FIFA World Cup 2022

World Cup 2022 odds: Sportsbooks cash in on Morocco's upset win over Spain

December 6, 2022

If you thought betting on World Cup odds would be a bit less of a roller coaster in the knockout stage, well, Morocco would like to have a word with you.

Spain, meanwhile, has nothing to say after being completely silenced in a stunning round of 16 upset loss. Neither team scored through 90 minutes plus injury time nor 30 minutes of overtime.

But Morocco netted three of four penalty kicks, while Spain shockingly missed all three of its tries. So it’s onto the quarterfinals for Morocco and onto a jet home for the Spanish side.

Let's visit just how big of an upset this was in the sports betting world.

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How big an upset?

In the three-way betting – 90 minutes plus injury time – Spain was a -165 favorite at BetMGM, while Morocco was a hefty +500 underdog and draw was +280.

Bettors who took the draw – which weren’t many, as only 8% of tickets and 4% of dollars were on a tie – got the win there.

At FOX Bet, the three-way betting odds were similar, as the draw was set to +245.

In the two-way betting on which team advances – be it in 90 minutes plus injury time, overtime or on penalty kicks – Spain was a massive -375 favorite and Morocco +260.

Jason Scott, vice president of trading for BetMGM, put Morocco’s victory into terms most American bettors will understand.

"It’s not as big as Saudi Arabia vs. Argentina early in the tournament. But it’s the equivalent of a 13-point ‘dog winning an NFL match," Scott said.

And the entirety of the outcome couldn’t have been better for oddsmakers – from draw in 90 minutes plus injury time to a big underdog winning on PKs against a soccer power.

"If I was a bookmaker in Europe, I would name my dog Draw, as seeing a draw is never a bad result," Scott said. "Morocco winning the shootout and progressing was an extra bonus for bookmakers."

Morocco vs. Spain highlights

Morocco beat Spain in overtime penalty kicks in the knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup.

Built for the futures

The reason Morocco was a bonus for oddsmakers? Spain was among the favorites to win the World Cup.

"Favorites had been on a good run over the previous few days since the round of 16 commenced. In fact, the previous six progressed to the quarterfinals," Scott said. "There was very limited action on Morocco to advance."

Scott said that among tourney favorites, Spain was one of the better outcomes for BetMGM in World Cup championship futures. But he’s not complaining about the Spanish side heading home.

"Both were winners, [but] Morocco is significantly better," Scott said before pointing to which teams benefited most from the big round of 16 upset. "If, as expected, Portugal wins [Tuesday vs. Switzerland], then Portugal, along with the winner of the England-France quarterfinal, will be the beneficiaries of Spain’s departure."

Beating big odds

When World Cup championship odds opened months ago at BetMGM, Morocco was +15000 to win it all. Pre-tournament, the Moroccans were an even longer shot at +25000. Prior to the victory over Spain, Morocco could still be had at +10000 to lift the trophy.

Following the upset, Morocco is +3300 to win it all as it heads to the quarterfinals.

Spain, meanwhile, was among the favorites all along, per usual. BetMGM opened Spain at +750, and the Spanish side was +800 pre-tourney and prior to the loss against Morocco.

At FOX Bet, Spain was +700 to win it all coming into today's match.

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Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas

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