Get match tips and predictions for the FIFA World Cup 2018 and find out the outright winner odds of all the teams
Germany and Poland, both top seeds in their respective groups, have already been eliminated while other surprise contenders have emerged – Croatia winning all three group-stage matches and Sweden qualifying top ahead of Mexico and Germany, for example.
So where should you now be looking if you want to make some money from the bookmakers from the 2018 World Cup?
Below are some of the leading options, and best bets currently available, but first let’s take a closer look at the teams remaining in the draw….
Below are some of the leading options, and best bets currently available, but first let’s take a closer look at the draw.....
Germany went into the 2018 World Cup as co-favourites to win the trophy, despite the difficulties teams have faced defending their titles before.
Their early exit means Brazil are now favourites to win the trophy at a best price of 7/2 with Bet365, Berfair, Paddy Power, Betway and 10Bet.
Spain have emerged as second favourites – you can get 4/1 from most leading bookmakers on the Spaniards thanks to them topping Group B, an achievement which has handed them what looks to be, on paper at least, the easier of the two halves of the draw.
Belgium and England’s performances in Group G have seen their odds of winning the tournament cut, but that will change once they play each other in their final group game and their potential routes to the final have been confirmed. Belgium are currently 7/1 to win the tournament with Betway, while England can be backed at 8/1 with Ladbrokes.
France also won their group but if they are to reach the final, results elsewhere means they will have to beat Argentina, one of Portugal or Uruguay and potentially Brazil too. Their odds remain high at 9/1 with Betway as a result.
All other teams are in double figures, including the two other teams to win all three of their group-stage matches – Croatia are a best price of 12/1 with Betfair after their perfect record in Group D, while Uruguay are 25/1 with Bet365.
Bounced back from some below-par performances as they drew with Switzerland and left it late to beat Costa Rica. The Selecao topped the group thanks to a 2-0 win against Serbia in their final game and remain favourites to win the World Cup.
With Neymar leading the line and Philippe Coutinho in good form, they have plenty of attacking strength and they have only conceded once in their three group matches.
Spain left it late to draw with Morocco in their final game, but Iago Aspas’ late equaliser – given after VAR over-ruled an incorrect offside flag – could prove to be hugely important. Instead of Uruguay, France or Argentina and then potentially Brazil as their route to the final, they will instead face Russia, Croatia or Denmark and then possible England or Belgium.
The sacking of Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament has clearly affected them, however – a below-par win against Iran and the late draw with Morocco, after earlier drawing with Portugal have not been the mark of a team in the same top form they entered the tournament in.
Always viewed as potential dark horses, Belgium made light work of qualifying for the last-16 with comfortable wins against Panama and Tunisia – scoring eight goals in the process.
With Romelu Lukaku in form up front, providing he overcomes his injury, Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne supplying midfield creativity and defensive stalwarts Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen now fit again, the Red Devils certainly have strength in abundance.
Saw their odds slashed after their 6-1 win against Panama confirmed their place in the last 16 with a game to spare. They also beat Tunisia 2-1 in their opening game, with Harry Kane scoring five goals in the two games so far.
They are yet to be tested against bigger teams, however, so while national optimism has returned for the first time in a long time, there is still a long way to go before they can think about lifting the trophy.
Unconvincing in the group stage and yet comfortable group winners. They have failed to show their attacking flair to the full but the French have strength in depth up there – Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe are already in the goals
Their odds would be higher but for the fact they have ended up with a tougher potential route to the final due to results in other groups. Nevertheless, they are still among the favourites for good reason.
Other markets available when it comes to backing the World Cup winner include backing the group the winners will come from.
Group B has emerged as the favourite at 16/5 with Betway – the odds on Portugal or Spain winning the tournament having been cut due to the surprise results in some of the other groups.
Group E, Brazil’s group, is next at 10/3 with Bet365 but that is effectively just a bet on Brazil as Switzerland, who will be without two suspended players in the last-16 have not got beyond the last 16 since the round was added to the competition format.
England and Belgium’s form so far means the odds on Group G have been cut too – Betfair, Paddy Power and Betway are offering 7/2.
Each winners group bet is now effectively a double chance bet on the World Cup winner and could therefore provide some value if you pick correctly. Here is the full list of odds:
A tough draw for Uruguay, while Russia are not expected to advance beyond the last 16 despite their improved form in the group stages.
Two teams in with a chance of winning the tournament, but Portugal’s failure to win the group means the European champions have a tough potential route to the final.
Denmark have scored just two goals so far and failed to beat Australia, while France have a tougher potential route to the final on paper despite winning their group.
Where Argentina have failed to impress so far, Croatia were one of the best teams in the group stage. They have emerged as potential dark horses, while you can never write Argentina off.
Brazil are tournament favourites, hence the low odds, but Switzerland are a poor back-up option given they have not got past the last-16 stage in the modern World Cup format.
After both reaching the last 16 ahead of Germany the odds on Group F have grown significantly. Neither have gone beyond the round of 16 since Sweden’s third place in 1994. Group F and Group H are the only groups not represented by former World Cup winners.
Both Belgium and England impressed in wins against Panama and Tunisia but bigger tests await both of them.
Along with Group F, Group H is the only other group not represented by a former World Cup winner. None have even got further than the quarter-finals in the past.
Alongside the winning group, you can also back the continent the winner comes from – or at least whether they will be European, South American or from the Rest of the World.
Bet365 are offering the winning continent market, but the value in it is low – only two continents have ever provided a World Cup winner (Europe and South America) and the last three tournaments have been won by European nations.
Bet365 are offering 2/5 on a European winner, 2/1 on the winner coming from South America and 40/1 on either North America, Asia or Africa celebrating their first ever World Cup winners.
No other continent has even provided a finalist in the 20 previous World Cups, however, and the 40/1 price on the Rest of the World is not very generous when you consider it is effectively a bet on Mexico or Senegal/Japan. Individually the teams are priced higher and are worth backing individually.
Ten of the other 14 teams are European, including 2010 winners and second-favourites Spain, but the 2/5 price is a high risk for a low reward when you consider Brazil, flying the South American flag, are favourites for the tournament.
Peru have been knocked out, but Argentina (16/1 individually), Uruguay (25/1) and Colombia (33/1) are the back-up options for backing South America. At 2/1, compared to 7/2 on Brazil, it may be a better balance of risk and reward but with neither of the other three South American teams now expected to go deep into the tournament it would still be better to back Brazil individually.
There have been three European winners (and five of the six finalists having been European) at the last three World Cups, so it is easy to see why Europe has been priced as the favourite.
Finally, Bet365 are also offering odds on whether we will see a first-time winner at this year’s World Cup – offering 9/4 for yes, and 1/3 for no. The performances of Belgium and Croatia and the failure of Germany have seen those odds change slightly since the start of the tournament.
Of the eight previous World Cup winners, Italy were absent from Russia 2018 and Germany have failed to reach the last-16. That leaves Uruguay (who have not won since 1950), England (who’s sole win was on home soil in 1966), Brazil, France, Spain and Argentina.
Brazil and Spain remain the two top favourites for the tournament, while England and France are still in the top five favourites too, so it is easy to see why the price of a ‘no’ bet remains so low-priced.
Of the other nations, Belgium (7/1 individually), Croatia (12/1) and European champions Portugal (25/1) appear to be the most realistic bets. But, at 9/4 for a 1st Time Winner bet, you will get far more value out of backing one of them individually.
Of the top goalscorers so far, England’s Harry Kane leads the race for the golden boot with five from the first two matches. He is now 13/8 favourite with Bet365, Ladbrokes, Betfair and Paddy Power to be crowned top goalscorer.
Cristiano Ronaldo (11/2 with Betfair and Paddy Power) has four, having missed the chance to score a fifth from the penalty spot as Portugal drew with Iran. Romelu Lukaku also has four, from two matches and is 6/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power.
Diego Costa’s three goals, and the fact Spain are now expected to reach the final, makes him next on the list at 9/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power.
It is important still to consider the teams who will go far in the tournament – hence Russia’s three-goal top goalscorer Denis Cheryshev being as high as 150/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power.
As a result, do no rule the Brazilians out of a late charge either if they live up to their billing as World Cup favourites. Neymar has one goal so far, and is 25/1 with Bet365 to win the golden boot, while Philippe Coutinho (50/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power) is their top scorer with two goals so far.
Romelu Lukaku to win the Golden Boot at 6/1 with William Hill.
Of course, there are a number of other markets available on the World Cup, away from the groups and the overall winners – most notably, what stage various teams will reach.
You can back the two teams you think will contest the FIFA World Cup 2018 final so it is time to study the bracket for the knock-out round.
Brazil are now tournament favourites, with Spain second, and a Brazil/Spain final will return 14/1 with Betfair. Spain’s route to the final has opened up after they won Group B, with an easier draw on paper than group runners-up Portugal – who are due to play Brazil in the semi-finals if both teams get that far.
France could be Brazil’s biggest threat to a place in the final – as likely semi-final opponents, and you can get 17/1 on a France/Spain final with Betfair.
In Spain’s half of the draw, Belgium could now be realistic contenders to face them in the semi-final stage (as long as they beat England to top spot in Group G). A Brazil/Belgium final is 22/1 with Betfair, while if England top the group it is 33/1.
Brazil & Spain to be World Cup 2018 finalists at 14/1 with Bet365
With the last-16 line-up now almost completely known it is possible to bet on which teams you think will progress no further in the competition. Some of the most intriguing fixtures, and therefore those with the better odds, are France’s match-up with Belgium and Uruguay’s tie with Portugal. One of Switzerland or Sweden will be reaching the last-16 stage too.
Switzerland are favourites to beat Sweden, but Sweden have helped eliminate Netherlands in qualifying, Italy in the play-offs and now Germany in the World Cup group stage. They also looked hugely impressive in their 3-0 defeat of Mexico in their final group game.
Switzerland to be eliminated in the last-16 at 11/10 looks a generous price with Bet365, therefore, while Sweden to get knocked out in the quarter-finals (7/4) where they could face Belgium/England is a consequence of that.
Uruguay are favourites to beat Portugal, meanwhile, but the European champions will be their biggest test so far. Uruguay to be eliminated in the second round is 19/20 with Bet365, while Portugal to be eliminated in the quarter-finals (against the winner of France vs Argentina) is 3/1. The reverse bet is Portugal at 4/5 to be eliminated in the last 16, and Uruguay 15/8 to lose in the quarter-finals.
Portugal to be eliminated in the quarter-finals at 3/1 with Bet365 and Betfair.
Brazil and Spain are unsurprisingly big favourites to reach the semi-finals now, at 5/6 and 4/6 respectively – the latter reflecting Spain’s supposedly easier knock-out draw.
Belgium are favourites to join Spain in the bottom half of the draw, while France – though they will have to beat Argentina and Uruguay or Portugal to get there – are 7/5 in the top half.
Croatia are potential dark horses if Spain fail, at 9/4 thanks to their stunning group-stage performances, while England’s draw will open up if they top Group G – they are now 13/8.Semi-final predictions: Brazil vs France; Spain vs Belgium/England
You can also select which teams you think will reach the quarter-finals, though there is little value in the four favourites to be semi-finalists above as all are comfortably odds-on, as are Croatia and England.
That leaves two spaces if those six emerge through the round of 16 as expected. Portugal (19/20) face Uruguay (4/5) and Switzerland (8/11) face Sweden (11/10) in the other two matches.
Both of those could see the outsiders progress, however. Portugal are European champions, after all, and led by Cristiano Ronaldo, while Sweden have come through a tough qualifying group, a play-off against Italy and now topped their group ahead of Mexico and Germany.
Quarter-final predictions: Portugal vs France; Brazil vs Belgium; Spain vs Croatia; Sweden vs England