The final match of the world's biggest sporting competition is one of the most anticipated events on the calendar and rarely disappoints. Just eight nations have managed to etch their name onto the prestigious trophy, and the fact that the World Cup only comes around every four years makes it one of the toughest and most rewarding tournaments to win. With so much global attention and media coverage, it is the perfect match to place a wager on, as there will be so many opinions and a wealth of analysis available to study.
Croatia and France have come up against each other on five occasions, although Croatia are yet to taste victory. The most famous matchup was of course the 1998 FIFA World Cup semi-final where the French managed a come-from-behind win to deny the Croatians a historic appearance in the final. Despite Croatia's tendency to lift for the big games, it's hard to bet against the French winning once again.
France enter the match as the favourite, starting at around -112. Croatia are outsiders, and some sites have them at +400, while the draw is at short odds, priced at +261. History tells us that the draw is a likely result here, particularly as the market is for the score at the end of 90 minutes.
Neither side have reported major injury concerns, despite all the reports that Croatia's defenders and goalkeeper were all in doubt prior to their semi-final clash. France do have the advantage of an additional day of rest, which may come in handy, and they are yet to play extra time.
It's bound to be a grind of a match. Croatia have only scored once in regulation time in all three knockout matches, while France have recorded two straight clean sheets. The under +2.5 goal market is a great pick here, although at -200 it won't provide a huge outlay.
The French had a challenging run to the final, needing wins against South American heavyweights Argentina and Uruguay before coming up against neighbours Belgium in the semi-finals. Their defensive performance in the last match was outstanding, and Croatia will need to be at their best to break the French down.
Croatia meanwhile have also claimed the scalp of Argentina, although struggled against Denmark and Russia en route to the final. Yet we've seen the Croatians rise against the bigger nations and in the big moments - could this be another big upset victory?
SATURDAY, JULY 14
Match 63: Belgium vs England Odds, Lines and Picks (10 a.m. ET)
World Cup 2018 Final Odds Shopping
Europe and South America have produced the finalists for all twenty World Cups to date, and it's no surprise that two of UEFA's best representatives have reached the final in 2018.
Before we dive into the top betting markets for the FIFA World Cup final, it's important to take a look at historical context. Below are some of the most important statistics from the last five World Cup finals, which have all featured the same format that will be on show in 2018.
Top FIFA World Cup Final Statistics - Matches From 1998
- The highest score in a World Cup Final was the 3-0 victory by France over Brazil in 1998. Since then, there have been two goals or fewer in the deciding match.
- Extra time has been needed in the last three consecutive finals. 2006 went to a penalty shootout, while the last two tournaments have finished with a 1-0 extra time victory.
- The number-one ranked side (according to the FIFA world rankings prior to the tournament) has not won the tournament once during this time.
Top FIFA World Cup 2018 Statistics
- There have been a total of 28 penalties awarded at this World Cup, of which 21 have been converted.
- There have been a total of 161 goal scored, an average of 2.60 per match.
- France have recorded the most clean sheets (4); Croatia have scored at least once in every match.
Head to Head Markets
There is plenty to consider when looking into the potential outcome of the World Cup final, and we'll start by pointing out that this game will go to extra time and potentially penalties if the score is level at the end of 90 minutes. The head to head market shows odds for the result at the end of regulation time (90 mins), so if you think the game has a big chance of going the distance, the draw is the pick.
As per the above analysis, the last three finals have gone to at least extra time, and even though two were won in the additional period, the draw would have been the winning bet.
Many believe France will be the team to lift this year's trophy, and therefore it's unsurprising to see them as -112 favourites. The French have not needed extra time so far in the tournament, although Croatia have pushed their opponents to additional time in all three knockout matches. Perhaps once again the draw, paying +261, will be the correct option in this match. Croatia is available for as much as +400 in the head to head market.
To Win Final Market
Most betting agencies, including Betway, have an option that takes the draw out of the equation. The 'To Win Final' market lets you choose the winner regardless of whether they need extra time or penalties. In this market, France are much shorter (-225) while Croatia are +187.
Correct Score Market
Close matches make the World Cup final perfect for picking the score, as the number of possible variations that are likely to occur are much lower. Again, the market relates to the score after 90 minutes; 0-0 has been the winner in each of the last two finals and will normally start around +590, with 1-0 to either side or the 1-1 draw the other likely results.
Over / Under Market
The over/under markets are another option if simply betting on the game line does not interest you enough. The sportsbook of your choice will set a figure at the point they feel is closest to the most likely match outcome in terms of number of goals scored, (normally 2.5), which means you can bet on there being above or below this amount of goals. As noted above, the under is the most common result in a World Cup final.
For this match, the Under +2.5 goals is paying around -200, which indicates it is the clear favourite.
Some books will let you bet on over/under markets for corners, offsides and a number of other exotics. There is also an option to combine the result with the over/under goal scoring line, and you can be sure to see very enticing odds in what is a very difficult bet to win.
Scoring goals in World Cup finals is not an easy feat, and history shows that the players who find the net in the big match are not always the most likely candidates.
The last World Cup final featured a goal scored by substitute midfielder Mario Gotze, who would have been paying a considerable amount to be the first goal scorer, while in 2006 Italian defender Marco Materazzi scored the only goal for his side.
The two most popular options are to select a player to be the first goalscorer, or to score at any time in the match. In the last two World Cups, the first scorer was also the only scorer, meaning you will likely receive excessive odds if you are correct. It's a tough market, but the rewards are considerable if you want more of a challenge.
This World Cup has featured more penalties than any other in history, mostly thanks to the introduction of VAR technology. While VAR has had a limited impact during the knockout round, there is always a chance that one team will receive a penalty. Your best bets for the goal-scoring markets are therefore Luka Modric and Antoine Griezmann, who take the penalties for their respective sides.
By taking note of the pre-match odds, lines and margins, you can really take advantage of the live betting options available through most top sports betting companies. This is a great way to increase your chances of a big dividend, however you will need to ensure you are disciplined and ensure you follow the fluctuation in lines very carefully.
The top sports betting companies will allow you to place a wager on all the aforementioned markets during live play, which gives you even more chance of a win as you can sum up the state of the game and make a decision based in what is unfolding in front of you.
Croatia have scored 9/11 goals after half-time, and they scored twice against England to turn their semi-final on its head. At half-time, Croatia would have been at long odds to progress considering they were already the outsider - that would have been a great bet if you were on it live.
Regardless of how you prefer to bet, you can count on us to provide you with the best odds and lines from a variety of the biggest online sports betting companies. With all of the information on this page, you should have the resources you need to win big on the World Cup final, so put your money down today and get ready to reap the rewards!
FIFA World Cup Tournament Summary
|Group Stage||Winner||Runner Up|
|Round of 16||Opponents||Team to Advance|
|1A vs 2B||Uruguay vs Portugal||Uruguay|
|1B vs 2A||Spain vs Russia||Russia|
|1C vs 2D||France vs Argentina||France|
|1D vs 2C||Croatia vs Denmark||Croatia|
|1E vs 2F||Brazil vs Mexico||Brazil|
|1F vs 2E||Sweden vs Switzerland||Sweden|
|1G vs 2H||Belgium vs Japan||Belgium|
|1H vs 2G||Colombia vs England||England|
|Quarter-Finals||Opponents||Team to Advance|
|W49 vs W50||Uruguay vs France||France|
|W53 vs W54||Brazil vs Belgium||Belgium|
|W55 vs W56||Sweden vs England||England|
|W51 vs W52||Russia vs Croatia||Croatia|
|Semi-Finals||Opponents||Team to Advance|
|W57 vs W58||France vs Belgium||France|
|W59 vs W60||England vs Croatia||Croatia|