Best underdog picks to win World Cup: Croatia has unfinished business
Croatia finished second at the 2018 World Cup. Photo by Darko Bandic/AP.

The World Cup has been held 21 times and only eight different countries have claimed the title. That said, everyone loves an underdog story and we're going to pick three nations that could rise to the occasion in Qatar.

The pre-tournament narrative: Croatia made it to the World Cup final in 2018 and most of that squad is back for another shot at glory. Meanwhile, Uruguay is among the most experienced teams and Switzerland holds long shot value at 130-to-1.

Check out our best World Cup underdog picks for the upcoming tournament in Qatar.

Best World Cup underdog picks

Best World Cup underdog picksOddsBet now
Croatia +6,600Add to betslip
Uruguay +4,500Add to betslip
Switzerland +13,000Add to betslip

Odds as of 12:52 p.m. on 10/17/2022.

Best World Cup underdog picks

Best Bet: Croatia (+6,600)

This will be Croatia's last chance to win a World Cup with its golden generation.

The Croatians had a shot at lifting the trophy in 2018 but fell to France in the final. Before that, they toppled Denmark, Russia and England in the knockout stage.

Luka Modric has stated this will be his final international appearance while Ivan Perisic and Domagoj Vida are both 33 years old. Plenty of other veterans — like Andrej Kramaric — are on the wrong side of 30.

That said, we think there's a chance for this battle-tested group to run it back one last time.

Modric is still one of the world's best midfielders. He regularly features in Real Madrid's squad and helped them to a 2022 Champions League victory. Perisic has been thriving with Tottenham Hotspur and goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic has proven his abilities between the pipes.

Croatia finished atop its group (Austria, Denmark, France) in the Nations League this year and only allowed six goals in six games.

There are some exciting young talents to play alongside the countless veterans, too. Josko Gvardiol and Josip Stanisic are a pair of young defenders rising in the Bundesliga. Nikola Vlasic has scored seven goals in 42 national appearances and is one of Croatia's more dynamic attacking players.

Key stat: Two teams have won the World Cup after finishing second in the tournament prior.

Canada World Cup specialsOddsBet now
Canada to score vs. Belgium-115 (was -137)Add to betslip
Canada to win at least one World Cup game+100Add to betslip
Canada to score in every group stage game+250Add to betslip
A. Davies & J. David both to score in group stage+325Add to betslip
Davies 1+ goal & 1+ assist in group stage+400Add to betslip
Canada to advance past group stage+480 (was +400)Add to betslip

Other World Cup underdog picks

Uruguay (+4,500): Uruguay has won two World Cups (1930, 1950) and has been on the brink of a third for quite some time.

The squad made it to the quarterfinals in 2018 and the semis back in 2010. Five different players remain from that 2010 team — Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Martin Caceres, Diego Godin and goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

This is a veteran group that won't be shying away from a challenge. Uruguay has a tough group with Portugal, South Korea and Ghana but should be able to advance.

Once in the knockout stage, look for young talents like Rodrigo Bentancur and Federico Valverde to shine.

Switzerland (+13,000): The Swiss are big underdogs to win this tournament and for good reason. They've never made it to a semifinal, let alone a World Cup final. That said, we think there's an outside shot they can catch lightning in a bottle for this year's tournament.

Xherdan Shaqiri, Ricardo Rodriguez and Granit Xhaka all have over 100 international caps and form a strong leadership corps. Younger talents such as Breel Embolo and Ruben Vargas can make noise, too.

Switzerland has beaten France, Portugal and Spain in the past two years, proving it can topple some of the world's best squads.

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