Soccer

Women's World Cup Betting: France Are the Latest Monster Favorite, Should Roll on Sunday

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz

We're still getting a first look at these teams and how they will perform now that the tournament is here. On Sunday, we'll get to see Sweden, the Netherlands and France, three teams that could be involved in the latter stages of the tournament.

That trio has matchups that will likely see them open the tournament with a win going by the odds. Here are the World Cup odds as listed on FanDuel Sportsbook:

Time (Eastern)
Home
Draw
Away
1:00 AMSweden (-1600)+950South Africa (+3500)
3:30 AMNetherlands (-220)+350Portugal (+500)
8:00 AMFrance (-3500)+1700Jamaica (+8000)

Sweden vs. South Africa

We've seen some huge mismatches already in this tournament, and we'll get another one here.

Sweden enters the World Cup ranked third in the world, according to FIFA rankings, though they are only the seventh-favorites to win the tournament by the betting odds, listed at +2100 to win it all. They've gone deep in the World Cup and European Championships but haven't quite been able to get over the hump.

Last summer, they suffered a hugely disappointing 4-0 defeat to England in the semifinal of the Euros. Since that defeat, their form has been something of a mixed bag. They've had wins over France and China, draws against Germany and Spain, and losses to Australia and Denmark.

Many of Sweden's important players play their trade at some of Europe's best clubs. This includes Fridolina Rolfo and Stina Blackstenius, two forwards listed at better than even-money to score. Rolfo netted 12 goals in 34 matches for Barcelona this season. Blackstenius made a move to Arsenal and excelled, pouring in 18 goals in 39 appearances.

South Africa comes into the tournament ranked 54th in the world. That's the third-lowest ranking of any team in the competition.

They did have a successful 2022, winning the African Cup of Nations. Since then, they haven't had much success. They suffered two defeats to Brazil by a combined score of 9-0 and also lost to Australia, 4-1.

They were able to beat Costa Rica in a tune-up game just before the World Cup, so that may give them more confidence heading into this game. Goalkeeper Andile "Sticks" Dlamini will do her best to keep out Sweden. In the AFCON tourney, she was named the best goalkeeper.

Assuming you aren't too excited to lay the -1600 on Sweden's moneyline, there are a few other ways you can bet on this match. One of them is the first goalscorer market -- betting on Blackstenius (+270) or Rolfo (+340) to open the scoring makes sense as they are two key forwards on a gigantic favorite.

Netherlands vs. Portugal

The closest game of the day, per the betting odds, still has one team as a pretty sizable favorite.

The Netherlands were the runners-up in 2019, losing to the US 2-0 in the final. They had a disappointing European Championships last summer, exiting in the first knockout round. Their ranking has slipped to ninth in the world after that tournament, despite winning 7 of 10 matches since then.

The Dutch are known for playing sound tactically on the men's side, especially in midfield. That carries over to their women's team, as well. Jill Roord recently signed for Manchester City and is capable of providing the creativity needed to start attacks.

A big loss for the Netherlands is Vivianne Miedema. She led the team with three goals in the 2019 tournament, but an ACL tear suffered in December will see her sidelined for the World Cup. Lieke Martens will have to be one who steps up for the Dutch. She was named Best FIFA Women's Player in 2017 and is still an effective cog for Barcelona at age 30.

The Portuguese don't have the same history in the women's game as they do in the men's. This will be their first-ever appearance at the World Cup, and they clinched their berth via the UEFA playoffs with a victory over Iceland.

After being eliminated in the group stage of the Euros last summer, Portugal went on a string of eight straight victories before losing to Japan in April. FIFA slots them 21st.

Nine of Portugal's 23 players play for Benfica, one of the biggest clubs in Portugal, and they've won their domestic league three years running. That could give them an advantage as they will be familiar with each other. However, they don't have a ton of experience in the Champions League, where many of the Dutch women play.

These two teams played a 3-2 thriller last year at the Euros. The Dutch like to attack and have the talent to do so, even without Miedema. You can get +180 on over 3.5 goals, and banking on this game to be a high-scoring affair is an interesting way to play it.

France vs. Jamaica

It's another group-stage match between haves and have-nots -- even more so than Sweden vs. South Africa.

France is home to some of the best women's club teams in the world and has loads of talented players. They've never been able to win any tournaments on the women's side, with their best World Cup result being a fourth-place finish in 2011.

They made a change at manager just four months before the tournament. Taking charge is Herve Renard, a well-known men's manager who guided Saudi Arabia to a famous victory over Argentina in Qatar in the 2022 Men's World Cup.

This brought Wendie Renard -- no relation -- back into the team after she had previously stated that she would skip the tournament due to mental health reasons. She is the team's captain and has been named in the FIFA World XI for each of the past four years.

Eugenie Le Sommer was brought back into the team at age 34 and started their last friendly against Australia on July 14th. Le Sommer is France's all-time leading scorer with 89 goals and will likely start as a striker.

Jamaica has a tough task on its hands to get anything from this match -- as the odds suggest. They are ranked 42nd overall by FIFA, which in and of itself is an accomplishment considering where they were 10 years ago.

In 2010, Jamaica cut women's soccer for monetary reasons but was able to bring it back in 2014. They've been able to get to the World Cup twice since then and even finished third in the CONCACAF Women's Championship last year.

The Reggae Girls do have one legitimate superstar on their team -- Khadija Shaw. She has scored 50 goals in 58 games for Manchester City over the past three seasons, including 20 in 22 Women's Super League games this past campaign.

Shaw also has a ridiculous scoring record at the international level. She's played for Jamaica 38 times and scored a whopping 55 goals.

The presence of Shaw makes for some interesting betting opportunities in this one. Her odds are +500 to score at any time, and +1600 to score first. If you want to play it a little safer but still lean toward Jamaica making it interesting, betting on both teams to score at +150 is another route to take.


The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.