There is no bigger global sporting event… The FIFA World Cup is back and there has been plenty of movement in the outright market after the final tournament draw was released at the beginning of December. The road to Russia starts right here! Get onboard with this comprehensive overview of the 32 candidates odds of lifting the most prestigious soccer trophy.

Futures Price Update: Friday, June 29, 2018.

Best Money Line Value: From Sports Interaction, Bodog, and Betway.

 
Brazil +337 +350 +350
Spain +422 +450 +450
Belgium +629 +650 +700
England +800 +750 +750
France +800 +900 +900
Croatia +1100 +1000 +1200
Argentina +1200 +1400 +1400
Portugal +1800 +2200 +2500
Uruguay +2100 +2200 +2200
Colombia +2400 +2200 +2200
Switzerland +4200 +4000 +4000
Mexico +5200 +5000 +6600
Russia +5600 +6600 +6600
Sweden  +6800 +6600 +5000
Denmark +8000 +10000 +8000
Japan +15400 +20000 +15000

Soccer World Cup Futures 2018

Germany have firmed into outright favouritism according to three of the sportsbooks above due to their relatively easy group, and as there is no sign of a ‘group of death’, the top guns should have no problem progressing into the second round of the tournament. From there, it can often be anyone’s guess as to who will go deep in the tournament, as even the best teams can be just a poor penalty shootout away from a disastrous exit.

While we had a glimpse of each team during the March international break, the results had only a minor impact on the odds. While the biggest result was arguably the 1-0 victory by Brazil over Germany, it would be unwise to read too much into these results leading into the tournament. Another round of frendlies commence in late May, and teams should hopefully be approaching their best at that time.

The Favourites in 2018

World Champions Germany were the big winners when the 2018 World Cup draw was released. Although few teams in the world should trouble the Germans, their path to the latter stages of the tournament is one of the easiest out of all the group winners – They avoided serious competiton and will face fellow Europeans Sweden, CONCACAF top seed Mexico and South Korea in Group F. At +450, they are great value, although only two nations in history have gone back to back, and it hasn’t happened since 1962.

Brazil, who were the team to last win in two consecutive World Cups, should also progress from a group containing Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. The key to success for the South Americans will be to avoid the Germans for as long as possible – that 7-1 defeat in the 2014 semi-final will perhaps never be erased from the Brazilian side’s memories. With seemingly limitless depth and ability, +479 (Sports Interaction) is a great bet, and this price will only decrease over time (they started at +525 in December).

France will also face a simple group, coming up against Australia, Peru and Denmark; all three nations needed to navigate the play-off round to make it to Russia. With depth rivalling and perhaps for the first time surpassing that of the Brazilians, you could do worse than pick the French side at +650. The biggest question mark over France is whether or not they’ll turn up – they have a habit of exiting at the group stage every other year, and they’re due…

Spain are still a world-class team, and showed it during the qualifiers. They will be bitterly disappointed in missing the round of sixteen in Brazil, and should do well in this tournament. They are almost guaranteed progression after pooling alongside Morocco and Iran, and the worse case scenario in the second round is Uruguay (they are more likely to face Russia or Egypt). They sit just outside favouritism (+688, Sports Interaction) and are fantastic value.

Argentina are the last of the teams priced under +1000 and while still considered one of the favourites have not been given too much chance to win this tournament. Led by Lionel Messi, the Argentine team made the final in 2014, but it has been over 30 years since they won the World Cup and nearly 25 years since they won a major tournament in South America. They will progress to the round of sixteen but their aging stars may struggle against the top nations.

The Underdogs in 2018

Belgium are on the cusp of being considered a favourite for the cup, ranked sixth in terms of odds, yet they are an outsider for the simple reason that they have never made it past the semi-finals. They now boast one of the best squads at the tournament, certainly rivalling all of the top teams, and they showed promise in 2014 before being knocked out by finalists Argentina. Players like Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku are now four years older, and playing for three of the biggest clubs in the world. The whole first team is packed with quality, and at +1200 (betway) are a great value underdog. They will certainly be the ‘second team’ for many supporters at the World Cup.

Portugal proved in the European Championships in 2016 that anything is possible in a tournament. They barely progressed out of their group after finishing third, yet navigated their way to the final and managed to win against hosts France in their own stadium, and after Cristiano Ronaldo limped off with just twenty minutes on the clock. They will take plenty of belief into the tournament and are exceptionally good value at +2500.

Russia as hosts will of course fancy their chances to go deep in the tournament, and history is behind them – South Africa are the only tournament hosts to fail to reach the second round of a tournament. They face one of the weaker groups in the competition, although will likely face Spain or Portugal in the second round. With the home crowd behind them, anything can happen. Jump on at +4300 (Sports Interaction).

You will always get better odds for your team well in advance of a tournament, particularly for teams like England, Belgium and Argentina who sit just outside the top chances according to the leading sportsbooks.  We will continue to keep you up to date with all the news and provide changes to odds when they come to hand. For more tips and tricks, make sure you explore our full range of soccer guides.

Previous World Cup Winners

Remarkably, there have been six instances of a host nation winning the World Cup out of the twenty tournaments held to date, not bad odds if you’re a Russian fan! History will indicate that the favourites are always a good chance (seven wins), while only one team outside the top ten seeds has ever won the World Cup (Italy 1982). Below we list all twenty victors and their pre-tournament ranking at the time, to help you in your quest to select a winner for the 2018 edition.

1930 World Cup in Uruguay

Favourites: Uruguay (1)
Champions: Uruguay (1)
Runner-up: Argentina (2)

1934 World Cup in Italy

Favourites: Italy (1)
Champions: Italy (1)
Runner-up: Czechoslovakia (6)

1938 World Cup in France

Favourites: Italy (1)
Champions: Italy (1)
Runner-up: Hungary (3)

1950 World Cup in Brazil

Favourites: Brazil (1) 
Champions: Uruguay (9)
Runner-up: Brazil (1)

1954 World Cup in Switzerland

Favourites: Hungary (1)
Champions: West Germany (5)
Runner-up: Hungary (1)

1958 World Cup in Sweden

Favourites: Hungary (1)
Champions: Brazil (3)
Runner-up: Sweden (7)

1962 World Cup in Chile

Favourites: Brazil (1)
Champions: Brazil (1)
Runner-up: Czechoslovakia (4)

1966 World Cup in England

Favourites: England (1)
Champions: England (1)
Runner-up: West Germany (6)

1970 World Cup in Mexico

Favourites: England (1)
Champions: Brazil (2)
Runner-up: Italy (3)

1974 World Cup in West Germany

Favourites: West Germany (1)
Champions: West Germany (1)
Runner-up: Netherlands (10)

1978 World Cup in Argentina

Favourites: West Germany (1)
Champions: Argentina (4)
Runner-up: Netherlands (2)

1982 World Cup in Spain

Favourites: West Germany (1)
Champions: Italy (12)
Runner-up: West Germany (1)

1986 World Cup in Mexico

Favourites: England (1)
Champions: Argentina (9)
Runner-up: West Germany (5)

1990 World Cup in Italy

Favourites: Italy (1)
Champions: West Germany (4)
Runner-up: Argentina (16)

1994 World Cup in the USA

Favourites: Germany (1)
Champions: Brazil (4)
Runner-up: Italy (3)

1998 World Cup in France

Favourites: France/Brazil
Champions: France
Runner-up: Brazil

2002 World Cup in Japan / South Korea

Favourites: France (1)
Champions: Brazil (9)
Runner-up: Germany (12)

2006 World Cup in Germany

Favourites: Brazil (1)
Champions: Italy (8)
Runner-up: France (4)

2010 World Cup in South Africa

Favourites: Brazil (1)
Champions:Spain (2)
Runner-up: Netherlands (3)

2014 World Cup in Brazil

Favourites: Brazil (1)
Champions: Germany (3)
Runner-up: Argentina (4)

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