Betting on Men’s Hockey World Cup | Odds and Winner

Betting on Men’s Hockey World Cup

betJACK Training Camp
1 year ago
5 min read
Argentina forward Maria Granatto holds the ball against the Netherlands

The spectacular Hockey World Cup was first played in 1971 and, since 1978, repeats every four years.

The competition has been in the same year as the soccer World Cup since 1978 but two years after and before the Olympic Games. There have been 14 events in the history of the men’s tournament. Here is a list of the most successful countries and the number of times that each team has won the tournament:

Pakistan: 4

Netherlands: 3

Australia: 3

Germany: 2

Belgium: 1 

India: 1

Here is a similar list of the losing finalists since 1971:  

Netherlands: 4

Australia: 2

Germany: 2

Spain: 2

Pakistan: 2

India: 1

England: 1

The host nation has won the World Cup three times and been runners-up four times. Both teams have scored in 12 finals, while there have been over three goals in 7 out of 14 finals. One final has gone to extra time, and three finals have been decided on penalty strokes. No country from Africa or South America has won the Hockey World Cup or lost in the final.

There are familiar names in both rolls of honor. From 1998 to 2018, five countries won the Gold Medal at the Summer Games and the World Cup. The list does not include India or Pakistan, formerly the dominant teams. From 1928 to 1968, the two Asian nations shared nine Olympic titles. The balance of power has shifted to Europe in the shape of Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium.   

World Cup matches are played over two halves, of 30 minutes each, plus added time for injuries and other breaks in play. The 2018 final was the only goalless draw, and Belgium beat the Netherlands after a penalty shoot-out. The average number of goals in normal time in the finals has averaged out at 3.5. These facts should help with your Hockey World Cup winner betting.  

Hockey World Cup Format

The Hockey World Cup has one host nation; in 2023, it is India, staging the tournament for the third time. The event was moved from its more traditional date in July to the following January because of the high temperatures in India at the height of the summer. 

There are 16 competing nations, including the five continental champions, the hosts, and ten other countries that came through qualifying events. In other years, the Olympic Games would have been used as qualifiers, but the 2020 hockey event did not occur.

Four groups of four teams play in a round-robin format, followed by crossover games, with eight nations qualifying for the quarter-finals. The World Cup becomes a knockout event, culminating in the 2023 final at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, one of the two tournament venues.  

Odds Formats

The Hockey World Cup winner odds can be displayed in several formats. India are often favorite at about +500 in American odds, which indicates how much you stand to win from a $100 bet. These odds can be converted into 5/1 in fractions and 6.00 in decimals. The implied probability of India winning the Hockey World Cup is 16.7%. 

The hosts have a great chance in any tournament as they are suited to the temperatures and playing conditions. When the World Cup is played in Asia, European nations are less fancied in the betting to win the event. Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium have won the tournament in parts of Asia where the climate is tropical, but India and Pakistan have an advantage at an Asian event.  

World Cup Hockey Winner

You can bet on the winner of the Hockey World Cup in several markets:


Sportsbooks offer a futures market on the Hockey World Cup. You can bet on nations that have qualified for the finals and others who could miss out. The odds could appear a few months before the tournament and are subject to change. Several factors determine the odds and any changes.

Eleven champions in the history of the Hockey World Cup (up until 2018) were not playing at home.

The International Hockey Federation (IHF) publishes world rankings for the men’s games. They reflect the current and head-to-head form and are a good measure of the relative ability of each nation in the World Cup. The standings also determine the seedings at the tournament, so they are an excellent source of information and form. Looking at the world rankings before placing a bet is a good idea.

The Hockey World Cup is the most important tournament in the sport, but the Olympic Games probably carry more prestige. The same teams contest both events, so the Olympic Games provide an invaluable insight into the World Cup, usually staged two years before the event.

Outright Winner

In the lead-up to the Hockey World Cup, you can bet on the outright winner of the tournament. This is a different market to futures, as only the qualified teams are listed. Sportsbooks offer the odds from the opening match to the final, with constant changes as the championship develops. Australia are often one of the favorites, at about the +800 mark. 

The market begins with 16 runners in the field, but the number of potential winners falls as teams are eliminated. Injuries and form are other factors that the bookies consider when compiling the odds. The weight of money will cause the betting to change as sportsbooks try to balance the book.  

The outright World Cup winner market can be lucrative if you follow the form and are privy to injury and team selection news. A nation may drift in the betting if they struggle to qualify for the knockout stages. However, one decent result changes everything, and knockout sport can produce upsets. 

Professional sport has delivered many shock results and several in the Hockey World Cup. You can get good odds on a team that scrapes into the quarter-finals, winning the World Cup. However, it is not impossible when the dynamic can change daily or match by match. If the Netherlands reach a Hockey World Cup final, they would be the likely favorites, at -150, to win the tournament.  

At the final stage, you can still bet on the outright winner in what would be a two-way market. The bet is the same as the team to win the game, including extra time and penalties. You can still bet on the game-winner in a three-way market that includes the draw after normal time and stoppages. 

Reach The Final

This market is, in effect, an ‘each-way’ or win and place bet. Your backed team has two chances: win the final or be the losing finalist. The odds are half the win odds, so if England are +2000 to win the World Cup, they would be +1000 to qualify for the final. 

Group Winners

You can bet on the winners of the four groups during the Hockey World Cup. It is initially a four-way market, and sportsbooks change the odds after each match and remove a team who cannot win the group. Belgium would probably be -100 to win their group, depending on the opposition.  

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