It doesn’t get any bigger than the World Cup.
The four-yearly festival of football captures the imagination of sports fans all around the globe and in 2018 the action is heading to Russia.
It’s also the biggest betting event in the world. With so much action to enjoy and so many potential routes to profit, we do not want you to be left out of the 2018 World Cup betting extravaganza, so we’ve marked your card nice and early with our top 10 bets you should be backing at the 2018 World Cup.
OK, we’re not exactly setting the world alight with our first bet, but it’s just so hard to look past Germany’s chances of winning their fifth World Cup.
Joachim Löw’s team are the defending champions having won in such style in Brazil four years ago. You cannot put a price on that experience, nor can you overestimate the depth of quality available to Löw.
After making the semi-finals of Euro 2016, Löw took a second string squad to the 2017 Confederations Cup. That team, packed with talent and potential, won in Russia and his first team are a good bet to do likewise this summer at 5/1 with Betway.
If Germany win the World Cup, they’ll do it with in their usual ruthlessly efficient manner. If Brazil win it, they’ll be just as hard working and disciplined but they’ll add in a smattering of samba style.
Even if Brazil don’t go all the way in Russia, there is every chance that Gabriel Jesus will be the tournament’s top goalscorer at 23/1 with Unibet.
Burnout is always a concern for the world’s best players before a major international tournament. That’s where Jesus’ knee injury could actually help him.
The Man City striker missed a large part of the season with knee ligament damage but he’ll be fit and fresh for Russia. That spells bad news for defences everywhere.
When the World Cup draw was made, fans everywhere tried to plot the favourites’ potential route through the tournament.
Although it’s always fun to make predictions about the way a tournament will unfold, the truth is that we’ve seen the unpredictable nature of the World Cup too often to get carried away.
If Brazil want to win the World Cup they’ll need to beat the best teams in the world. We’re not sure they’ll have the beating of everyone and think the semi final stage may be as far as they get.
So, back them to be eliminated in the final four at 7/2 with Sportingbet.
The World Cup is all about national pride. We may all support different club sides but when it comes the summer all England fans will be united as one.
That’s the case for every country competing in Russia but there’s also a certain amount of continental pride up for grabs.
Ever since Pele said that an African nation would win the World Cup sooner rather than later, people have tried to predict which African side will go closest every four years. Well, we think 2018 could be Egypt’s year in that regard.
They have a decent group draw and some top quality players so back Egypt to be the top African team at 11/4 with BetVictor.
It’s been a long time since an England team left a major international tournament with their heads held high.
Could Gareth Southgate’s exciting young team be about to change that?
We’re not going to get carried away and suggest that you bet on England to win the thing or anything silly like that. We just think they look good value to win Group G at 6/5 with Coral.
Belgium are obviously the main danger but there’s every chance the two will play out a draw when they meet in their final group stage game. It could, therefore, come down to goal difference from the games against Panama and Tunisia and England’s forward players should score their fair share against those two.
As we’ve mentioned Belgium, it’s a good time to make note of the incredible squad available to Roberto Martinez.
Several stars of the Premier League will line up for Belgium in the World Cup but it’s Eden Hazard who is the man most likely to grab the mantel and be their most important player.
Hazard’s goalscoring prowess is world class and, as a regular penalty taker, he looks a good bet to top score for Belgium at 5/1 with BetVictor.
The Confederations Cup is always viewed as a dry run for the World Cup. Russia used last year’s tournament to test out stadia, security plans and the infrastructure of the host cities.
They also used it to test out the team who failed so miserably at Euro 2016. It did not go well in that regard.
Russia won just one game (against New Zealand) and there’s been little to cheer since. There’s no doubt that Russian fans and officials fear a poor performance in their home country but the World Cup is no place for favours.
With Egypt and Uruguay alongside them in Group A, there’s every chance Russia could fall at the first hurdle at 5/2 with Ladbrokes.
Every country who qualifies for the World Cup deserves a certain amount of respect. The qualification process is tough no matter which confederation teams play in and there’s no doubt that Iran did very well to book their place in Russia.
While Iranian football fans are rightly proud of their team, it’s going to get even tougher once the tournament proper begins.
Iran have Portugal, Spain and Morocco to face in Group B. We can’t see them getting many goals (if any) from those games so back them to be the lowest scoring team at the tournament at 10/1 with BetVictor.
England have a long and horrible history with penalty shootouts. England fans of all ages can remember the Three Lions crashing out of World Cups and European Championships on penalties.
While the players may change, the mental scars seem to linger in the national team’s psyche.
Although another England penalty shootout exit would hurt, you can lessen the blow by betting on it at 16/1 with Betfred. Just don’t tell any of your mates why you’re smiling as England suffer that old, familiar fate.
For most international managers, leading your home nation in a World Cup would be the pinnacle of a career.
That’s why it was so strange that Ange Postecoglou quit as the Australia manager after guiding them through a very tricky qualification campaign.
The Socceroos are now headed by Bert van Marwijk. He has limited time and opportunity to learn about his players which could hurt them in Russia.
Australia have a very tough group stage draw alongside France, Denmark and Peru so a bet on them to lose every game may just pay out at 7/2 with Sky Bet.