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DK Nation staff picks, predictions for 2022 World Cup

Our staff gives their predictions for the World Cup.

FBL-2021-COPA AMERICA-ARG-BRA
Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar joke during the Conmebol 2021 Copa America football tournament final match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 10, 2021.
Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP via Getty Images

Round of 16 update: We are through the round of 16, with eight teams left in the 2022 World Cup. Here’s a look at how our panel has done after the first knockout stage.

Pete - 40 points
Nick - 37 points
David - 36 points
Spencer - 35 points
Teddy - 35 points
Ben - 34 points
Grace - 34 points
Ryan - 32 points
Chinmay - 30 points
Collin - 27 points


Group stage update: We’ve got more results as Group D has wrapped up. Here’s how our panel stands with all 16 teams in the knockout round set.

Nick - 22 points
Pete - 22 points
Spencer - 20 points
Teddy - 20 points
Chinmay - 19 points
Grace - 19 points
David - 18 points
Collin - 17 points
Ryan - 17 points
Ben - 17 points


The 2022 FIFA World Cup gets underway Sunday with host nation Qatar opening group play against Ecuador. The group stage will continue through December 2 and the knockout stage will begin with the round of 16 starting December 3.

We’ve brought together a handful of the DK Nation staff to make picks for each round and also select award winners. There will be a scoring system to track every panelist’s progress through the competition and we’ll see who finishes with the most points at the end of the World Cup. Here’s a look at our panel.

David Fucillo - Editor in Chief

Ben Zweiman - Senior Managing Editor

Collin Sherwin - Deputy College Sports Editor

Chinmay Vaidya - Sports Editor

Nick Simon - Staff Writer

Grace McDermott - Staff Writer

Teddy Ricketson - Staff Writer

Pete Hernandez - Newsdesk Writer

Ryan Sanders - Newsdesk Writer

Spencer Limbach - Newsdesk Writer

Here’s the how the scoring system will work. The 16 teams advancing to the knockout round are assigned seeds, with the group winner being 1 and the runner-up being 2. For example, the winner of Group A will be A1. Each panelist has selected 16 teams by seed. There will be one point awarded for each correct team picked, and one additional point for the correct seed.

From the round of 16, there will be two points awarded for every correct team in the quarterfinal round. One additional point will be given for correct placement in the bracket. From there, panelists will get four points for every correct team in the semifinal round with two additional points for correct placement. Each correct finalist will add eight points and picking a correct winner will be worth 16 points.

Here’s a look at how our staff sees the group stage, round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final playing out.

Group Stage Predictions

World Cup Group Stage Predictions

Pick David Ben Collin Chinmay Ryan Grace Pete Spencer Teddy Nick
Pick David Ben Collin Chinmay Ryan Grace Pete Spencer Teddy Nick
Group A winner Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands
Group B runner up USA Wales England USA USA USA USA USA USA Wales
Group C winner Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina
Group D runner up Denmark Denmark Australia Denmark Denmark Denmark Denmark France Denmark Australia
Group E winner Spain Spain Germany Germany Germany Germany Germany Spain Germany Germany
Group F runner up Morocco Belgium Croatia Croatia Canada Croatia Croatia Croatia Croatia Croatia
Group G winner Brazil Brazil Brazil Switzerland Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil
Group H runner up Uruguay Uruguay Ghana Uruguay Portugal Portugal Ghana Uruguay Uruguay Ghana
Group B winner England England Wales England England England England England England England
Group A runner up Ecuador Ecuador Ecuador Senegal Senegal Ecuador Ecuador Senegal Ecuador Senegal
Group D winner France France France France France France France Denmark France France
Group C runner up Poland Poland Poland Mexico Mexico Mexico Poland Mexico Mexico Poland
Group F winner Belgium Croatia Canada Belgium Belgium Belgium Belgium Belgium Belgium Belgium
Group E runner up Germany Japan Spain Spain Spain Spain Spain Germany Spain Spain
Group H winner Portugal Portugal Uruguay Portugal Uruguay Uruguay Portugal Portugal Portugal Portugal
Group G runner up Serbia Serbia Serbia Brazil Serbia Switzerland Switzerland Switzerland Switzerland Serbia

Round of 16 Predictions

World Cup Round of 16 Predictions

Pick David Ben Collin Chinmay Ryan Grace Pete Spencer Teddy Nick
Pick David Ben Collin Chinmay Ryan Grace Pete Spencer Teddy Nick
A1 vs. B2 Netherlands Netherlands England USA Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands
C1 vs. D2 Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina
E1 vs. F2 Spain Spain Germany Germany Germany Germany Germany Spain Germany Germany
G1 vs. H2 Brazil Brazil Brazil Uruguay Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil
B1 vs. A2 England England Wales England England England England England England Senegal
D1 vs. C2 France Poland France France France France France Denmark Mexico France
F1 vs. E2 Belgium Croatia Canada Belgium Belgium Spain Belgium Belgium Belgium Spain
H1 vs. G2 Portugal Portugal Uruguay Brazil Uruguay Uruguay Portugal Portugal Portugal Portugal

Quarterfinal, Semifinal, Final Predictions

World Cup Quarterfinal, Semifinal, Final Predictions

Pick David Ben Collin Chinmay Ryan Grace Pete Spencer Teddy Nick
Pick David Ben Collin Chinmay Ryan Grace Pete Spencer Teddy Nick
QF 1 winner Argentina Netherlands England Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Netherlands Argentina
QF 2 winner Brazil Brazil Germany Germany Brazil Germany Germany Brazil Germany Brazil
QF 3 winner France England France France England England France England England France
QF 4 winner Belgium Croatia Uruguay Brazil Belgium Spain Belgium Portugal Belgium Spain
SF 1 winner Brazil Brazil Germany Argentina Brazil Argentina Argentina Argentina Netherlands Brazil
SF 2 winner Begium England France Brazil Belgium England Belgium England England France
Final winner Brazil England France Brazil Brazil England Belgium Argentina England Brazil

Brazil is the most popular pick with four panelists picking the odds-on favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook to go on and win the trophy. Three panelists have England winning it all. Collin has France repeating as champions, Spencer has Lionel Messi capturing the ultimate prize in his final World Cup and Pete sees Belgium’s “Golden Generation” cementing their legacy with a World Cup title.

Awards Predictions

Here’s a look at who our panelists believe will win the Golden Boot, Golden Ball and Golden Glove awards. Golden Boot goes to the highest scorer, Golden Ball is for the best overall player and Golden Glove is for the top goalkeeper.

World Cup Awards Predictions

Pick David Ben Collin Chinmay Ryan Grace Pete Spencer Teddy Nick
Pick David Ben Collin Chinmay Ryan Grace Pete Spencer Teddy Nick
Golden Boot Kylian Mbappe Harry Kane Kai Havertz Lautaro Martinez Kylian Mbappe Harry Kane Kylian Mbappe Harry Kane Harry Kane Kylian Mbappe
Golden Ball Neymar Neymar Antoine Griezmann Neymar Neymar Neymar Lionel Messi Lionel Messi Neymar Lionel Messi
Golden Glove Thibaut Courtois Jordan Pickford Manuel Neuer Manuel Neuer Thibaut Courtois Manuel Neuer Thibaut Courtois Alisson Manuel Neuer Manuel Neuer