qatar on Sunday, Nov. 20, it’s time to dig into the PFF data and highlight some of the best available bets at BetMGM.

All odds are correct as of Thursday, Nov. 17.

Top Goalscorer: Lionel Messi, Argentina  (+1000)

At +1,000, Messi and France's Karim Benzema are tied for the third-highest odds for top goalscorer at the tournament. Only England’s Harry Kane and France’s Kylian Mbappé (both at +700) are ahead of them.

Still, based on Messi’s current form, anything short of him being the favorite feels like value in this spot. 

The 35-year-old forward is having a tremendous season in Ligue 1 and boasts a league-leading 98.8 shooting grade from 51 shots. He’s been in good form for the national team recently, too, as he's found the net 10 times in four games against Estonia, Honduras, Jamaica and the UAE.

Add in that Argentina are second favorites to win the tournament at +500, and there is a very good chance that Messi will get the opportunity to have his signature World Cup.

Click here to bet with BetMGM and get a risk-free first bet of up to $1,000

Lionel Messi: Top goalscorer +1000
$10 returns $110.00

Top Goalscorer for the USA: Walker Zimmerman (+2500)

This might seem like a wild choice, but there’s some logic here.

Firstly, how many games is the USA likely to play at the tournament? The USMNT is +100 to qualify from Group B, slightly edging Wales in the group, but just 16th in the betting market to advance to the quarter-finals. Therefore, we can realistically assume that they will play between three and five games.

Christian Pulisic (+300) is the current favorite to be the USA's top goalscorer. However, he has scored just once for Chelsea this season and has a PFF shooting grade of 68.0 from nine shots, with just two of those shots earning a positive grade.

The Second favorite is Jesús Ferreira (+400), whose fine form for FC Dallas produced a 90.3 PFF shooting grade this season. But while he is expected to start and feels like a better bet than Pulisic at those odds, he has scored just seven times in 15 appearances for the national side.

If neither of those two emerges as the USA's top scorer, casting the net a little wider offers some opportunity. Zimmerman will almost certainly start every game, and there are two key PFF grades that make me think he is a sneaky outsider to lead the team in scoring. Firstly, he produced a 78.8 shooting grade on 26 shots last season, the best among all central defenders in the MLS. Secondly, he earned an 82.4 aerial duel grade, which ranked 23rd.

That makes him a threat from set pieces and could be enough to see him lead the team in scoring if you don’t like the odds for Pulisic or Ferreira.

Click here to bet with BetMGM and get a risk-free first bet of up to $1,000

Walker Zimmerman: Top goalscorer for the USA +2500
$10 returns $260.00

Top Goalscorer for Belgium: Kevin De Bruyne +300

Romelu Lukaku is the favorite here, but there are still doubts about how fit he will be for the tournament. Beyond that, De Bruyne is having a tremendous start to the 2022/23 season at Manchester City; it’s just that he’s being outshone by prize summer signing Erling Haaland.

De Bruyne's 93.0 shooting grade is the best mark in the Premier League this season, albeit on a lower sample of just 28 shots. However, he also produced the highest shooting grade in the Premier League last season at 91.5.

So what we know about De Bruyne is that he might not have the volume to feel confident in a lot of goals, but he does have the quality that variance could easily land his way in a small window of games.

Click here to bet with BetMGM and get a risk-free first bet of up to $1,000

Kevin De Bruyne: Top goalscorer for Belgium +300
$10 returns $40.00

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