Favorite Teams to Win 2018 FIFA World Cup

Favorite Teams to Win 2018 FIFA World Cup

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to get underway later today in Russia, in the process bringing to an end four years of waiting for the billions of football fans based all across the globe. While 32 teams will contest the biggest prize in soccer, throughout the tournament’s 88 year history just eight teams have ever lifted the trophy, of whom three hail from South America (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay), and five from Europe (Germany, Italy, England, France, Spain).

Nevertheless, Brazil has won it an incredible five times, while Germany lies just behind on four, with the bookmakers naturally favoring these two giants of the sport to win further accolades at this year’s month long sporting extravaganza. In the meantime, other previous champions and a number of formidable contenders cannot be ruled out from creating an upset on the world stage, and in this article we will try to explore some of the main team’s to look out for at the 2018 World Cup.

USA Fails to Qualify

Unfortunately, the USA team will be missing from the competition as its national side failed to qualify for the first time in three decades. Interestingly, their absence comes soon after the country’s federal sports betting law was struck down, with Delaware and now Monmouth Park in New Jersey having added wagering options to those that already exist in Nevada. Therefore, American’s may still have an incentive to follow the action coming out of Russia this summer, and lend their support to various teams that they might have bets wagered upon.

Brazil and Germany

At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil fell to a crushing 7-1 semi-final defeat against Germany, but this year Brazil doesn’t seem to have any glaring weaknesses in their line up, with bookmakers such as William Hill and BetStars giving them odds of 4/1 to win outright. Amongst the team members that have made them such a favorite at this year’s contest are stars such as Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), the world’s most expensive player with a price tag of $262 million, as well as Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Paulinho (Barcelona), Fernandinho (Manchester City), and Casemiro (Real Madrid), to name but a few.

Germany, on the other hand, are the reigning world champions and have been given odds of 9/2, making them a virtual co-favorite with Brazil. While stalwarts of the team still remain, including Bayern Munich players Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, and Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), the national side also stands to benefit from an injection of fresh, new talent, such as Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), and Timo Werner (RB Leipzig).

Other Contenders

Meanwhile, Spain is third favorite to win the competition, with the team mostly comprised of players from Barcelona and Real Madrid currently showing odds of 6/1 to accomplish the feat. Next, France (7/1) has a dynamic team and boasts such players as Paul Pogba (Manchester United) and Antoine Griezmann (Atl├ętico Madrid), while Argentina (9/1) is led by Lionel Messi, widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time.

Interestingly, Belgium (11/1) has shorter odds than England (16/1) to win, with bookies evidently favoring its talented players over that of England, many of whom incidentally play in the English Premier League, such as Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), and Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United).

Another teams that may present an attractive long shot for punters is Portugal (25/1), headed by soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, a former PokerStars sponsored ambassador, although the site stopped using him in its marketing campaign back in April 2017. Other brave long shots include Uruguay (28/1), or even Nigeria (200/1), who many consider to be the best team in Africa.

Russian 40/1 Longshot

Finally, Russia, despite being the host, has little expectations going into the tournament, and even if it does manage to make it out of the group stage it is likely to meet either Spain or Portugal in the second-round. Currently, punters can receive odds of 40/1 on Russia, but as former French international Marcel Desailly explained to Russia Today, recently:

“We are just hoping that for the opening game that Russia will do well against Saudi Arabia. I love Saudi Arabia as well of course, but I would like Russia to at least perform because the past games have not been very good. So we hope that they will show us that they can qualify for the second round.”