The World Cup 2018 kicks off on June 14 in Russia. Thirty-two teams will be vying for the Jules Rimet trophy and a place in the tournament final on July 15 in Moscow. Brazil head into the tournament as the sportsbooks’ favourite at 4/1, according to Bet365. Reigning World Cup champions Germany (9/2) return with another talented squad and manager Joachim Low’s team has been to the tournament’s semifinals in the last four editions of the competition. Check out our betting tips for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Of course, Lionel Messi’s Argentina (9/1) and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal (25/1) will be at the World Cup. Both nations have the chance to lift the World Cup trophy.
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Outright Betting Tips: World Cup Winner Prediction
Our bet : Brazil (Odds: 4/1*)
Who will win the World Cup? That question will come back over and over in the coming weeks.
Brazil have an incredible ensemble of players currently. Led by Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, the Brazilians have quality players at every position. Manager Tite has brought back the flair and style that the Selecao lacked in 2014. Previous manager Dunga had made defence the main focus of his team. However, the side wasn’t convincing, and in the end, the defence capitulated as Germany scored seven goals against Brazil in the semifinals.
Neymar is just getting back to full fitness. The player missed the final three months of the club football season with PSG due to a foot and ankle injury. There is the possibility he could reaggravate the injury and miss matches at the tournament. If Neymar goes down, the likelihood of Brazil winning the World Cup changes greatly. The team may have talented players across the pitch, but Neymar makes Brazil tick.
After suffering an injury against Colombia in the quarterfinals of the 2014 tournament, Brazil lost the semifinal against Germany and the third-place game to the Netherlands. Brazil needs Neymar to stay fit and injury-free during the competition. If he does, the Brazilians are the best team in Russia. Neymar is 10/1 to win the Golden Boot award, according to Bet365.
Teams to reach the semifinals
Our bet: Brazil/France, Spain/Germany
|Teams||Odds to reach 1/2 Finals|
Four heavyweights of international football will compete in the World Cup semifinals. Brazil will top Group E and face off with Group C winner France on July 10 in St. Petersburg.
France manager Didier Deschamps has a fantastic side of proven players. Led by Antoine Griezmann, France (13/2) have the potential to upset Brazil. France were runners-up at Euro 2016 as Griezmann topped the goalscoring charts.
Against Brazil in the semifinals, Tite’s side will have too much-attacking might for the French’s defence. Brazil have numerous ways to beat teams, and Neymar is the most prolific. Philippe Coutinho, Willian, Marcelo and Roberto Firmino make this Brazilian team far deadlier than recent incarnations.
In the other semifinal to be played July 11 in Moscow, Spain (6/1) will clash with Germany. This will be a meeting of the past two World Cup winners. Spain had a terrible time in Brazil four years ago as the side crashed out of the tournament at the group stage. Since Euro 2016, Julen Lupetegui has taken over the side and transformed it. Spain have a combination of dynamic youth and veteran players. The team has gone undefeated since the Euros.
Germany are the reigning champions, but Spain’s squad will be too good for Germany. There are questions around Low’s attack. Can Timo Werner score enough goals for the side? Will the ageing Mario Gomez be deployed instead? In addition, centre-back Jerome Boateng and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer are returning from injuries. Their fitness is a major issue, as both players are key to retaining the Jules Rimet Trophy.
Teams to reach the quarterfinals
Our bet: Brazil/Belgium, France/Portugal, Spain/Argentina, Germany/England
|Teams||Odds to reach 1/4 Finals|
Brazil will take on Belgium (11/1) in Kazan on July 6. Brazil will top Group E while Belgium will finish first in Group G. The Belgians are a talented side and Roberto Martinez’s team scored 43 goals in qualifying. But the Belgians didn’t compete against the likes of Brazil. Belgium were flat-track bullies in qualifying, and Brazil will get by them in the quarterfinals.
France will clash with Portugal in a rematch of the Euro 2016 final. France are better than they were two years ago. Portugal have improved as well and Fernando Santos has some exciting new players coming through. France has a golden generation on its hands, however. Deschamps will guide his side through thanks to Griezmann’s goals.
Argentina finished as runners-up in 2014, but the side hasn’t improved since the last World Cup. Lionel Messi’s goals led the team through qualifying, and without the No. 10, Argentina would be sitting this year’s event out. Spain have made the necessary improvements and Lupetegui’s team has far more players capable of winning the quarterfinal match than Argentina.
Only July 7 in Samara, archrivals Germany and England (18/1) will renew hostilities. The English have improved in the two years since Roy Hodgson left the manager’s position. However, Germany are too strong for the English. The Three Lions will have difficulty breaking down the German defence with players who lack experience playing outside of England.
Betting tips on the best scorer of the World Cup
Our bet: Antoine Griezmann (Odds: 12/1*)
France’s Griezmann is the most in-form goal scorer heading into the World Cup. The Frenchman scored 29 goals in 49 matches during the 2017-18 season. Two of those came in the Europa League final.
He is a big match player and tallied six goals at the Euro 2016 tournament to win the Golden Boot. France will play six games if they get to the semifinals, giving Griezmann the opportunity to win the top scorer award.
Griezmann is 12/1 to be top scorer according to Bet365. A bet on Griezmann and Brazil to win the tournament will get bettors odds of 80/1 at Bet 365.
These betting tips are purely subjective and does not engage We Are Bettors. Always bet with your head. Odds may vary.
*All the odds provided in this article are correct at the moment of publishing.