The World Cup starts on 14 June and while there are four main favourites, many could go all the way
The countdown is almost over. On 14 June, Russia and Saudi Arabia will play the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. And while the likes of Brazil, Germany, France and Spain have rightly been given the tag of favourites to lift the trophy, there are a host of other competitors with the abilities to challenge.
First things first
Before we go any further, however, head over to the Oddsshark website, select your favourite betting site and get your username and password up and running for World Cup bets. As a newcomer, you should qualify for a wide range of promotions and offers for the FIFA tournament.
Where should I invest my money?
So, as previously noted, the four favourites are already well known. Germany, the current World Cup champions and winners of last year’s Confederations Cup, are priced at a relatively short 3.25 to reach the final, while the price for them to win the tournament for a second successive time rises to 5.50, according to Oddsshark.
Brazil are priced at the same 3.25 to reach the final, and given their recent form there is plenty to be excited about the five-time world champions. Since Tite took over, Brazil have played 21 games, won 17, drew three and lost just one, scoring 44 goals and conceding just five. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they are priced at just 5.00 to win their sixth World Cup title.
France’s strong squad also means that their price is short to reach the final at just 3.75. They have a top heavy team reliant on the creative forces of Paul Pogba in midfield, while Antoine Griezmann will surely trouble defences.
And the 2010 World Cup winners, Spain, also considered one of the favourites to win the title this time around, are priced at 4.33 to reach the final. With the creative pair of Andres Iniesta and David Silva still pulling the strings, the Spanish price rises to 7.00 for them to win their second World Cup in three editions.
There are, in addition, other pretenders to the crown. Argentina very nearly missed out on the World Cup altogether, only qualifying in the final round following a win over Ecuador, but their sheer attacking powers propels them to the forefront of any odds.
Argentina and coach Jorge Sampaoli have arguably the strongest attacking unit at the World Cup, so much so that the boss has opted to leave Inter Milan forward Mauri Icardi at home. He can still count on the powers of Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and, of course, a certain Lionel Messi.
Messi is second in the odds for top goal scorer at the tournament behind Neymar. While the Brazilian is priced at 10.00, Argentina’s biggest hope is at 11.00 to win the Golden Boot and help propel his country’s bid for a first World Cup title since 1986.
Argentina are priced at 5.00 to reach the final, and given the fire power in their squad that looks more than a distinct possibility. They have been drawn in Group D, alongside Iceland, Nigeria and Sweden, and are priced at just 1.14 to reach the round of 16.
One nation certainly worth keeping an eye on is Belgium. The country is enjoying somewhat of a “golden generation” with the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and RomeluLukaku world class talents who have the ability to carry this team forward.
In Brazil four years ago, Belgium reached the quarter-finals, their best finish at a World Cup for over three decades, and there is no doubt that they have the ability to go even further this time around. The Red Devils are currently ranked third in the FIFA rankings and, having been drawn in a relatively straightforward group, alongside England, Panama and Tunisia, should not face too many problems in getting out of the group.
Roberto Martinez’s men are priced at just 1.083 to qualify from the group and are the favourites at 1.83 to win it. The side are priced long at 9.00 to be eliminated at the group stage.
England, by way of comparison, look to be improving steadily under Gareth Southgate but look like they will be playing second fiddle to their Belgian rivals in Group G. The Three Lions are at 1.12 to qualify from the group and 2.20 to win it.
It is a trend that continues into the knock-out stages. Belgium’s strong team is priced at just 6.00 to go all the way to the final. England are slightly further out at 8.00
Odds to reach the World Cup final: Germany (3.25), Brazil (3.25), France (3.75), Spain (4.33), Argentina (5.00), Belgium (6.00), England (8.00), Portugal (13.00), Uruguay (13.00), Colombia (13.00)