World Cup 2018 group stage betting – odds & predictions

31st May 2018 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Betting & Odds
World Cup Betting & Odds

One of the exciting areas of World Cup 2018 betting is going to be looking at the group stage. This is the foundation of where success or failure is built. In total there are 64 matches being played at the 2018 World Cup and 48 of those will be contested in the busy two-week period that the group stage matches are played across.

The tournament opens on June 14 with host nation Russia taking on minnows Saudi Arabia and the final day of group stage action is on June 28 when there are four matches being played across Groups G and H including England v Belgium.

Here we take a look at World Cup 2018 group stage betting and offer some odds and predictions as to what could be transpiring in the first round of action at the summer festival of football.

World Cup 2018 Outright Winner Odds*

Brazil 4/1
Germany 9/2
Spain 6/1
France 13/2
Argentina 9/1
Belgium 11/1
England 16/1
Portugal 25/1
Uruguay 28/1
Croatia 33/1
Colombia 40/1
Russia 40/1
Poland 66/1
Switzerland 100/1
Denmark 100/1
Mexico 100/1
Sweden 150/1
Bar 200/1
* (Betting Odds taken from Ladbrokes at 11:37 p.m. on May 30th, 2018)

Group A

Group a houses host nation Russia, Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Looking at the betting odds in the group a winner market at Ladbrokes it is Uruguay who are the 10/11 favourites* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018) to top the pile. Granted they do look the best option to roll with in this one and that is because they have their deadly duo up front of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez. The big game of the group between Uruguay and Russia happens on June 25th which may end up deciding the group and Uruguay are 6/4 favourites* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018) to win that fixture. It hasn’t been a great couple of years for Russia in terms of form and they are likely to play second fiddle to the South Americans. The interesting outsider here is Egypt, and that is simply because of Mo Salah. Can the Liverpool man get back to full fitness after his injury in the UEFA champions league final? Can the Africand do enough to potentially edge Russia to a qualification spot?

Group B

Spain are 5/9 favourites with Ladbrokes* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018). to win Group B at the 2018 World Cup and the outcome of this group may well be decided in the very first round of fixtures. On June 15 there is a much-anticipated game between Portugal who are the reigning European champions, and Spain in Group B. Because the numbers in the group are being made up by Morocco and Iran then it is fully expected that the two European nations will be sailing their way through round of 16. So basically boils down to whoever wins the opener will get the group win. Spain at the moment are head and shoulders better than Portugal and of the two Iberian rivals it is worth backing the Red Fury to come out on top and straight Spain/Portugal forecast with Ladbrokes is at 6/5 odds* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018).

Group C

This should be another group where the European participants dominate. France, who are trading so strongly in the World Cup 2018 outright winner market, are naturally the odds-on favourites to the tune of 4/9 odds* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018) to win World Cup Group C. Certainly the lack of threats coming from Peru and Australia aren’t likely to trip them up, which leaves them with their trickiest challenge coming against Denmark. The Danes actually looking pretty good shape at the moment, and there should be no trouble at all for them to join France in the next round and a France/Denmark straight forecast is a 13/8 odds* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018).

Group D

There doesn’t appear to be too much chance of a major upset happening in the first three groups so what about in Group D? This group is going to be far more competitive than the aforementioned three, even though Argentina are a/11 odds on favourites* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018). to win this group. Because Argentina have really looked nothing better than average over the last couple years, they may well get some stern challenges from Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in this group. Iceland are making their World Cup debut and are big underdogs in the group but we saw how they can frustrate major teams at their Euro 2016 campaign.

Then there is Croatia with their wonderful midfield who will have the technical ability to open up the Albiceleste, and even Nigeria are running in some decent form at the moment and look full of confidence. Argentina may well have their hands full in this group and because this is going to be so tight it may be worth opposing South Americans with Croatia worth looking at to top the group and they are 13/5 odds* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018) to do that.

Group E

There should be no surprise coming in the group winner in this one as Brazil are the heavy odds-on favourites to finish top. That’s likely to happen so we can skip straight past that and look at the race the book the other qualification spot behind them. Things actually look tight between Switzerland and Serbia even though the Swiss are 6/5 odds* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018) second favourites to qualify from this group. We feel that this may be competitive because Serbia battled through a tricky qualification group just to get to the finals, while Switzerland had it easy in a non-competitive group. Watch out for the Serbia v Switzerland game on June 22 as that could be the big deciding match to see who qualifies along with Brazil. We are tipping Serbia to find a way to get the job done as underdogs.

Group F

Were Germany book top spot in group F? More likely than not as they should be able to navigate their way through some tricky but not too challenging matches in the group. They will be taking on South Korea, Sweden and Mexico in the group stage and Germany are 4/9 odds on favourites* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018). to win Group F. That looks the most plausible outcome but there is an interesting race between Mexico and Sweden for second place. This is another group where we are going to goal against the bookmakers and suggest that Sweden who are 7/5 odds* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018) third favourites to qualify can get the better of Mexico, because even though the Central Americans a bit record of making it past the group stage, Sweden showed some mettle during their World Cup qualification campaign including knocking out Italy in the play-offs.

Group G

Not rain on the parade of Three Lions fans but we don’t see England getting the better of Belgium for top spot in this group. The Red Devils are playing well, they have good form behind them and they have a lot of attacking power that England aren’t just likely to match up to across the group stage matches. England and Belgium meet in the final round of matches on June 28 and they should both have booked qualification by that point in having gotten the better of Tunisia and Panama. So basically it should all boil down to that being a group decider, and just because Belgium have more settled and established world class players, as well as much better depth than England we are backing a Belgium/England straight forecast at 11/10 odds* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018).

Group H

Of all the groups at the 2018 World Cup this is the toughest one to make predictions on. You have Poland, Senegal and Columbia all look like they are capable of taking points off each other with Japan making up the numbers. We don’t see a way that Japan can get themselves in the qualification picture here so there should be a thrilling and tight three-way race between the others to get to the round of 16. The bookmakers have Colombia as favourites, but really there is no discernible reason that we can see, why Poland can get the better of them.

Poland actually look a more dynamic powerful and organised side than Colombia do and we would back the Europeans are 15/8 odds* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018) to get the top spot. We can just see them edging a tight scrap more so than the South Americans. But Senegal should be in this qualification scrap too because they have plenty of quality and experience  in their squad and we can really see them giving a bit of a one-dimensional Colombia a real run for their money when they meet. A Senegal 13/8 odds* (Betting Odds taken at 8:18 p.m. on May 31st, 2018) to qualify bet is not actually without its appeal.

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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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