Free tips 2018 World Cup Preview with Predictions, Odds & Betting Tips

The 2018 World Cup is almost here!  Read on for the latest World Cup betting news along with Betfinder’s World Cup betting tips for the big event in Russia starting on Thursday 14th June 2018 with the curtain raiser Russia v Saudi Arabia.  Who will win the World Cup this time ?

Our World Cup 2018 Betting Tips:

  • World Cup 2018 outright winner – FRANCE @ 6/1 (7.00) with Sportingbet
  • World Cup 2018 Top Goalscorer – HARRY KANE @ 17/1 (18.00) with 888sport
  • To win Group A – URUGUAY @ 6/5 (2.20) with Boylesports
  • Top Mexico Goalscorer – HIRVING LOZANO @ 8/1 (9.00) with Bet Victor


Video: Latest World Cup 2018 Betting Odds

Betfinder World Cup 2018 – Live Updates

9th June Update – Belgium impress as Russia falter again in World Cup 2018 warm-ups

England’s Group G rivals Belgium impressed with a 3-0 World Cup warm-up win over Egypt in Brussels, with all three goals coming Premier League-based players in Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Marouane Fellaini.  Egypt were missing their talisman, Mohamed Salah, as he continues his race for fitness following his injury in the Champions League final.

Belgium are 11/1 with bet365* to win the World Cup and 5/6 with William Hill to top Group G.  Lukaku can be backed at 20/1 with Unibet to be World Cup Top Goalscorer. Egypt are 7/4 with BetVictor to qualify from Group A, potentially at the expense of Russia.

Host nation Russia’s World Cup preparations ended with a 1-1 draw at home to Turkey in Moscow, extending their winless run to seven games in the process.  With just five wins in their last 26 games, Stanislav Cherchesov’s team go into the World Cup 2018 opening game against Saudi Arabia on Thursday 14th June looking distinctly vulnerable to a group stage exit.  

The odds on Russia being eliminated at the group stage are 9/4 with Coral, while they are 199/100 with MarathonBet to win Group A.  The highly unlikely possibility of Russia winning the World Cup on home soil can be backed at 50/1 with William Hill should you be so inclined.

4th June Update – Leroy Sane overlooked by Joachim Low for Germany’s 23-man World Cup 2018 squad

Manchester City winger Leroy Sane, the Premier League’s Young Player of the Year, was the surprise omission from Joachim Low’s final 23-man Germany squad for World Cup 2018 in Russia, with goalkeeper Bernd Leno and defender Jonathan Tah and striker Nils Petersen the other players dropped from the 27-man provisional squad.  Germany are 19/4 second favourites with BetStars to successfully defend the trophy they won four years ago.

A slightly less surprising omission was made by Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, who has opted not to include Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke in his squad.  However, Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany is included, despite remaining an injury doubt. Martinez does have the option of calling up a replacement for Kompany until 24 hours before their opening game with Panama.

Belgium are 23/2 with MarathonBet to win the World Cup and, in light of Benteke’s absence, it’s perhaps worth pointing out that Romelu Lukaku is 2/1 with bet365* to be Belgium´s Top Goalscorer in Russia.

Veteran Peru striker Paolo Guerrero has been included in their 23-man squad for Russia.  The captain and record goalscorer for Los Incas only received confirmation a few days ago that his 14-month ban for doping had been suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.  Peru are 10/1 with bet365* to win Group C, while Guerrero is 11/4 to finish as their top Goalscorer in the finals.

Image credit: By Thomas Rodenbücher (MSV-Schalke-5932) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

1st June Update – France and Argentina register impressive World Cup warm-up victories

It’s been a week of World Cup warm-up friendlies for many of the participants in Russia, as managers finalise their squad selections and try out a few tactical variations.

France, one of the tournament favourites at 13/2 with bet365*, had an impressive 2-0 win against Ireland in Paris, during which they dominated throughout.

Argentina (10/1 to win the World Cup with Paddy Power) had a convincing 4-0 win at home to Haiti in Buenos Aires, with a certain Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick.  Messi can be backed at 10/1 to be World Cup 2018 Top Goalscorer with Paddy Power.

Messi Betting Offer
In a game between two qualified teams, Portugal and Tunisia (who are in the same group as England of course) played out a 2-2 draw in Braga.  World Cup hosts Russia continue to struggle, losing 1-0 in Austria, while Japan’s new manager, Akira Nishino, opened his account with a 2-0 loss at home to Ghana.

There was disappointment for Mexico, who were held to a goalless draw by a young Wales team in Pasadena, USA in front of a predominantly Mexican crowd of 82,345.  

It was also 0-0 between Panama and Northern Ireland in Panama City, but Peru saw off an inexperienced Scotland team 2-0 in Lima. Saudi Arabia went down to a 2-1 defeat to Italy in Switzerland, although they will take encouragement from their performance.

Elsewhere, South Korea beat Honduras 2-0, Nigeria were held to a 1-1 draw at home to DR Congo and Iran went down to a 2-1 defeat in Turkey.

30th May Update – Mohamed Salah “confident” of World Cup 2018 availability for Egypt

Despite leaving the pitch in tears after suffering a strain in the shoulder ligaments in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid, Mohamed Salah says he is “confident” of playing in the World Cup for Egypt.  

The 25 year-old scored 44 goals in all competitions for his club last season and Egypt’s World Cup ambitions are heavily reliant on his availability. The Pharaohs are 9/5 with Paddy Power to qualify from Group A.

Other World Cup Team News

Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner is a World Cup doubt for Denmark after limping off with a thigh problem for Rosenborg in the Norwegian league on Sunday.  Denmark are 4/6 with Coral to advance from Group C. The need for a hernia operation has forced Burnley’s 25 year-old defender James Tarkowski to withdraw from England’s World Cup standby list.  

With Leicester City’s Harry Maguire also missing a recent session to do his own personal programme, Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah, the 18 year-old brother of Watford midfielder Nathan, is now training with the senior England squad after being drafted in.  England are 5/4 with BetFred to top Group G.

Nigeria’s Moses Simon will miss the World Cup due to injury, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed.  The 22 year-old winger plays his football in the Belgium top-flight for Gent and has been ruled out with a thigh injury.  “Yes, Moses is injured and our medical staff told me he is out for at least three or four weeks,” Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr confirmed.  Nigeria can be backed at 11/4 with Betfair to progress from Group D.

Video: Betting Odds for Top African Team

27th May Update – Argentina lose first-choice World Cup goalkeeper Sergio Romero to injury

Argentina No. 1 Sergio Romero has been ruled out of World Cup 2018 in Russia after injuring his right knee in a training session that is expected to rule him out for five to six weeks.

The 31 year-old Manchester United goalkeeper has been replace in the Argentina squad by Nahuel Guzman of UANL Tigres in Mexico.  Manchester City veteran Willy Caballero is likely to be first-choice goalkeeper for the Albiceleste in Romero’s absence. Argentina can be backed at 10/1 with Betway to win the World Cup.

Captain Kane

Gareth Southgate has named Harry Kane as England captain for World Cup 2018.  

The 24 year-old Tottenham Hotspur striker is available at best odds of 16/1 with William Hill to be Top Goalscorer in Russia, while England can be backed at 18/1 with bet365 (*odds correct at time of writing) to win the tournament.  

Yo Adrien!

Having failed to make Didier Deschamps’ France squad for the trip to Russia, Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot has refused a role as a reserve, a decision that Deschamps has branded “a massive mistake.”  

France are 7/1 with 888Sport to come home from Russia with the World Cup trophy.

Mexican Wave

Mexico’s 26 year-old central defender Néstor Araujo will miss out on the World Cup finals due to tendinitis in his left knee.  

The 26-year-old, who plays for current Liga MX Clausura champions Santos Laguna, hasn’t played a match since El Tri’s 1-0 friendly defeat to Croatia on 28th March, where he suffered a torn meniscus and a ligament strain.  Mexico are 125/1 at Sportingbet to win the World Cup.

22nd May Update – Chelsea’s Spanish quartet facing World Cup on the sidelines

Despite winning the FA Cup Final on Saturday, it wasn’t a great season for Chelsea overall.  It’s proven to be particularly disappointing for a quartet of their players though, with striker Alvaro Morata, midfielder Cesc Fabregas, wing-back Marcos Alonso and forward Pedro all omitted from Spain’s 23-man World Cup squad.  Spain are now available at best World Cup betting odds of 13/2 (7.50) with BetFred to win the trophy.

As was widely predicted, there was no place in the final Argentina squad for Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi, the leading scorer in Serie A over the past season, with coach Jorge Sampaoli opting for Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala as his attacking options alongside Lionel Messi. If you think Argentina possess sufficient firepower to shoot them to World Cup glory, you can back them at 10/1 with Betway.

After being omitted from Roberto Martinez’s Belgium squad for Russia, Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan has announced his international retirement. Sportingbet offer top odds of 12/1 on Belgium lifting the World Cup, with many punters believing the Red Devils have the most talented squad in the tournament. Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson has been included in Iceland’s 23-man squad for Russia, despite not playing for the final two months of the domestic season after picking up a knee injury.  

Anyone who believes Iceland can cause a monumental shock by taking the main prize in Russia should be looking at William Hill’s odds of 250/1 for such an eventuality.

18th May Update – Gareth Southgate opts for youthful look in England’s World Cup squad

Gareth Southgate named his 23-man squad for World Cup 2018, with the biggest news being the omissions of Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere and the inclusion of the uncapped 19 year-old Liverpool right-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold.  

Although it’s a largely inexperienced squad, England’s current best available outright odds to win the World Cup are 18/1 with bet365* for the patriotic punter. (*Odds correct at the time of writing)

  • Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley).
  • Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United).
  • Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea).
  • Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).
  • Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley).

Germany coach Joachim Löw has extended his deal with the national team by two years until 2022.  Löw also named his provisional Germany World Cup squad, including Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, despite the goalkeeper not having played since suffering a hairline fracture in his left foot in September.  However, there was no place for Mario Götze, who scored Germany’s winner in the 2014 World Cup final.  

For those that see Germany retaining their World Cup crown, they can be backed at 5/1 with 888Sport. The other World Cup 2018 favourites, Brazil, have named their final 23-man squad, including Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar.  The 26 year-old had an operation on a fractured metatarsal in March and has yet to return to action.  There are also call-ups for the Manchester City quartet of Ederson, Danilo, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus.  

The best World Cup odds currently available on Brazil adding to their record of five World Cup wins in Russia are the 23/5 on offer with 188Bet.

Brazil World Cup Offer

14th May Update – PSG duo giving Brazil World Cup worries

With the start of World Cup 2018 now barely a month away, injury concerns are becoming an increasing concern for Brazil. Brazil, one of the World Cup betting favourites, are already sweating on the fitness of the world’s most expensive player, with Neymar having been out of action for almost three months now.  

The forward had surgery on a broken metatarsal bone in his right foot, suffered while playing for Paris Saint-Germain against Marseille on 25th February and has not played since. Neymar was expected to resume training with PSG on Sunday 13th May, but admits to having concerns.   

In an interview with Brailian legend Zico on his YouTube channel, Neymar said that, “Everything’s going well, thank God, but there’s always this fear when you come back. “I need to get rid of that fear as soon as possible to arrive at the World Cup.”

Now Neymar’s PSG colleague, the veteran right-back Dani Alves, has been ruled out of the finals in Russia with a knee injury that is set to sideline him for six months. Manchester City’s Danilo, Corinthians’ Fagner, and Bayern Munich’s Rafinha are among the names in contention to replace the 35 year-old for the Selecao.

Despite this, Brazil are still vying for favouritism with Germany for World Cup 2018 odds, with best odds of 23/5 available at 188Bet.   For his part, Neymar remains second favourite to his former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi to finish as Top Goalscorer, with Coral bookmakers offering 12/1.  He is also 8/1 with bet365 (joint favourite alongside Messi) to finish as ‘Player of the Tournament’.

The 2018 World Cup Betting Guide from Betfinder…

The eagerly awaited finals of World Cup 2018 get underway with the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia on 14th June which, like the 2018 World Cup Final itself on 15th July, will be held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

As the big kick-off approaches, there will be a myriad of World Cup 2018 betting offers and a bucket load of World Cup free bets offered by the leading online bookmakers, but there are already plenty of interesting World Cup bets to be had. As well as the popular Outright Winner, Top Scorer and Group Betting odds, there is also lots of 2018 World Cup betting markets such as Number of Yellow/Red Cards (Over/Under), Total Goals, Top European team and many more for those looking to find a bit of early World Cup betting value.

France are our World Cup bet to be crowned champions at Russia 2018

Our 2018 World Cup Betting Tips:

  • World Cup 2018 outright winner – FRANCE @ 6/1 (7.00) with Sportingbet
  • World Cup 2018 Top Goalscorer – HARRY KANE @ 17/1 (18.00) with 888sport
  • To win Group A – URUGUAY @ 6/5 (2.20) with Boylesports
  • Top Mexico Goalscorer – HIRVING LOZANO @ 8/1 (9.00) with Bet Victor

World Cup Betting Tips & Preview – The Main Contenders

With no clear World Cup betting favourite going into the 2018 tournament, giving outright winner predictions on who will lift the FIFA World Cup trophy as World Cup winners at Russia 2018 is not easy.  

Defending champions Germany currently head the outright World Cup 2018 betting and they certainly warrant some careful consideration.   Brazil have improved enormously since the appointment of Tite as head coach and qualified impressively.   They are less reliant on Neymar than four years ago and look a far more balanced team going into Russia 2018.  

It would be no surprise to see them prevail in Russia, but could they have peaked too soon? The best bet for the World Cup 2018 winner at present could be FRANCE though. Didier Deschamps’ French squad ticks all the boxes in terms of quality, strength in depth, big match experience and in looking to be somewhere near their peak.  

Les Bleus will be our main World Cup betting tip for the outright winner. Having failed to live up to expectations in the final of Euro 2016 (see video below) on home soil against Portugal two years ago, they will also have extra incentive to go one step further on this occasion. Spain, Argentina and Belgium will all have their supporters too and none can be discounted.

England World Cup 2018 Betting

England World Cup betting tips
There is always plenty of patriotic backing when it comes to England World Cup betting, although following their humiliating exit to Iceland at Euro 2016, expectations are perhaps somewhat more realistic going into World Cup 2018.  

The qualifying campaign was efficient, but few neutral observers will be expecting England to go all the way and at best World Cup odds of 20/1 (Stan James) to win the trophy.

England Win

World Cup 2018 Top Goalscorer Betting (Golden Boot)

Lionel Messi is the current favourite to finish as top World Cup 2018 goalscorer, but he lacks the supporting cast with Argentina that he has at Barcelona and might be restricted in his opportunities to score goals.  

The same can be said for Cristiano Ronaldo with regards to Portugal and Real Madrid.  Neymar tends to play a more central role for Brazil than he does for Paris Saint-Germain, but there are plenty of players to share the goals in the Seleção squad, so again he perhaps isn’t the best bet. England might not have what it takes to win the World Cup, but in Harry Kane they do have a genuine contender for World Cup 2018 top goalscorer.  

England should certainly qualify alongside Belgium in Group G and in Panama and Tunisia they face what look to be two of the weakest teams in the competition.   Kane could help himself to a few goals in those games to give himself a chance of a decent overall tally.  

At 17/1 with 888sport, Kane could give England fans something to get excited about. On an individual team basis, Hirving Lozano could be one of the better value World Cup betting tips at 8/1 with BetVictor to be top goalscorer for Mexico.  

At the time of writing the 22 year-old is the leading scorer in the Dutch Eredivisie with 13 goals in his first season in European football and is a near certain starter in Juan Carlos Osorio’s starting XI.  Those odds are simply too big not to backed.

World Cup 2018 Group Betting

Host nation Russia are by some distance the weakest of the top seeds at World Cup 2018 and Uruguay look more than capable of topping Group A as a consequence at 6/5 with Boylesports. Unlike the Russians, Uruguay possess a squad laden with quality and in strike duo Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani they perhaps have the best attacking duo in the finals.  

The defence features the formidable Atlético Madrid pairing of Diego Godín and José María Giménez, whilst the midfield has benefited from the recent introductions of talented youngsters such as Federico Valverde and Rodrigo Bentancur. In a group also featuring Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Uruguay look the class act and are more than capable of topping the group.


Latest World Cup Betting Odds

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World Cup Betting 2018

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