World Cup 2018 Betting Group by Group Preview

12th December 2017 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Betting & Odds
World Cup Betting & Odds

The FIFA World Cup 20178 kicks off on June 14th and the Final will be contested on July 15th. The month-long fiesta of football will fill the summer with great action and betting action as well, as thirty two nations battle it out to be crowned the World Champions. Germany are the reigning champions after seeing off Argentina in the 2014 Final and they are one of the front runners along with Brazil to get their hands on the trophy this summer. Germany and Brazil are joint 5/1 favourites with Betfair to win the tournament. After a favourable draw, will England progress? Who will come out in the Iberian duel of Spain or Portugal in the group stage?

With a look ahead to the action next summer, here we preview each of the groups at the World Cup 2018.

Group A:
Uruguay 6/5, Russia 7/4, Egypt 6/1, Saudi Arabia 40/1

Host nation Russia will be pleased enough with the draw that they received in this one. Uruguay will throw down a challenge for them in terms of group winners and look the stronger of the two to go and claim the top spot in the group. It has been a long while since Russia looked a half decent side. It will be interesting to see how Egypt go in this one and whether or not they could actually play their way into qualification contention. They have Mo Salah and could be a dark horse in this group and they are the ones who could prove to be a real thorn in the side of the host nation. The Egyptians are 2/1 to get knocked out in the round of sixteen.

Group B:
Spain 4/6, Portugal 11/5, Morocco 33/1, Iran 40/1

The top clash in this one is pretty obvious. Spain v Portugal will be the last game of the group as well so they will both have hoped to have done enough to be fairly comfortable before that showdown. Either way, it should be a clash for the top spot. Spain are favourites here as the Portuguese don’t have a recognisable record of winning groups in major tournaments. Spain are the value of the two to top the group. Morocco and Iran both went unbeaten through their respective qualification campaigns and could prove frustrating opponents for the big two. There probably just too much for either of them to get through though.

Group C
France 1/3, Denmark 11/2, Peru 11/1, Australia 3/31

Les Bleus are the clear favourites in this group and rightly so. As long as they have their collective heads in the right place then they are going to ease their way through to the next round. Australia aren’t likely to be too much of a threat at all and had their struggles through qualification. It could leave a battle between Denmark and the dark horses Peru in getting through along with the French. Peru have done well at the last couple of Copa America tournaments and were exciting to watch in World Cup 2018 qualification. Whether or not their defence can stand up to any kind of test is a different matter. They are worth a flutter to pip Denmark to a place in the next round.

Group D
Argentina 4/6, Croatia 5/2, Nigeria 12/1, Iceland 16/1

This is a tough group, arguably the toughest in the competition. Argentina were nowhere near the best in World Cup qualifying and that could leave them vulnerable at the tournament itself. Coach Jorge Sampaoli hasn’t been able to get them firing on all cylinders despite being a coach who likes to play aggressive and attacking football. Croatia have a fantastic midfield and will compete in this one for qualification as they are technically very, very good. Iceland will once again enjoy their role as underdogs but they can’t be written off at all after beating Croatia to top spot in their qualification campaign. Then there is the Super Eagles who have met Argentina in five of the last six World Cup group stages. This one is up for grabs, it really is, but with Argentina having won their group stage in each of their last three World Cup appearances, even though they aren’t playing well, they could be value to get the top spot.

Group E
Brazil 1/3, Switzerland 7/1, Serbia 10/1, Costa Rica 25/1

Brazil are heavy odds-on favourites at Betfair to win their group here and they usually churn out the group victory in World Cup appearances. They were so strong through qualification that they should find this group easy enough. Switzerland had a good qaulification campaign and have won two of their last three games against the Brazilians but they were both friendly victories. The Swiss are playing some really positive stuff at the moment and they are the clear value option to follow Brazil through to the next round of competition. Serbia topped a relatively easy qualification group but don’t have a great record in the World Cup (W1 L5). Costa Rica are not too likely to be in this at all.

Group F
Germany 1/2, Mexico 6/1, Sweden 7/1, Korea Republic 25/1

Germany are just one of the best tournament sides around and they are likely to get the group victory in this one. There will be tricky tests coming up for them in the group though because Mexico are fearless and energetic, while Sweden saw off the Netherlands to get to the qualification play off. But still, you would back the current World Champions to get the job done. It’s not often that they miss out on top spot. So Sweden or Mexico for a place in the next round? The Central Americans actually have a good record in qualifying from World Cup tournaments but Sweden are currently enjoying good form and after beating Italy in the play offs to get here, may just have the edge.

Group G
Belgium 10/11, England 11/8, Tunisia 20/1, Panama 40/1

England does have a positive head to head record against the Belgians and therefore they should be in with a chance of winning the group. However, Belgium are clear favourites for the group win though because the depth that they have in their squad reaches way further than England’s by comparison, does. So that really should leave the Belgians as favourites. The other two in the group are not likely to put up too much opposition really. Tunisia are on an eleven match winless streak in World Cup group stage matches, while Panama are an ageing side and needed some serious luck to make their debut. They will likely go back with the wooden spoon.

Group H
Colombia 7/5, Poland 15/8, Sengal 5/1, Japan 17/2

This should be a really competitive group as it’s hard to pick a winner from this one. The only thing we can see is that Japan, who are energetic but lacking quality, are not likely to get into the picture really. Poland did well at Euro 2016 remember and matched Germany all the way (apart from on goal difference) in the group stage and with Robert Lewandowski, they will have a chance in this one. Senegal didn’t lose a match in qualification and have star power in Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. Colombia are a talented, tough side but because conditions are more likely to suit the Poles, back Poland to sneak the group win.


More often than not it is the favourites who come through as group winners in the first stage of World Cup tournaments. Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Argentina and Brazil all look pretty strong to pull off their group wins. We would throw in Poland and Uruguay into the mix as the other group favourites. However, you do get upsets, like Costa Rica topping England’s group at the last World Cup which basically no-one would have predicted. So that pulls in Egypt and Senegal really as the two with the best shot at dark-horse group victories.

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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!

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