Group B of the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off bright and early (in the United States) over in Ar-Rayyan at Khalifa International Stadium when England takes on Iran at 8 am ET.
England reached the semi-finals in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and the final in the UEFA EURO in 2020, but came up just short.
Meanwhile, Iran makes their sixth appearance at the World Cup in 2022, including three straight World Cups.
England is heavily favored, both in their opening matchup on Monday, but also rank amongst the favorites to win the World Cup. Only Brazil (+300) and Argentina (+550) hold shorter odds than England, who enter at +800 on the board with Spain and France.
Here are the latest odds for Monday's opener:
England vs. Iran Odds, Spread, Draw and Total
England vs. Iran Prediction and Pick
England's road to qualifying for the World Cup was awfully impressive. Their 39 goals was the highest amount ever in a qualifier round.
Yet for this particular matchup, I'm going under on the 2.5 on the board.
Both teams are dealing with injuries, with Iran's Sardar Azmoun fighting a calf injury, along with England's Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips. There's also the adjustment for the weather and humidity in Qatar that England may simply not be prepared for, which could slow down the attack.
This also is a scrappy Iranian team, that owns the highest ranking in Asia entering the World Cup this year. Carlos Quieroz's team is known for their defensive pressure and will be a thorn in the side of England for much of the match.
These opening round games tend to lean low scoring to begin with, as the last thing any major favorite can afford is a costly mistake in their own end and fighting to catch-up as the heavy underdog immediately goes into defensive mode.
Also, our friends over at 90 Min predict a 1-1 draw on Monday as well.
I like how they think, keeping the under in play.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.