The 2022 FIFA World Cup is only two months away and will kick off with the host nation Qatar facing off against Ecuador. This year’s tournament will be featured in November and December since the climate in Qatar during the summer months was too hot to host the games.
Ecuador will finally be able to focus on their World Cup campaign as their summer was clouded with the controversy surrounding the nationality of their right back Byron Castillo. Chile claimed that Castillo was not Ecuadorian and made their case to FIFA that Ecuador’s matches in which Castillo featured during qualifiers should be forfeited. However, FIFA made a decision last week to reject Chile’s appeal to replace Ecuador in the World Cup, putting the debate to bed.
With both nations now primed for the World Cup, let’s dive into the odds for the tournament’s inaugural match.
Qatar vs Ecuador Odds
- 3-Way Handicap: Ecuador (+122) | Draw (+235) | Qatar (+230)
- Draw No Bet: Ecuador (-170) | Qatar (+130)
- Over/Under Goals: Over 2.5 (+120) | Under 2.5 (-150)
- Both Teams to Score: Yes (-115) | No (-115)
Qatar vs Ecuador odds are current as of 11 a.m. EST on Sept. 22 at Caesars Sportsbook.
It’s not surprising that Ecuador is the favorite to win this match as they are the more experienced side. They did not feature in the 2018 World Cup but went 1-1-1 in 2014, which included a draw against France.
The total for the match is juiced towards the under, which presents a value on betting on a high-scoring game.
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Qatar vs Ecuador Prediction
Qatar 2:1 Ecuador
The two teams play an attacking style of football, relying on their wingbacks to push up the field. This matchup will be fast-paced and pretty open, so there will be a lot of goal-scoring opportunities. Under manager Félix Sánchez, Qatar lines up in a 3-5-2 formation on the attack and will transition to a back five when defending. This is because their wingbacks love to push up the field and attack from the sides.
Ecuador traditionally will employ a 4-3-3 but at times will only be left with two defenders on the backline when the wingbacks move up the pitch, which can lead to them being vulnerable to the counterattack.
The home-field narrative can sometimes be overlooked, but it could prove vital in the opening game of the World Cup. Despite being the underdogs in 2010, South Africa secured a draw against Mexico in the opening match of that year’s World Cup. Similarly, the home crowd in Qatar will expect a strong performance from the host nation, and the energy in the stadium will help them come away with the three points.
This will be a fun matchup as both teams will be looking to push the pace of play.
Qatar vs Ecuador Betting Tips
I think we will see a high-scoring contest with the style of play that the two countries will showcase. When Qatar made it to the semifinal of the Gold Cup, they scored 12 goals in their five games and only conceded six. Their attack was too much for the Central-American countries Panama, Honduras, and El Salvador to handle. Unfortunately, Qatar is also the reigning Asia Cup champions and will be overlooked in this matchup against Ecuador.
Under the leadership of Enner Valencia, Ecuador will be expected to take all three points from this tournament’s opening match. Still, they will be at a disadvantage when it comes down to tactics. They will be exposed on the counterattack when they push forward, and Qatar has the speed and attack to capitalize on those opportunities.
Ecuador has the edge in experience as they have a few players who currently play in the Top 5 Leagues of Europe. In contrast, the entire Qatar team plays domestically in their home country.
Qatar vs Ecuador Best Bets
Over 2.5 Total Goals (+120) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
The two nations will be on the attack for most of the game, and we will see a ton of shots on goal. I’m backing a high-scoring game, and there is great value in taking the over 2.5.
Both Teams to Score (-115) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
The two teams will most likely be fighting for third place in the group as they are paired with the Netherlands and Senegal in Group A. If either team is to push for 2nd, they must grab a win in this matchup. Both teams will be on the front foot, and I can see them both finding the back of the net.
Draw No Bet: Qatar (+130) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
I think Qatar will win this matchup, but taking the Draw No Bet is a hedge if the two teams are tied at the end of regulation.