russia 2018

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World Cup 2018 Final Prediction & Betting Odds

World Cup 2018 Betting
World Cup 2018 Final Preview - July 15th, 2018 The World Cup 2018 Final will be contested between France and Croatia on Sunday, July 15th. France did a magnificent job of containing the threat of Belgium in their semi-final duel, while Croatia once again couldn't settle a knockout tie in regulation time, but they managed to squeeze their way past England to make their first ever World Cup Final. It is France who are the 19/20 favourites* (betting odds taken at 9:57 pm on July 11th, 2018) to win outright in Moscow.

France v Croatia Winner Odds*

France 19/20 Draw 9/4 Croatia 7/2

France living up to expectations

Les Bleus were one of the pre-tournament frontrunners and while they have seen their main rivals all drop away, they have stuck in there, persisted and have gotten the job done. Really France didn’t look any kind of a threat through the group stage but they have shown some tremendous character throughout the knockout stages of the tournament so far. They had tough South American opposition in Argentina and Uruguay to deal with in the round of sixteen and quarter finals respectively and France found ways to win them. They need a show of attacking power to get past the Albiceleste first, while they just needed to show their strength, patience and control to see off Uruguay. That threw them into a semi-final match up against the dangerous Belgium side who had dispatched Brazil so convincingly at the quarter-final stage. But France’s defence in that game was just immense and not just across the back line but in the middle of the park where Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante took full control of the game. They totally shut down the threat of Belgium and while the scoreline was just a 1-0 for Les Bleus, it was a strong performance.

France v Croatia World Cup Final 2018 Infographic

We don’t predict many goals flying around the final here because of the strengths that France are showing at the moment and France to win to nil is at 7/4 odds* (betting odds taken at 9:57 pm on July 11th, 2018). France have now conceded in just one of their last five games at the tournament so that makes sense. The longer the tournament has gone on, the more the strengths of France have shown through. They are in just their third World Cup Final now, looking to add to their success of 1998 on home soil against Brazil. They were in the 2006 final but lost to Germany. Even though at times they have looked as if they are struggling for form, that is back to back finals at major tournaments now for France after finishing as runners-up at Euro 2016.

Gutsy Croatia make first final

Croatia have certainly done things the hard way at this tournament. At least in the knockout stage of the event. While they were comfortable in the group stage winning all three matches there, it has been a tale of nail-biting nerves for the Croats in the knockout stage. Like France, they have taken a win over Argentina at this tournament, beating the South Americans early in the group stage. But their winning touch deserted them in the knockout stages as each of their three games saw them taken to extra time. They had to come from behind against both Denmark and then Russia in the round of sixteen and quarter finals respectively to progress. The Croats rode their luck and prevailed in a penalty shootout in both of those. They again had to come from behind against England in the semi-final and again took the tie to extra time, where Mario Mandzukic settled proceedings. But total that up and that is a whole extra 90 minutes they have played at Russia 2018. It was expected that all the physical exertion was going to take its toll on them against England, but the truth is, they were the stronger of the two sides in the second half of that game, as it was England’s legs which went first. This is now their best ever effort at a World Cup and have now competed two semi-final ties in their five previous appearances at the tournament as an independent nation. That’s some feat. We believe that under 2.5 goals has to be the way to go and that is a 4/9 odds option at bet365* (betting odds taken at 9:57 pm on July 11th, 2018).

Form

France are undefeated in their last ten games now, winning eight of those. So they are in impressive form and since late August last year, they have lost just one fixture, that being a friendly against Colombia back in March. France are W12 D4 L1 since the end of August. They have collected five clean sheets in their last six games as well and have conceded more than one goal in just one of their last ten games. France have failed to score in just one of their last fourteen games. Croatia have lost just the two games since early September last year in a positive W8 D4 L2 record (over 90 minutes). The one thing that is surprising about them is the clean sheets have been deserting them as they have just two in their last seven games now. So they haven’t been quite as strong at the back as expected. They have scored in each of their last seven games now though.

France v Croatia Head to head

There have been five previous games between the two nations and France are undefeated against the Croats, winning three and drawing two. The last two have both been drawn. Their first ever meeting was a World Cup match back in 1998 as France took a 2-1 win on their way to the title. Their only other competitive meeting was a Euro 2004 clash which ended in a 2-2 draw. France have three clean sheets in five against the Croats.

Prediction

We see France getting over the line in this one in the regulation time. Their defence has been so strong in the last two rounds and with an extra day of rest and not having had to deal with an extra time at the tournament, Les Bleus will be fresher. Croatia have shown tremendous grit and never-say-die attitude through the knockout stage but we think that they will come up short. A France 1-0 correct score option at bet365 appeals at 9/2 odds* (betting odds taken at 9:57 pm on July 11th, 2018).
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World Cup Final 2018 Betting – Trends & Odds

France - Croatia
The final of the 2018 World Cup will be contested on Sunday as France v Croatia betting is the final stop on the summer tournament. Who will be crowned champions? Will it be France winning it for the second time in their career after a comfortable ride in the knockout stages. Or will it be underdogs Croatia? The Croats have faced some tough situations in the knockout stages to reach their first ever World Cup Final. Who has enough on the day to get over the line? Here were take a look at Trends for your World Cup Final 2018 betting

France v Croatia Winner Odds*

France 10/11 Draw 23/10 Croatia 4/1 * (betting odds were taken from July 12th, 2018 at 10:37 pm)

Under/Over 2.5 Goals

You would have to side with a low scoring game cropping up between these two. All but one of the last seven World Cup Finals have finished under the goal line so that is a pretty big trend to ride. More often than not the weight of the occasion imitates natural risk that teams would normally take. You can take that a little further as well because you will see that four of the last seven World Cup Finals have actually produced one goal or less in them. Something that adds to the likelihood of this being a low scoring World Cup Final is the fact that all three of Croatia’s knockout stage matches were under 2.5 goals at 90 minutes and two of France’s three went that way as well.

France v Croatia To Lift The Trophy Odds*

France 4/9 Croatia 7/4 * (betting odds were taken from July 12th, 2018 at 10:37 pm)

Both Teams To Score

The trend is to go with this not happening in the World cup Final. Just once since Italia '90 have both teams scored in a World Cup Final (seven matches) so history, at least recent history of World Cup Finals would suggest that Both Teams NOT To Score would be the way to go which is at 6/11 with Sportingbet* (betting odds were taken from July 12th, 2018 at 10:37 pm). France have taken four clean sheets in six games at Russia 2018.

Extra Time

There has been a trend of extra time as well in World Cup Finals as each of the last three editions have needed a further 30 minutes to settle the occasion. The last two have been settled in extra time with Spain beating the Netherlands in 2010 and Germany getting past Argentina four years later. You can back Extra Time happening at 9/4 with Sportingbet* (betting odds were taken from July 12th, 2018 at 10:37 pm). Just two of the last six World Cup Finals have been settled in 90 minutes, one of those being France’s win over Brazil in 1998.

Semi Final Stadium

Interestingly, it has not been all that often that the venue of the final has also hosted a semi-final at the same tournament. This happened this year with the Croatia v England game being hosted in Moscow. Of the eight times that this has previously happened, the winner of the semi-final which was hosted at the same venue as the Final itself, went on to lift the trophy. So take that for what it’s worth, but that leans towards Croatia.

First Time Winners

What about how teams get on in their first ever World Cup Final? Well, France won their first ever World Cup Final appearance back in 1998 and then Spain in 2010 also lifted the title in their first ever World Cup Final. Germany did it in 1954, Italy did it in 1934, Uruguay did it in 1930 and England won it in 1966. So six of the eight previous World Cup winners got their first title on the board at the first time of asking. The only ones not to do it was Brazil, who won it on their second attempt in 1958 and Argentina who also won it at the second attempt. Again perhaps, more good news for Croatia.

Extra Time Extra Burden

Croatia had to get through the extra time in each of their knockout stage matches and they are not the first side to ever do that. They are the fourth team to progress through the knockout phase without settling a match in 90 minutes to get to the Final. The downside of that is none of the other three who managed to do that went on to win the Final that year.

All European Finals

A European nation taking on a European nation in the final of the World Cup is nothing new. The first time it happened though was in the second edition when Italy beat Czechoslovakia 2-1 after extra time. This will be the seventh occasion of UEFA v UEFA in the World Cup Final and the first since Italy v West Germany in 1982. Of those all-European meetings, both teams scored in 90 minutes in each of them five of the six went over 2.5 goals.
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World Cup 2018 Golden Glove & Golden Ball Betting Odds & Predictions

World Cup 2018 Betting
We are heading into the final weekend of the 2018 World Cup and at the end of all of this, there will be some awards to be dished out by FIFA. So beyond your 2018 World Cup Final betting, there are still some other markets that you can look at to round off your betting action on the tournament with. Here we are going to look at some of the individual awards that are going to be up for grabs.

Golden Glove Odds*

This goes to the top goalkeeper at the tournament and it doesn’t necessarily mean it will go the keeper who had had the best tournament in terms of clean sheets. There could, of course, be penalty shoot heroes in there, and someone who may have conceded a few but at the same time pulled off some remarkable saves. Hugo Lloris 1/2 Danijel Subasic 13/8 Jordan Pickford 10/1 Thibaut Courtois 22/1 * (betting odds taken at 9:09 pm on July 13th, 2018) Prediction: It is good to see Pickford in there as he has had a great tournament for England. However, the penalty shoot-out heroics of Croatia’s Subasic will likely top anything that Pickford has done. But still, as we expect France to collect the World Cup, we are sticking with Lloris and the volume of clean sheets has recorded.

Golden Ball Odds*

Who is going to end being crowned the best player of the tournament? This is all subjective at the end of the day of course. Some of the best players in the World fell short at the tournament like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and the winner will come from one of the finalists. So even though Eden Hazard, who was an early tip of ours, has had such a good event, he is going to miss out. Kylian Mbappe 8/11 Luka mOdric 15/8 Antoine Griezmann 10/1 N’Golo Kante 16/1 Paul Pogba 25/1 Eden Hazard 40/1 Ivan Perisic 50/1 Harry Kane 66/1 Bar 100/1 Prediction: There is still time for this to change in the final of course, for example, if Kylian Mbappe gets a couple of goals or scores a solo-wonder then he’ll probably get it. We are sticking with an early prediction we made of Luka Modric getting the title regardless of the outcome of the World Cup Final. Overall, hands down he has outperformed anyone else on the at least with the exception may be of France’s Kante who just isn’t going to get the recognition. Stick with Modric on the contingency that Mbappe doesn’t have a stellar Final. Realistically Mbappe has only had one stand out game at this tournament, which was against Argentina in the round of sixteen. Modric has been way more consistent. So it’s Modric for us at nice 15/8 odds value* (betting odds taken at 9:09 pm on July 13th, 2018).

Top Goalscorer Odds*

Yes, it is simply down to Harry Kane who is on six and Romelu Lukaku on four. So there is a big advantage to Kane and it is going to be interesting to see them go against each other in the Third Place match on Saturday. Can Lukakku catch up to Kane? These Third PLace fixtures at World Cups have a history of being high-scoring affairs. Each of the last ten such fixtures have gone over 2.5 goals. So there could still be an exciting finish in this race really if Lukaku brings his A-Game which he failed to do in the semi-final against France. France’s Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann are not totally out of the picture but they would have to do something special to catch up, starting three goals behind Kane heading into their final match. Harry Kane 1/20 Romelu Lukaku 16/1 Antoine Griezmann 40/1 Kylian Mbappe 66/1 Bar 500/1 * (betting odds taken at 9:09 pm on July 13th, 2018) Prediction: Kane hangs on to the top goalscorer crown, but we can see Lukaku at least netting one against the Three Lions to spice things up. Lukaku looked well off the boil against France and while Kane himself has looked to have run out of steam as well, he should have done enough by now to hang on.

Winner/Top Goalscorer Double odds*

As it is Harry Kane who is the most likely to win the Golden Boot then the top options in this market are including him. So if you assume that it is going to be Kane who finishes at the top scorer, the next choice is to pair up him up with either Croatia or France as the winner of the tournament. The only other thing that you are going to consider but as a massive outside shot is Antoine Griezmann coming through with a stellar scoring performance in the final. France/Harry Kane 1/2 Croatia/Harry Kane 15/8 France/Antoine Griezmann 50/1 Bar 80/1 * (betting odds taken at 9:09 pm on July 13th, 2018) Prediction: Well we are sticking with France winning the World Cup and that cuts down the options. Is Griezmann going to go out and score the minimum of a hattrick needed to top Kane in the goalscorer charts? Not likely. The straightforward favourite option has to be backed.
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World Cup 2018 Semi-Finals Predictions & Betting Odds

World Cup 2018 Betting
The final 4 teams at the 2018 World Cup will go into the high-pressure situation of the semi-final ties this week. Both semi-finals will be all-European affairs and really on the surface of things if you look at the remaining four teams who are France, England, Belgium and Croatia then you get the distinct feeling that anyone can beat anyone else on a given day. There is really not too much to separate the final four at all. Here we take a look at the World Cup 2018 semi finals along with predictions and betting odds. The only thing we do know is that it will be a European team once again being crowned world champions. As to which of the four that is going to be, that is a pretty tough call to make at the moment.

World Cup 2018 winner odds*

France 2/1 England 11/4 Belgium 11/4 Croatia 4/1 * (betting odds were taken from July 9, 2018, at 6:20 p.m.)

France v Belgium

Tuesday, July 10th - 7 PM kick-off It is France who have stayed at the front of the pack as the outright favourite to win the 2018 World Cup. But really as we said we don’t see anything much between any of the final four and this is certainly no easy game for the French. France did not one thing impressively during the group stage as they struggled to get results against Australia and Peru before playing out a meaningless draw with Denmark in their final group stage match. There was not much cohesion or conviction from them in the group stage. But maybe they were saving themselves as they have looked far better in the knockout stages of the tournament. In the round of 16, they had Kylian Mbappe step up to the plate and put on a show to help them beat Argentina 4-3. Then it was more South American opposition for them in the quarter-finals as they face up to the tough defence of Uruguay. France were far more comfortable in that one than they were against Argentina and coasted through with a 2-0 victory. Belgium are the top scorers at the 2018 World Cup and that should make France pretty nervous. After running up the goals against Panama and Tunisia in their first group stage games they too had a meaningless final match in the first stage as they beat England 1-0. Then strangely Belgium had a massive scare as they found themselves 2-0 down against Japan in the second half of their round of 16 tie. Belgium were quite frankly awful in the game but as soon as they switched to just playing a route-one game they manage to turn it around. Belgium them produce the performance of the tournament as they beat Brazil 2-1 in the quarter-finals. Belgium boss Roberto Martinez had the nous to change formation and tactics for that one and it paid off as Belgium produced their best game of the tournament. Their front three looked even more dangerous with Eden Hazard finding space, Romelu Lukaku charging at the Brazilian defence and Kevin de Bruyne being pushed further forward. This is such a tough game to call because you do wonder if Belgium are capable of replicating that same level of performance against Brazil, or did they simply hit their peak and will struggle to get back to that? France meanwhile have a look particularly great throw the tournament but they have shown that they have their big match winners and they do have more strength on the bench that Belgium do if this were to go beyond 90 minutes. Both teams have great individual talent it may just all be about who put it together better as a team on the night. Head to head Belgium are 10-9 ahead from previous meetings with France with nine drawn games as well stop the last time they met was in 2015 with Belgium taking a 4-3 win in France. It does mean that France are winless in their last three against the Belgians now (D2 L1) but the last time they did meet competitively was at the 1986 World Cup with France taking a 4-2 victory. Both teams have scored in just two of the last seven meetings between the two sides.

France v Belgium winner odds*

France 31/20 Belgium 21/10 Draw 9/4 * (betting odds were taken from July 9, 2018, at 6:20 p.m.) Prediction: We are sticking with the strength of France to find a way to win this contest. We see a France to win by a one-goal margin option at 3/1 odds* (betting odds were taken from July 9, 2018, at 6:20 p.m.) as a good betting tip for the France v Belgium game. Take nothing away from Belgium who were magnificent against Brazil, but France just look a bit more rugged and adaptable to the stresses of this semi-final.

[bbutton bookmaker="bet365"]

Croatia v England

Wednesday, July 11th - 7 PM kick-off Croatia went into this tournament as a dark horse and that was because of how strong their midfield area is. They are stacked with talent in there and it really started to shine through in the group stage as they won all three of their matches. One of those matches, of course, was against Argentina with the Europeans running out 3-0 winners over the South Americans. That was a huge statement made by Croatia and with the draw opening up, they looked as if they could just go from strength to strength. However, it didn’t quite pan out that way. In the round of 16, they had to come from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Denmark. Croatia saw off their opponents by a penalty shootout. In the quarter-finals they had come from behind against Russia, playing out a 2-2 draw and again having to rely on a penalty shootout to progress. That is a lot of extra work that Croatia have had to do and there have been signs that it has been taking its toll on them. Some of the Croatian players look to be out on their feet in the second period of extra time against Russia. They can’t, of course, afford to go into this semi-final jaded. Croatia have been less consistent with their starting 11 lineups than England have been at this tournament. They have some great talent though notably in Luka Modric who has been one of the stars of the entire tournament, and they have a threat on the wing in Ivan Perisic. The Croatians have scored at least two goals in five of their last six games played. But what will give England hope is that they have not taken a clean sheet in any of their last three games now. How much will fatigue play in this tie? The longer this game goes on the more you would probably fancy England will have the edge because of having much younger legs. They got through their quarter-final tie in 90 min against Sweden. England were really comfortable in that game against the Swedes, looking composed and ready to get the job done. It was a stark contrast to the physical an intense battle that they had had against Colombia in the round of 16. But it showed that England can handle and deal with whatever is in front of them which is a huge plus for this young side. England are just sticking to their simple gameplan and they are not likely to change anything in terms of tactics or personnel for this one. They will perhaps just need to be on their toes a little bit more at the back because Croatia, even though they may be looking a little tired, have plenty of quality still. England clearly have their strengths from set plays but they have been lacking the creativity to create chances from open play. With the way that the draw has opened up for them and with confidence that they are playing with, mostly players whenever likely to have as good of a chance again of reaching the final of the World Cup. The overall quality may not be there from England but their spirit is not in question. Head-to-head The last time England and Croatia were against each other was during World Cup 2010 qualification. England produced a 4-1 win and 5-1 win against the Croats. This will only be the eighth meeting between the two nations and England are 4-2 ahead with the one drawn match. Interestingly five of those previous seven meetings have seen at least four goals scored. Both teams have scored in five of the seven previous meetings as well.

Croatia v England winner odds*

England 11/8 Draw 21/10 Croatia 5/2 * (betting odds were taken from July 9, 2018, at 6:20 p.m.) Prediction: We completely see in this one needing more than regulation time to be settled. Croatia are technically the better of the two sides and will carry a threat, but they know that they will have to be cautious about the attacking pace that England can bring to the table. Another reason we don’t see this being settled straight away is because of the struggles Croatia have had in the knockout phase so we are simply sticking with an England To Qualify betting tip at 8/13 odds* (betting odds were taken from July 9, 2018, at 6:20 p.m.).
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Paddy England Specials as Three Lions hit semi finals

Paddy Power
The country is now fully gripped in World Cup fever as Gareth Southgate's young England side has made it through to the semi-finals where they will be facing Sweden on Wednesday. The country is buzzing, the young Three Lions are playing with belief and commitment and who knows, after going into the tournament as nothing more than a hopeful outsider, England could bring it home. Paddy Power have tossed out some more England specials to keep the hype going along nicely as we await the Croatia v England fixture. England are the 13/10 favourites* (betting odds were taken from July 7th, 2018 at 7:17 pm) at Paddy Power to land the win in that match, which is going to be an incredibly intense affair. The feel-good factor is pretty high right now and after calls from football fans and ever Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Paddy Power have slashed the odds on a National Holiday being declared should England win this summer’s World Cup from 20/1 down to 5/1* (betting odds were taken from July 7th, 2018 at 7:17 pm). Naturally, patriots punters have been piling into England winning the World Cup and bookmakers are going to be hit hard if they go and win the title. Towards the back end of last year England were nothing more than 20/1 shots to win the 2018 World Cup, but now they are in at 13/10* (betting odds were taken from July 7th, 2018 at 7:17 pm). Paddy Power revealed that over 30% of bets on the World Cup outright winner market they have received have been for England. Harry Kane has six goals to his name at the tournament and is two ahead of main threat Romelu Lukaku heading into the semifinals. Before the tournament, you could have taken 66/1 odds on a Kane/England double but now you are down to 13/5 odds with the bookmaker for that* (betting odds were taken from July 7th, 2018 at 7:17 pm). Kane is the 8/13 Sports personality of the Year favourite as well* (betting odds were taken from July 7th, 2018 at 7:17 pm). Spokesman Paddy Power said: “Show me someone in England who says they wouldn’t take an extra Bank Holiday and I’ll show you a liar. Plus, I reckon the country will need at least a day to dry out from the beer should they win it. “The sun is shining, Three Lions is headed for Number One and we’re going to get stung for millions if Southgate lifts the trophy. It’s not hard to see why you English folk are getting carried away.” With Skinner & Baddiel's “Three Lions” song which has pretty much been adopted as England’s anthem receiving 450,000 plays on the day England met Colombia in the quarter finals, that is odds-on at 1/2 to hit Number One in the UK in the month of July.

England Specials

1/2 Three Lions to be UK Number One in the Singles Chart for July 2018 8/15 Any English football player to win the BBC SPOTY 4/7 A Homecoming parade to be held in London in July 2018 5/1 A national day of holiday to be declared in July 2018 due to England’s World Cup performance 5/1 Southgate to be knighted before December 2019 10/1 Kane to be knighted before December 2019 * (betting odds were taken from July 7th, 2018 at 7:17 pm)

World Cup Outright Odds*

France 2/1 England 5/2 Belgium 11/4 Croatia 9/2 * (betting odds were taken from July 7th, 2018 at 7:17 pm)
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England 11/4 odds at Bet365 to win the 2018 World Cup

Trippier - Lingard (England)
England’s young Three Lions are now just two games from the ultimate football glory of winning the World Cup. England are back in the World Cup Semi Finals for just the third time in their history after getting past Sweden in the quarter finals of Russia 2018. They are looking to make it to the final for just the second time in their history and we all know what happened to them the last time they were there back in 1966. England are now at 11/4 odds with bet365* (betting odds were taken from July 7th, 2018 at 8:17 pm) to get their hands on the trophy this summer. It has been a refreshing tournament for England fans who have actually been able to enjoy exciting games that the Three Lions have been involved in, and the success in them, of course, has helped a lot as well. Now the country has shifted from dreams to expectations about Gareth Southgate’s young charges bringing it home.

Croatia v England odds*

England 11/8 Draw 21/10 Croatia 5/2 * (betting odds were taken from July 7th, 2018 at 8:17 pm) This is the first time since winning the tournament in 1966 that England have been as a short of a price to win a World Cup. Croatia stands in their way in the semi-finals and England are 11/8 favourites* (betting odds were taken from July 7th, 2018 at 8:17 pm) to get the win in that one. They go up against a side who are technically better, but who have some tired legs in their ranks having needed a penalty shootout in both of their knockout stage games so far. England’s strike record in World Cup semi-finals is W1 L1 then and the last time they were here was in 1990 when they suffered that heartbreak against Germany. Harry Kane with his six-goal haul is the heavy odds-on favourite now to the tune of 1/7 odds* (betting odds were taken from July 7th, 2018 at 8:17 pm) to get the Golden Boot as well and now he gets two more games to add to that tally. The passion and commitment from the young players that Southgate has entrusted at this tournament has been fantastic to watch. Whatever the outcome against Croatia, England can hold their heads high for having produced a wonderful tournament. They’ll be criticized for lack of goals from open play, for all of the wayward passing, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the result. Who would be complaining if England won the final by a single spot kick? Exactly. If England were to prevail against Croatia then it would be either France or a rematch against Belgium, waiting in the showcase match.

World cup 2018 Winner odds*

France 2/1 England 11/4 Belgium 11/4 Croatia 4/1 * (betting odds were taken from July 7th, 2018 at 8:17 pm)  
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World Cup 2018 Golden Ball Betting – Predictions and Winner Odds

Harry Kane (England)
We are down to the business end of the 2018 World Cup and along with other major awards like the Golden Boot, the Golden Ball presents some very interesting betting opportunities at this stage. It’s hard to say that there was a great standout individual performer of the group stage and so really the winner of the Golden Ball is likely to be shaped in the competition during the knockout stages. With the Brazilians the last of the South Americans nations to fall from the competition, the World Cup has boiled down to all European teams. That, of course, has cut a lot of the pre-tournament favourites for the Golden Ball like Lionel Messi and Neymar out of the equation. Here we take a look at the Golden Ball winner odds on who will be crowned the best player at the 2018 World Cup.

World Cup Golden Ball Odds*

Kylian Mbappe 3/1 Harry Kane 4/1 Eden Hazard 4/1 Kevin De Bruyne 7/1 Luka Modric 12/1 Romelu Lukaku 12/1 Antoine Griezmann 12/1 Bar 33/1 * (betting odds taken from Unibet on July 6th, 2018 at 9:26 pm)

Kylian Mbappe

The France star produced a stunning performance in the round of sixteen as he helped Les Bleus fight back against Argentina. The French were level at 2-2 before the Mbappe show started as he netted a brace in the game. That sparked all of the hype on Mbappe going all the way and getting the Golden Ball. Frankly, though that was just one standout performance and the rest of the games at the World cup have been nothing that much above average. Unless he turns it on in the semi finals and potentially the final, we can’t see the young French star getting the award. There just hasn’t been enough of the individual brilliance consistently.

Harry Kane

The England talisman has to be in the running for the Golden Ball and is at 4/1 odds to get it* (betting odds taken from July 6th, 2018 at 9:26 pm). Unless he tears it up in front of goal in what remaining matches he is going to get through, it is hard to see him getting it. Although his goal tally has been fantastic, there probably have been far too many penalty kicks in that tally to get him on the award. If maybe just one or none of the tally had been from the penalty spot, things would be a different matter altogether. Still he has the chance to fire off more goals and earn it outright.

Luka Modric

The Croatian midfielder we think that's been one of the standout performers of the tournament, at least in the group stage. He produced a couple of fine goals in the group stage and was running the show. Again it is all going to be down to how he performs in the latter stages of the competition. Perhaps if he gets a match winner somewhere or guides the Croatians to the final then he is going to be in the picture for sure. He is a great each way option in the market, but you do get the sense that Croatia would have to win the tournament outright for Modric to really get the attention he deserves.

Eden Hazard

The Belgium forward is our top tip for the World Cup 2018 Golden Ball now at this stage of the competition. Hazard has been spectacular and consistent in his performances for his country so far. He has chipped in with a couple of goals but he has played provider so very well at this event. He has looked mature and composed for his team and the great thing about his performance is that he hasn’t been doing everything on his own, he has been part of the team, something which he hasn’t always done for his club, Chelsea. This has already been a great World Cup for him and now with Belgium in the semis, Hazard is at great 4/1 odds option* (betting odds taken from July 6th, 2018 at 9:26 pm).

Kevin de Bruyne

The group stage was a fairly sedate one for De Bruyne and that is largely because he was being used in a deeper role. That was a pretty strange move right from the start, but as Belgium collectively came good in the quarter finals against Brazil, De Bruyne was at the centre of it all. The kind of performances that he had delivered for Manchester City last year, this time being used further up the pitch, was what the World Cup needed to see from him. If he carries on as such a driving force then he should be in with a shout. He may need a goal or two more, or a couple more assists though perhaps to really push his case.

Romelu Lukaku

Not too surprisingly there are going to be a few Belgians on this list. Lukaku has delivered the goals for Belgium so far at the tournament, exactly what he is on the field to do. But in Belgium quarter-final against Brazil, he produced what was arguably his best game of the tournament as he tore the Brazilians to shreds in the first half of the contest. Even though he didn't get on the scoresheet in Belgium's 2-1 win over the Selecao, his physical strength was a huge factor in them getting their result. He has the goals, with now the promise of more and is a more likely a candidate for the Golden Ball in our eyes than Kane is.

Antoine Griezmann

The Frenchman really hasn’t set the tournament alight but because he is there at the business end of the tournament with France then he is going to be a player in this. He got only his second goal of the tournament though in France quarter final win over Uruguay and that was only down to a howler from the Uruguayan keeper on what should have been a routine save. Unless he scores a hatful of goals in his last two games at the tournament, Griezmann isn’t going to win the Golden Ball.

Prediction

We are avoiding the big goal scoring names for this one and we are going with Eden Hazard to take the spotlight. He has been so good in his link up play, has chipped in with the play-making and assists as you would expect him to and with Belgium impressing so much against Brazil there should be more to come from Hazard.
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Harry Kane odds to score against Sweden

Kane (England)
It has certainly been Harry Kane’s World Cup so far. The England striker has bagged six goals in three games at the tournament and has been one of the stars of the show. After his blistering start, helped out by converted penalty kicks, he got back down to business in England’s round of sixteen success against Colombia after being rested against Belgium at the end of the group stage. That’s six goals for the Tottenham man then and half of them have been penalties but they all count. Kane has hit that magic six number which is the average tally of goals that each Golden Boot winner has scored in the last ten editions of the World Cup. So he is well on track and starts the quarterfinals two clear of Belgium's Romelu Lukaku. Harry Kane is at 11/4 odds with bet365 in the First Goalscorer market* (betting odds taken from July 5th, 2018 at 7:05 pm) for the Three Lions’ tussle with Sweden in the quarterfinals on Saturday. England went to the tournament knowing that they are going to rely solely on the big man to deliver the goods for them and captain Kane has stepped up to the plate. No-one will really care if it is another penalty or a goal from a set piece that Kane gets to send England through to the semi-finals. At the tournament has scored a goal every 45 minutes on average and that puts him well ahead of the rest of the field. You imagine now with the maximum of three games left for any remaining player at the tournament, that he could hold on. He can of course actually add to that tally and if you don’t fancy him in the first goalscorer market against the Swedes then you back him at a great price of 21/20* (betting odds taken from July 5th, 2018 at 7:05 pm) in the anytime goalscorer market with bet365.

Sweden v England Winner Odds*

England 19/20 Draw 23/10 Sweden 19/5 * (betting odds taken from July 5th, 2018 at 7:05 pm) Kane is England’s focal point. He has stepped up and held his nerve when his country has needed him. England are 11/2 odds to score a penalty in the quarter-final while Kane is at 5/1 to score at least two goals* (betting odds taken from July 5th, 2018 at 7:05 pm) in the fixture. The general thought though is that England will have their work cut out for them against Sweden, who are a strong defensive side and who stay very organised across their back line. Ultimately England’s progress at the 2018 World Cup seems to be fully on the shoulders of Kane from the goalscoring department. England will go into tie against Sweden as favourites to win it and the key difference between the two sides could well be the extra quality that England are able to boast up front. Sweden don’t have that world class touch up there. A Harry Kane/England Score/Win Double is at 13/8 odds* (betting odds taken from July 5th, 2018 at 7:05 pm) as the Three Lions look to make it through to the World Cup semifinals for the first time since 1990. That would be some accomplishment from Gareth Southgate’s young charges. The opportunity is right in front of their faces and in winning this quarter-final it would guarantee two more games for Kane to try and join Brazil’s Ronaldo as the only man to have scored more than six goals in a World Cup since the 1978 edition (8).
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12,721/1 odds bettered in BetVcitor World Cup Competition

Betvictor
Operator BetVictor have been running a fascinating World Cup 2018 contest where the punter who lands the biggest odds win on the tournament will be in line for a £1 million prize. This has really set up huge looks at creativity in World Cup betting from those taking part. Naturally, most of the regular common markets are not going to offer up the kinds of odds that would get a punter to the top of the leaderboard in this. However, for the #TheMillionPoundBet competition that BetVictor are running, punters have been lapping it up through their PRICEITUP option where punters can create bets of their own. Last week a punter from Scotland had topped the table with a massive 12,721/1 odds success which had fired them to the top of the leaderboard. That staggering opportunistic bet was built in the final round of group stage matches when Brazil took on Serbia: Brazil to win 2-0, Paulinho to score 1+ goals, Thiago Silva to score 1+ goals, Brazil Over 6.5 Corners, Serbia Over 2.5 cards, Nemanja Matic to be carded. This was done through the PRICEITUP feature at odds of 12,721/1 and that punter had stuck a quid on the bet.

Think 12,721/1 odds can't be beat?

That incredible win was the biggest successful bet at the time by more than 3,000 but then the punter must have been left heartbroken as someone else came up with something bigger on the Uruguay v Portugal round of sixteen match. Just when that 12,721/1 punter though that those odds couldn’t be beaten, along came this: Uruguay to win 2-1, Uruguay Over 1.5 corners, Uruguay Under 2.5 corners, Portugal Over 9.5 corners, Portugal Under 10.5 corners, Uruguay under 0.5 cards. Again this was a PRICEITUP Option but at 17,042/1 odds. Getting the correct score on a match is often touch up but within the bet, the punter had called exactly two corners for Uruguay and exactly ten corners for Portugal. That is just staggering. The Bet Victor#MillionPoundBet competition runs right through to the end of the tournament and you can check out full details of the promotion on their site.
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World Cup goals record costs Paddy Power ÂŁ700,000 payouts

Paddy Power
Bookamer Paddy Power had to dig deep in their pockets after the conclusion of the 2018 World Cup group stage. The operator had to shell out around ÂŁ700,000 to punters who had backed a bit of World Cup history being created.

All teams to score at least 2 goals

Paddy Power had offered odds of 100/1 prior to the start of the tournament that all 32 teams at the tournament would score at least two goals, something that had never before been done at a tournament. But thanks to a couple of strikes on the final day of the group stage matches, history was created and punters were celebrating. On the final day of the group stage fixtures at Russia 2018 was a Group G fixture of Tunisia v Panama which had nothing riding on it other than avoiding the wooden spoon. Panama, in their first ever World Cup had gotten their first ever goal in the World Cup Finals against England in their heavy 6-1 loss against the Three Lions. But they went in 1-0 up at half time against Tunisia thanks to a deflected shot, giving them their second goal of the game. Panama were denied the win though as the Africans fought back for a 2-1 victory. Poland was the only other team not to have made it past one goal in the group stage, but they got a winner from Jan Bednarek for a 1-0 success against Japan in their final match, the Poles having already been eliminated.

Poland and Panama punish Paddy Power

So with Panama and Poland making it to two goals on the final day of group stage matches, Paddy Power had a costly payout to punters who had taken up the challenge and the biggest of them was one punter who had taken a £150 chance on the wager. A Paddy Power spokesperson said: "I feel a right Pan-ana after that goal. Panama haven’t given their fans too many reasons to celebrate this tournament, but that strike will be cheered loudly by hundreds of punters across the country.”
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