Cristiano Ronaldo on fire, but Lionel Messi fails to sparkle in World Cup 2018 openers

World Cup 2018 Betting News Update

Half of the 32 World Cup 2018 finalists had been in action by Saturday night, with the opening eight matches proving to be largely entertaining encounters.

Few would argue that the 3-3 draw between Spain and Portugal was the best game to date, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick to put himself in pole position early on to be the World Cup 2018 Top Goalscorer betting , for which he is now a best price of 9/4 with Sportingbet. This could still be a good each-way bet with 4 places available in the Golden Boot betting market with some firms.

Spain are now 13/2 with bet365 (*at the time of writing) to win the World Cup, with Portugal on offer at 22/1 with Paddy Power.  

An own goal deep into stoppage-time gave Iran a fortuitous 1-0 win against Morocco in the other Group B match, but it’s difficult to envisage either side finishing above the Iberian duo..

In stark contrast to Ronaldo flying start, the same couldn’t be said of arch-rival Lionel Messi, who had a penalty saved in Argentina’s 1-1 draw with World Cup debutants Iceland.  Argentina are now 12/1 to win the World Cup with William Hill. The other Group D game saw Croatia beat a disappointing Nigeria 2-0 in what was a less than enthralling 90-minutes of football.  Argentina are now 16/11 to win Group D with 888Sport, with Croatia the new favourites at 10/11 with BetVictor.

Host nation Russia put a lengthy run of poor form behind them by kicking-off World Cup 2018 with a convincing 5-0 victory against an albeit limited Saudi Arabia.  Russia can still be backed at 66/1 with William Hill should you believe that home advantage will be decisive in determining the World Cup winners. Uruguay required a late winner from Jose Maria Gimenez to finally see off Egypt 1-0 in the other Group A game.  

Group C action saw France eventually see off a determined Australian team 2-1, whilst Denmark did little to warrant their 1-0 win against a Peru team that missed a penalty and who probably deserved to win, let alone draw the game.  France, who failed to really convince against the Socceroos, can now be backed at 8/1 with 888Sport to be crowned World champions.


Image credit: By Кирилл Венедиктов (soccer.ru) [CC BY-SA 3.0GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons


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