World Cup Betting 2018 Groups Draw & Winner Odds

Die Mannschaft to retain World Cup title

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World Cup Betting

The 21st World Cup will kick off in Russia in the middle of June 2018 and the 32 qualified nations know what lies ahead of them in the group stage. The draw for the World Cup 2018 was made in early December 2017, giving teams and fans plenty of time to get ready for the tournament. Heading back to the World Cup as the reigning champions is Germany who are running as 5/1 outright favourites with Betfair to go and collect another title. The tournament is played across eleven cities in Russia and across several different time zones as well. In order to keep things manageable though, cities in the east of the country are not being used and only one of twelve venues (Yekaterinburg) are east of the Ural mountains, the range which splits the country down the middle.

World Cup 2018 Groups Draw Infographic

Tournament Debutants

Twenty of the nations who were at the 2014 World Cup will be making back to back appearances having qualified for this one. But there will be two nations making their World Cup debuts at the 2018 edition and they are Iceland and Panama. Iceland topped out their qualification group against the odds and after their stunning success with a powerful run at Euro 2016, they rode their wave of progression to become the smallest nation ever to make it through to the World Cup. Panama, with a lot of drama and a lot of luck, beat out the USA to make it through to their first ever World Cup

The Draw

The usual format for the World Cup will ensue in this edition as well, with the 32 nations split over eight groups. After a round robin format, the top two teams from each group will be making their way through to the knockout stage of the competition. If teams finish level on points in a group then goal difference will come into play and then if that is even between teams, the decider will be the number of goals scored in all group matches.

The slots for the knockout stages of the competitions have been set because the positions for the round of sixteen are set. The winners of Group A will play the runners up of Group B and vice versa, and so on through the groups. So if you are expecting a certain team to win a group, such as Brazil winning Group E, then you can see where they would be placed for the knockout stage of the draw and what kind of path they have may have to go through to get to the final.

Full Group Stage Draw (seeds in bold)

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

World Cup Betting Odds

Germany 5/1, Brazil 5/1, France 6/1, Spain 15/2, Argentina 9/1, Belgium 12/1, England 16/1, Portugal 25/1, Russia 33/1, Uruguay 33/1, Colombia 33/1, Croatia 40/1, Poland 40/1, Denmark 80/1, Switzerland 80/1, 100/1 bar

England Odds

The Three Lions really could not have received a better draw than the one that they did get. They avoided the biggest of the seeded teams that they could have been drawn against and they have landed themselves in what should be a two-way race for top spot against Belgium. England are 11/8 second favourites at Betfair behind the Red Devils to finish top of their group, with Belgium, who are the fifth ranked team in the world, trading at odds-on of 10/11. Naturally, it is Tottenham’s Harry Kane who is the 5/4 favourite to be the top scorer for the Three Lions at the tournament. The England stage of elimination market is pretty vibrant and popular and the Last 16 is the shortest priced option at a price of 11/5. Depending on where they finish in the group, first or second, they would be playing someone from Group H which contains Poland, Senegal, Colombia or Japan in the round of sixteen.

The Favourites

There are five teams trading in single figures to win the World Cup 2017 and they are Germany, Brazil, France, Spain and Argentina. Germany produced a stunning qualification campaign by winning all ten of their matches, averaging over four goals per game and conceding just the four goals themselves in ten games. They will once again be a force to be reckoned with and they are blessed with tremendous depth as they showed with their C-squad pretty much winning the Confederations Cup in the summer of 2017. The Brazilians made light work of their CONMEBOL qualification campaign, without a doubt the most difficult qualification zone in the world. They breezed it and with the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Neymar, they will be a major force. France arguably have the most talented, the deepest squad of everyone at the tournament. They have an abundance of riches going on at the moment and no-one is going to want to face them. There is a tremendous array of talent that they can call upon, but will they have the mental fortitude to grind it out when things get a little tough, as tournament football often can do?

Spain have benefitted from a nice position in the draw as if they win their group they get an easy opponent from Group A in the round of sixteen. They would first have to get through European champions Portugal first in their group. They have a lot to prove after their misfire four years ago and then again at Euro 2016. Then there is Argentina. They really struggled to get through their qualification campaign, as they could barely hit the back of the net. Because they went on the drift in the World Cup outright winner market, punters have taken a chance on them. Despite their lack of scoring in the qualification campaign, they have an attack-minded manager in Jorge Sampaoli so it will be interesting to see how they approach the tournament. With the pressure of qualification off, can Sampaoli pull things together and get La Albiceleste going for World Cup?

Prediction

Spain are appealing because of their draw, but ultimately they are not the force that they were and may fall short. Argentina have a lot prove, despite having tremendous talent in their squad, so the favouritism has to fall towards either Germany or Brazil really. It is questionable as to whether or not Brazil really have a Plan B up their sleeve and just because of the sheer depth of talent that the Germans can bring to the table, there could be a momentous occasion in becoming just the third nation ever to successfully retain the title (Italy 1934 and 1938, Brazil 1958-1962).

So Germany goes as our tip at 9/1 with Betfair while our dark horse will be Poland. At Euro 2016 they match Germany in their group stage campaign and they have Robert Lewandowski and the geographical situation won’t be too unfamiliar for them really. Given that they could face a decent draw in the round of sixteen, they could make a splash.