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All You Need to Know About the FIFA World Cup

World Cup 2018About

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia begins on June 14th, 2018, and until July 15th, 2018,  the best 32 national soccer teams from all over the world will decide who will become the world soccer champion. These teams earned their places through qualifying rounds, and at the final tournament, they will play in the round-robin group stage divided into eight groups. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knock-out stage starting from the Round of 16, so after 64 games in total we'll find out who will lift the FIFA World Cup Trophy.

Watched by billions of people, the FIFA World Cup is the most interesting sports event for many bettors worldwide, as there is plenty of betting options during the tournament, but also way before it starts.

Brief History of the FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is the quadrennial international soccer tournament established in 1930 when the first championship was held in Uruguay with just 13 entrants and hosts as the first-time winners after a 4-2 victory over Argentina in the final match. The next one in Russia will be the 21st FIFA World Cup in the history, as only on two occasions the World War II interrupted the process and the sixth in a row with 32 teams in the final draw. Brazil is the most successful nation with five World Cup titles, while the defending champions Germany and Italy both have four trophies apiece. Only five more teams managed to beat the FIFA World Cup so far – Argentina and Uruguay with two titles each, and Spain, France, and England all with one trophy apiece.

Year Host Winner Runner-up Third Place
1930 Uruguay Uruguay Argentina United States
1934 Italy Italy Czechoslovakia Germany
1938 France Italy Hungary Brazil
1950 Brazil Uruguay Brazil Sweden
1954 Switzerland West Germany Hungary Austria
1958 Sweden Brazil Sweden France
1962 Chile Brazil Czechoslovakia Chile
1966 England England West Germany Portugal
1970 Mexico Brazil Italy West Germany
1974 West Germany West Germany Netherlands Poland
1978 Argentina Argentina Netherlands Brazil
1982 Spain Italy West Germany Poland
1986 Mexico Argentina West Germany France
1990 Italy Germany Argentina Italy
1994 USA Brazil Italy Sweden
1998 France France Brazil Croatia
2002 South Korea / Japan Brazil Germany Turkey
2006 Germany Italy France Germany
2010 South Africa Spain Netherlands Germany
2014 Brazil Germany Argentina Netherlands

Since 1982 FIFA rewards the best individuals of the World Cup tournament establishing a Golden Ball Award for the best player, and the Golden Boot Award for the top goalscorer, while in 1994 FIFA inaugurated a Golden Glove Award for the best goalkeeper of the tournament. At the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the organizer will have an award for the best young player, too, whilst the best eleven of the tournament will be picked up by an online pool. Each World Cup has it's own stars and heroes, as it's a perfect opportunity for one player to prove his quality, and this summer in Russia, we'll see some of the greatest players in the history of soccer such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar, so the bettors and soccer fans can expect to see plenty of moments to remember.

Year Golden Ball Golden Boot
1982 Paolo Rossi Paolo Rossi
1986 Diego Maradona Gary Lineker
1990 Salvatore Schillaci Salvatore Schillaci
1994 Romario Oleg Salenko and Hristo Stoichkov
1998 Ronaldo Davor Suker
2002 Oliver Kahn Ronaldo
2006 Zinedine Zidane Miroslav Klose
2010 Diego Forlan Thomas Muller
2014 Lionel Messi James Rodriguez

FIFA World Cup Betting Options

The FIFA World Cup offers numerous options and markets to the bettors, and we can split it into two different sections – betting on games and betting on the outrights. Betting on games means the bettors can choose between standard soccer odds (three-way, totals, spread, both teams to score yes/no etc.) on each game of the FIFA World Cup, and it is the most common way of laying bets, as the bettors try to nail the winner, the number of goals scored in the match or which team will manage to score in the game.

On the other side, betting on the outrights implies plenty of markets on each team's achievements at the World Cup along with the odds on potential winners of FIFA's awards. The outrights are quite popular among the bettors, as they can pick up the potential winner of the FIFA World Cup, predict the winners of each group, top two and the bottom-placed teams, bet on how far will each team reach or how many points it will earn in the group phase.

2018 FIFA World Cup Latest Odds

We'll start with the outrights and show you the latest odds on the 2018 FIFA World Cup Winner, along with the markets on a Golden Boot and Golden Ball winners, while the bettors should check out all remaining odds as some of them are available only before the beginning of the World Cup. However, we can expect to see some odds changes shortly before the start or during a tournament, depending on eventual results, injuries, and performance, so let's see who are bookies' favorites to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup at this moment.

2018 FIFA World Cup Winners Odds

Brazil +400 Germany +450 Spain +600
France +650 Argentina +900 Belgium +1100
England +1800 Portugal +2500 Croatia +3300
Uruguay +3300 Colombia +4000 Russia +4000
Poland +5000 Switzerland +10000 Denmark +10000
Mexico +10000 Sweden +15000 Egypt +15000
Serbia +20000 Senegal +20000 Peru +20000
Iceland +20000 Nigeria +20000 Japan +30000
Australia +30000 Morocco +50000 Iran +50000
Costa Rica +50000 Tunisia +75000 South Korea +75000
Saudi Arabia +100000 Panama +100000

We notice six strong contenders to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia, including the defending champions Germany, while only Belgium out of these six sides has never won the World Cup Trophy. Brazil is set as the biggest favorite by the bookmakers due to a pure quality in the squad, and Selecao will have a huge motive to win the title after a disappointing performance on the home soil four years ago.

Germany and Spain are both exceptional teams with plenty of talent among their squads, while France is arguably the strongest side on paper here. Argentina probably has the weakest team among the biggest favorites, but with Lionel Messi onwards everything is possible.

England, Portugal, Croatia, Uruguay, Poland, and Colombia are all strong teams who can fight with the heavyweights, and depending on the potential form, some of these can make an upset and go all the way. Some teams such as Mexico, Switzerland, and Denmark are all tricky opponents to beat, but they would be overjoyed even with the Quarter-Finals. All other teams don't look serious enough to challenge the World Cup title, including the host nation, as it would be a massive surprise to see Russia in the Final.

Golden Boot Winners Odds

Lionel Messi +900 Neymar +1000 Antoine Griezmann +1200
Cristiano Ronaldo +1400 Gabriel Jesus +1600 Harry Kane +1600
Timo Werner +1600 Romelu Lukaku +1800 Luis Suarez +2500
Diego Costa +2500 Edinson Cavani +2500 Gonzalo Higuain +3300
Robert Lewandowski +3300 Kylian Mbappe +3300 Thomas Muller +3300
Sergio Aguero +3300 Mohamed Salah +4000 Eden Hazard +5000
Radamel Falcao +5000 Roberto Firmino +5000 James Rodriguez +6600

Betting on the potential top goalscorer of the FIFA World Cup is a huge fun, but it is quite difficult to predict who will win the Golden Boot, as often some surprising names upset the odds. In the previous tournament, the Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez won the award with six goals on his account, although he was considered as a talented midfielder who create chances for his teammates, while in USA 1994, the Russian striker Oleg Salenko bagged five goals in one game, winning the Golden Boot, despite he was a quite unknown player at the time.

Golden Ball Winners Odds

Neymar +800 Lionel Messi +800 Antoine Griezmann +1200
Cristiano Ronaldo +1600 Kevin De Bruyne +1600 David Silva (+2000)
Eden Hazard +2000 Isco +2000 Paul Pogba +2500
Leroy Sane +3300 Harry Kane +3300 Philippe Coutinho +3300
Tini Kroos +3300 James Rodriguez +5000 Raheem Sterling +5000
Christian Eriksen +6600 Sadio Mane +10000 Alan Dzagoev +15000

The last winner Lionel Messi will try to become the first player ever to win the Golden Ball two times in a row, and if he manages to make it so, it would mean we'll see Argentina at least in the Semi-Finals. The best player of the FIFA World Cup is someone who leads his team to the great achievement, and Messi will need some help from his teammates, just as everyone on the list. Hereof, the bettors should consider teams' chances at the 2018 FIFA World Cup first, and then pick up their favorites to win the Golden Ball.

Group Stage First-Round Games and Odds

Date HOME AWAY 1 X 2 O/U 2.5 Goals
6/14/2018 Russia Saudi Arabia -334 +375 +1100 +115/-150
6/15/2018 Egypt Uruguay +550 +275 -182 +135/-175
6/15/2018 Morocco Iran +130 +180 +260 +187/-250
6/15/2018 Portugal Spain +320 +250 -118 +125/-163
6/16/2018 France Australia -550 +500 +1800 -112/-112
6/16/2018 Peru Denmark +275 +230 +100 +135/-175
6/16/2018 Argentina Iceland -275 +350 +800 +120/-154
6/16/2018 Croatia Nigeria -118 +240 +333 +130/-167
6/17/2018 Costa Rica Serbia +300 +220 +100 +150/-200
6/17/2018 Brazil Switzerland +275 +375 +750 -106/-118
6/17/2018 Germany Mexico -225 +300 +700 -106/-118
6/18/2018 Sweden South Korea +110 +230 +250 +135/-175
6/18/2018 Belgium Panama -600 +650 +1200 -138/+107
6/18/2018 Tunisia England +900 +400 -334 +100/-125
6/19/2018 Colombia Japan -125 +250 +350 +125/-163
6/19/2018 Poland Senegal +125 +210 +240 +135/-175

These are the current odds, but changes could be caused by eventual injuries or some specific situation in the teams. As you can see, there are some colossal favorites among the group stage first-round games, so the bettors should pay attention to those encounters and try to beat the spread. The upsets are always a possibility at the FIFA World Cup, but after a proper analysis, the bettors should be able to select the right markets.

For those bettors willing to try out their luck and lay some bets on soccer during the FIFA World Cup, we are providing a special guide on “How to Bet on the FIFA World Cup 2018”. Also, don’t forget to visit our team previews for each national team participating at the event.

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