The 2023 World Cup will begin October 5 with a rematch of the 2019 final when England and New Zealand get the competition underway. The last three one-day World Cups have been won by the host country, which has India fans excited about the possibility of their team lifting the trophy. Here’s a look at the odds to win the tournament at DraftKings Sportsbook and our predictions for how the World Cup will play out.
Despite not winning a limited overs tournament since the 2013 Champions Trophy, India are once again the odds-on favorites in a World Cup. Being at home and having some familiarity with the conditions will help, but the most important factor will be India’s middle order. The 2019 World Cup was a failure after the top order got mowed down by New Zealand in the semifinal, and India have been able to find adequate hitters in the No. 4 and No. 5 slots. Can they deliver in a pressure situation though?
This team has the talent and motivation to win the whole thing, but it only takes one bad performance in a knockout game to ruin an entire tournament. India should be able to make the semifinal stage without much trouble, and that makes this team a strong contender.
The other contenders
The current T20 and one-day World Cup holders, England have mastered limited overs cricket. This lineup is filled with stars, and Ben Stokes came out of retirement to help his country defend its 2019 crown. The bowling unit leaves a lot to be desired in terms of taking wickets, but England’s bowlers do have great economy rates and stick to their plans. If you want to beat this team, chances are you’re going to have to chase down some monster total.
There might be a such thing as too many options, and that’s where England might run into problems. With so many good batters across the lineup, it’s possible the team juggles the lineup too much through the group stage and doesn’t find a consistent XI. That might see them through to the semifinal round but it also might lead to a dud at the wrong time.
Australia come into the World Cup on the back of some tough results against India in a one-day series, although they were able to close it out with a win. There were also three straight losses to South Africa after Australia took the first two matches of the series. There are some cracks in the armor as this group that largely anchored the 2015 World Cup win has aged, but this is the competition Australia tends to show up for.
Steven Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc are all still capable of taking a game away from the opposition. Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh are dangerous with the bat. Cameron Green is a promising all-rounder. Marnus Labuschagne comes in as an injury replacement and is another middle-order star in the making. If their form in the lead-up to the tournament was better, Australia would likely have better odds.
Most Pakistan fans will tell you consistency has prevented this team from winning a trophy in the last few years. Stars like Babar Azam and Shaheen Shah Afridi will perform regularly, but the bit contributors have not been able to put it together in a pressure game since the 2017 Champions Trophy. Imam ul-Haq, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Rizwan need to have massive tournaments for Pakistan to get into the semifinal stage. Naseem Shah being ruled out for the Cup hurts on the bowling front, and Pakistan’s middle order is tough to back on a regular basis.
This is a big tournament for Azam. He’s long been regarded as one of the top batters in the world, but has been overshadowed by the “Fab Four” of Virat Kohli, Smith, Joe Root and Kane Williamson. Can he lead the competition in runs and propel Pakistan to an improbable win?
South Africa, New Zealand (+900)
South Africa’s team has great talent, but there’s something about World Cups that doesn’t do them justice. There’s always something that goes against this team, and it’s usually something outside of their hands. The one thing this iteration of South Africa can feel good about is form. Heinrich Klassen might be the best finisher in the world right now, with Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller completing one of the deadliest finishing lineups in the game. This will be Quinton de Kock’s last World Cup, and the lefty opener will want to make it count. If Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje play up to their potential, South Africa should be able to make a run to the semifinal before losing in heartbreaking fashion once again.
This is likely the last chance for New Zealand’s “golden generation” to win a World Cup. They’ve come agonizingly close in three instances, with the 2019 final being arguably the biggest heartbreak in the history of the sport. Williamson is fit after suffering an injury in the IPL, but he’ll need help. Devon Conway, Will Young and Glenn Phillips have gone from high-potential youngsters to vets. They’ll need to show up. Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson lead a pace attack that was once in contention to be the best in the world. Does this group still have it in them to make a run? One important note: New Zealand has made the semifinal round in every World Cup since 2007.
Best bet to win the title: England (+300)
I think India and England will play in the final (+350 for exact matchup on DraftKings Sportsbook), but it’ll be a disappointing finish for the hosts. These are the two best teams on paper, and India has likely learned from its semifinal gaffe in 2019. That being said, it’s hard to find a flaw in this England team. There’s enough new blood in the squad to avoid the feeling of a letdown or going through the motions, and there have been plenty of massive failures for England to look back on as something to avoid. There are some real 2000s Australia vibes from this England group, and this would be the third white-ball trophy they lift if they can get the job done. India will provide a stiff challenge, but England adds another trophy to the cabinet in 2023.