Top 8 World Cup Favourites and their Odds of Winning
Unsurprisingly, the favorites for the 2018 World Cup are more or less the same. A quick look at RedBet’s outright odds for the event shows teams like Germany and Brazil among those favored to win in Russia. Today, we’ll list down the odds for both these teams and 6 others that make up the top 8. With around 3 months to go though, it’s important to note that these odds (and the favorites to win) could still change.
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Odds for the Favorites
Germany - 17/4 Odds
Die Mannschaft has been arguably one of the best national teams in world for the last couple of years. Back in the 2014 iteration of the World Cup, the team managed to win it all by going through South American powerhouses Brazil and Argentina. For 2018, the Germans’ chances of winning are boosted by the fact that they’re playing a relatively easy bracket in Group F. Mexico is the only team of note that Germany has to worry about and the Mexicans’ current outright odds are set at 98/1 (the same as Sweden’s). South Korea is also in Group F but the team’s odds for winning it all is even worse at 275/1.
With Brazil’s Neymar potentially missing the 2018 World Cup, Germany’s chance to win it all this year gets an even bigger boost. Not only are the Germans relatively healthy, they’re also quite young. The team’s current pool consists of players 30 years of age and below. Germany boasts such a deep pool of talent that coach Joachim Low could afford to field 4 different world class lineups that could all be competitive enough to win it all.
While an upset isn’t outside the realm of possibility, the Germans are just too talented and disciplined for one to happen (at least in the group stages).
Brazil - 9/2 Odds
It’s a testament to Brazil’s talent that the team is still a favorite to win even after all it’s been through the last couple of years. After their 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup, it seemed like the Brazilian’s dominance in South America was ending. Prior to coach Tite joining, the team found itself struggling at the sixth spot in SA’s World Cup Qualifying stage. Thankfully, Tite was able to change the team around. With the former Corinthians coach at the helm, Brazil managed to put up a 10-win, 2-draw run to be the first to qualify for Russia. In that span, the team’s offense managed to score an impressive 30 goals. More importantly, the Brazilians also showed a renewed dedication to defense in conceding only 3 goals.
There’s no doubt that Neymar’s injury last February affects Brazil’s 2018 World Cup hopes. Without the forward, Brazil’s attack won’t be as potent. In the event that he won’t be available, Brazil would need Gabriel Jesus to step up and lead the team’s attack. The problem here is that the forward is still 20 years of age and might not be able to handle the pressure of the World Cup stage.
France - 21/4 Odds
Like Germany, France has a relatively good chance of making it out of their Group C bracket. The only team that Les Bleus has to worry about in its bracket is Denmark which has 98/1 odds to win outright. As for Australia and Peru, both have even lower odds at 295/1 and 195/1 respectively.
A big concern for France going into the 2018 World Cup would have to be its match-ups in the knockout stage. Considering the team’s depth and talent relative to its competition, the group stage should be a walk in the park for Les Bleus. If they get out of Group C though, France will have to face either Croatia or Argentina in the Round of 16. While both teams are considered a tier below Didier Deschamps’ squad, they are still talented enough to pull off a possible upset (especially Messi’s Argentina).
Spain - 27/4 Odds
It’s been 8 years since Spain won the World Cup and the team is looking to win another for perhaps the last time. The Spaniards’ aging roster will likely feature David De Gea, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Ramos, and Diego Costa among others. Of course, there are also a couple of new and younger faces in Iago Aspas, Saul, Isco, Marco Asensio, and Daniel Parejo. While this iteration of the Spanish football team isn’t as stacked talent-wise, it still poses a threat to other contenders. A big reason for this is the fact that a lot of the players in the team have been playing with each other for close to (or more than) a decade now.
Spain’s biggest challenge for the 2018 World Cup in Russia would be surviving the Group stage. The team is in Group B and is bracketed with Portugal, Iran, as well as Morocco. Of the three teams in their group, the Portuguese could potentially beat out the Spaniards and advance to the Round of 16.
Argentina - 31/4 Odds
Lionel Messi is arguably the most accomplished player of his generation. He’s won numerous titles for Barcelona on a number of leagues. Despite this and his individual accomplishments though, Messi has yet to bring his home country a World Cup. He almost managed to help Argentina win it all in 2014 but the Germans proved to be more talented and disciplined as a team. Now, Messi is saying that the 2018 World Cup could be his last. If the Argentines are not careful in the Group Stage, then this might just be the case.
Argentina’s toughest match-up in Group D would have to be with Croatia. The Croats will field a lineup that features a good mix of experience and youth, not unlike the Argentines. Of course, Argentina is still favored to come out of the bracket owing to Messi’s presence. With that said, winning Group D will just be the start of La Abliceleste’s struggles. By the knockout stage, they’ll likely face off against a French team that has a good mix of talent and youth.
Belgium - 11/1 Odds
Much like the Spaniards, the Belgian national football team is aging. While the team features talent at the forward positions, the rest of the lineup has definitely seen better days. Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku spearhead the Belgians’ attack while Vincent Kompany will ideally help hold down the fort on defense. Unfortunately, Kompany hasn’t been as good as he was a couple of years ago. Advancing age and numerous injuries have somewhat limited his play on the pitch recently.
England is likely the biggest threat that Belgium will face in the group stages. The English have always been competitive and they’ll look to overwhelm Belgium with their attack. Of course, the Belgians have the slight edge thanks to their experience and they’re still expected to come out on top in the group. If they do end up in the knockout stage, they’ll have a much easier time against the Group H winner (which could either be Poland or Colombia).
England - 15/1 Odds
After a disappointing 2014 World Cup stint, England hopes to get back to its winning ways in Russia. The team has undergone a drastic overhaul since 2014 and has become younger and more exciting to watch. Jaime Vardy, Marcus Rashford, and Danny Welbeck will now lead the Three Lions’ attack. On defense, England will likely rely on the collective experience of guys like Kyle Walker, Ryan Bertrand, and John Stones.
The Three Lions’ success is going to depend on their performance in Group D against Belgium, Panama, and Tunisia. While they are expected to win against the Panamanians and Tunisians, England will have to play its best against the Belgians. Much like them, the Red Devils are a team that attacks often and relies on the experience of its players. If they wish to beat the Belgians, the English will need to not only defend well but to also pressure the opposing team’s defense by attacking often. For this, they’ll need to somehow leverage their midfielders and forwards’ youth.
Portugal - 24/1 Odds
Out of all favorites in this list, Portugal has the most difficult road to win the 2018 World Cup. Much like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo is a force to be reckoned with. However, football is a team game and the Selecao will need more than just Ronaldo’s contributions. The team is getting on in age and it doesn’t have any players that could take advantage of the attention CR7 gets from opposing teams.
Portugal will be tested as early since they’ll go up against Spain, Iran, and Morocco in the Group Stage. Again, Spain will be the hurdle that they’ll need to go over if they want to proceed to the knockout stage. The team likely won’t have problems against Iran and Morocco since these are a tier or two below them in terms of talent. The Spaniards though, are another matter. Portugal will have their hands full containing Spain’s attack and might not have enough manpower to mount their own. If they do manage to win though, they’ll be rewarded with a much easier knockout stage opponent (either Russia or Uruguay).