World Cup 2018 Betting Information
Legal Soccer Betting – World Cup 2018
Editors note: As of this writing we are unfortunately waiting on the Governor to sign the legislation authorizing legal sports betting in New Jersey. Because there are no active sportsbooks in New Jersey we are using the odds from Bovada sportsbook. If you would like to find out more about offshore sportsbooks then please see our sister site Sportsbetting.pics for online sportsbook reviews.
About the 2018 World Cup
World Cup Odds 2018: The Group Stage
The draw for the 2018 World Cup was held on December 1, with teams placed into four “pots” based primarily on their FIFA World Rankings (Russia was automatically put into Pot 1 as the host nation) and one team from each pot was drawn at random to go into each group.
Here are the eight groups:
Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
World Cup Betting Preview
There’s a new favorite on the 2018 FIFA World Cup odds list. With less than two weeks to go before the first Group Stage matches in Russia, Brazil have overtaken the defending champions from Germany; the odds to win the World Cup at press time have the Canaries in front at +450, followed by Germany at +475. There’s no question these are the two best teams in international soccer, but do Brazil really belong on top?
That’s the way the World Football Elo Ratings see it. Their formula has Brazil as the best team in the world right now, while the FIFA World Rankings have Die Mannschaft at No. 1. And things have definitely not gone well for the defending champions of late. They’ve lost each of their last two friendlies, dropping a 1-0 decision to Brazil on March 27, then falling 2-1 to Austria on June 2. It’s the first time Germany have come up short against Austria since 1986. They’ve also gone five matches without a win for the first time in 30 years.
World Cup 2018 Odds Looking Good for Spain
The second tier of World Cup betting contenders features two former champions in Spain (2010) and France (1998). They were tied for third on last month’s soccer futures at +650; however, Spain have since moved up to +600, while Les Bleus are standing still in fourth place. That’s little comfort for Spanish fans after Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland, who scored a soft equalizer on goalkeeper David De Gea. They’ve got one more friendly against Tunisia to get things sorted out before facing Portugal in their first Group B match on June 15.
This will be the must-see match from the World Cup Group Stage – provided the two Iberian sides don’t play for the draw, which is priced at +240. Spain are the favorites at –110 with Portugal at +325, but a saw-off is very much in play with the total set at just two goals and the Under a small dog at +115. Portugal secured a 0-0 draw during Saturday’s friendly with Belgium, who went with most of their preferred starting XI, while Portugal were without Cristiano Ronaldo, who is resting up after winning the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. That’s three draws in the last five matches for the Euro 2016 winners.
As for the team Portugal (+2800 to win the World Cup) beat at the Euro final, France are on a roll after defeating Italy 3-1 this past Friday. Les Bleus remain –350 favorites to take down Group C, although both Denmark (+450) and Peru (+1000) have to be taken seriously, and even Australia (+2000) have a glimmer of hope with their ultra-aggressive attack. Spain, meanwhile, are only –200 to win Group B, with Portugal not far behind at +200, but those two teams are almost certain to advance ahead of Morocco (+1600) and Iran (+3300). Assuming Spain and France both win their respective groups, they could very well face each other at the final on July 15 – but they’ll probably have to get through Brazil and Germany first.
2018 World Cup Players to Watch
With the 2018 World Cup fast approaching, it’s time to take a closer look at the most important soccer players in the world. These are the top 20 players to watch in the FIFA World Cup, the superstar athletes who will have the most impact on the soccer pitches of Russia this summer. Some are familiar faces on the global soccer scene; others are younger players about to make a name for themselves in front of an audience of billions. One of the best wagers on the World Cup is the “player prop bet”. Who will score? How many shots on goal and more will be available.
1. Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Long considered the best soccer player in the world, Messi is still at the top of the list at age 30. The FC Barcelona forward will be competing in his fourth World Cup. Argentina has yet to win for Messi, much to his frustration, and they’re No. 5 on this year’s FIFA World Cup odds list at +800. This could be their last chance at glory before Messi hangs up his spikes.
2. Neymar (Brazil)
Finally, the former prodigy has cashed in on his promise at age 26. Neymar has enjoyed tremendous success playing forward for Paris Saint-Germain, and he scored four goals at his World Cup debut in 2014 – one short of Messi’s career total on the world’s biggest stage. He’s available at even money to lead Brazil in scoring.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Ronaldo and Messi have been fighting over the Ballon d’Or award, recognizing the greatest player in men’s soccer, for the past 10 years. Each has won five times; Ronaldo, who plays forward for Real Madrid, has won the last two years, but he’s scored just three times in three World Cup appearances, and he’s getting a bit long in the tooth at age 33.
4. Toni Kroos (Germany)
The defending champions have so much talent, it’s hard to know where to begin. Kroos, a midfielder for Real Madrid, was arguably Germany’s best player when they won the World Cup in 2014, his second appearance with the national team. He’ll be a pivotal figure in this year’s World Cup betting, with Die Mannschaft favored to defend their title with +450 odds to win the 2018 World Cup.
5. Eden Hazard (Belgium)
When not playing midfield for Chelsea, Hazard is consistently ranked among the top national team players in the world. He was the lynchpin of Belgium’s return to prominence, helping them secure four victories in their five matches at the 2014 World Cup. Health is an ongoing concern; although only 27, Hazard has played on the Belgian national team for 10 years, scoring 21 goals in 82 matches.
6. Isco (Spain)
He made his senior international debut only five years ago, but Isco (born Francisco Roman Alarcon Suarez) has already brought the Spanish team back to life after a rough stretch. Yet another strong midfielder from Real Madrid, Isco will be performing in his first World Cup this summer. He’s already one of soccer’s best attacking midfielders at the tender age of 25.
7. Luis Suarez (Uruguay)
Soccer’s bad boy is back. Suarez is one of the 2018 World Cup players to watch not just for his goal-scoring, which he does on a regular basis as a striker at Barcelona, but also for his antics on the pitch. This will be his third World Cup for Uruguay, who finished third overall in his 2010 debut. Suarez will try to add to a packed trophy case that includes a Copa America win in 2011.
8. Manuel Neuer (Germany)
Considered the best goalkeeper in the world today, Neuer is the captain of both Bayern Munich and the German national team. He allowed just four goals in seven matches at the 2014 World Cup, blanking Argentina 1-0 through 113 minutes during the Final. That performance earned Neuer the Golden Glove award as the top keeper in the tournament; he finished third in that year’s Ballon d’Or voting behind Messi and Ronaldo.
9. Gabriel Jesus (Brazil)
Brazil always seem to be at or near the top of the pile, and it’s because of rising stars like the 20-year-old forward for Manchester City. Jesus is making his World Cup debut, but he’s already scored six goals in 10 qualifying matches, and he was a key part of the 2016 Olympic gold-medal squad. Jesus is priced at +250 to outscore Neymar and lead Brazil in goals at the World Cup.
10. Harry Kane (England)
If England (+1600 World Cup odds) is to have any chance this summer, Kane has to shine. Still just 24, the Tottenham striker will play in his first World Cup after scoring five goals in six qualifiers, leading the Three Lions to five wins and a draw. Kane led the English Premier League in scoring in each of the past two seasons, and grew up idolizing Teddy Sheringham, the brilliant Tottenham striker and national team stalwart.
11. Antoine Griezmann (France)
Nobody means more to Les Bleus than Griezmann. A high-scoring forward for Atletico Madrid, Griezmann was named Player of the Tournament at Euro 2016, despite his team’s 1-0 loss to Portugal in the Final. This will be his second World Cup, after taking over as a starter for the injured Franck Ribéry four years ago.
12. Gastón Silva (Uruguay)
While Suarez is the most famous of the Uruguayans, Silva is their emerging leader. The 24-year-old defender from Independiente (a top club in Argentina’s top league) makes his World Cup debut after breezing through the qualifiers; Silva specializes in set pieces, doing most of his damage on free kicks and corners.
13. Sergio Ramos (Spain)
The captain of the Spanish team won the World Cup in 2010, in addition to back-to-back Champions League trophies as defender and captain for Real Madrid. Ramos is 31 now, and he’ll be playing in his fourth World Cup – does he still have what it takes to succeed at soccer’s highest level? If so, Spain have to be considered viable contenders at +700 on the World Cup futures market.
14. Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
Lewandowski is Poland’s captain, and a brilliant striker for Bayern Munich, where he has led the Bundesliga in scoring on multiple occasions. This is the first time Poland has qualified for the World Cup since 2006, so Lewandowski isn’t as familiar a name as some others on this list, but he has a total of 21 goals in 28 career World Cup qualifiers.
15. Timo Werner (Germany)
Another rising star on the German scene, Werner plays forward for RB Leipzig, and will be participating in his first World Cup at age 22. He was the breakout star in the Bundesliga last year, and he already has seven goals in 10 matches for the national team, making him a natural replacement for the retired Miroslav Klose.
16. Son Heung-min (South Korea)
Son cut his teeth in the Bundesliga before joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2015, signing the richest deal for any Asian soccer player in history. He played for South Korea at the 2014 World Cup and has a total of 61 appearances for the national team with 20 goals. He is finally getting some well-deserved recognition in the English Premiership.
17. Paulo Dybala (Argentina)
Dybala often gets compared to Messi – he even wears the same No. 10 when he plays forward for Juventus. It could be just a matter of time before La Joya (“The Jewel”) takes over as Argentina’s best player; this will be our first opportunity to watch the 24-year-old perform at the World Cup, but he’s already won the Serie A title, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana with Juve.
18. Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
It’s been 28 years since Egypt last reached the World Cup, and Salah got them there with a last-minute penalty kick against Congo during the qualifying matches. A superb forward for Liverpool and the reigning African Footballer of the Year, Salah balances speed with tactical play, and has been nicknamed the “Egyptian Messi” for his creativity and versatility.
19. Kylian Mbappé (France)
Currently playing forward for Paris Saint-Germain (on loan from Monaco), Mbappé is the youngest player on this list at age 19, but he’s already made 10 appearances for the national team, providing a goal and three assists. Diego Maradona himself has branded Mbappé the “breakthrough star of football.” Arsene Wenger, long-time manager of Arsenal, called Mbappé “the new Pelé.”
20. Arthur Melo (Brazil)
It’s an embarrassment of riches for the Canarinho. A recent call-up to the national team, the 21-year-old Arthur (born Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliveira Melo) plays midfield for Gremio in Brazil’s top league, but will transfer to Barcelona in July. It appears he’ll get his chance to contribute at the World Cup; Arthur’s play draws easy comparisons to Andres Iniesta, Barcelona’s captain and once considered the best midfielder in the world.
*Odds are subject to change so please check before wagering