World Cup 2018 Group Stage Betting & Fixtures » Find the Best Odds Here
With the 2018 edition of football’s greatest tournament less than five months away, most bookmakers are keen to reel in more players and have already offered betting odds for the preliminary stage fixtures. FIFA always seeks to make the group fixtures as balanced as possible, with higher-ranked teams occupying the same pot during the draws. One team is picked from each of these four pots, making up groups of four teams each. This guarantees that stronger teams don’t have to meet each other until the knockout stages.
Group Stage Fixtures
A total of six fixtures are scheduled for each group, making for a total of 48 matches across all preliminary stages. At the end of these fixtures, the top two teams progress to the next round. Should any two teams be tied on points after group stage fixtures are done, they shall be ranked based on goal difference. The last two group stage fixtures are to be played simultaneously to avoid offering any teams the psychological advantage.
Groups Betting Odds
Group A comprises Uruguay, Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Many bookmakers favour Uruguay to top the group outright. The World Cup kicks off on 14th June with host nation Russia taking on Saudi Arabia. Best odds are on a Russian win. High-risk odds with high potential payouts that are worth trying for this tournament opener include betting on Russia to be ahead by half-time. Other notable odds for Group A include bets on Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani to score against Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Uruguay and Russia to progress to the next round, and Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia to end with five or more total goals.
Group B has Portugal, Spain, Morocco, and Iran. While Portugal should be considered group favourites going by recent tournament statistics, Spain is a formidable football force as well. This makes the group stage outrights winner bet category for this group a risky stake. Portugal has five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo within their ranks and staking on him to find the back of the net against Morocco and Iran seems like a good investment. Notable odds include Spain vs Portugal to end in less than three total goals and Spain vs Iran to end in no goals scored for the middle easterners.
In Group C we have France, Australia, Peru, and Denmark. France is easily expected to top this group, taking into account the less formidable opposition they are poised to face. Boasting a host of elite stars within their ranks like Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe, the ‘Les Bleus’ open their campaign on 16th June against the Socceroos. A reasonable stake would be ‘France to beat Australia by a three-goal margin or more’ as they currently boast a vibrant attacking line-up. Other worthwhile bets include ‘Denmark to progress as runners-up’ and ‘France to finish the group stages without conceding a goal’.
This is one of the more evenly balanced groups of the World Cup, with Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, and Nigeria completing the line-up. The Albiceleste and the Super Eagles have met on numerous occasions before at football’s grandest showdown and this year’s fixture is expected to be just as fierce as the prequels. Players most likely to score during this fixture from both sides are Lionel Messi and Alex Iwobi. Croatia is also a tough nut to crack- with midfield maestro Luka Modric on their roster- and are the most likely to emerge runners-up.
Group E has Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. The recommended bet would be staking on Neymar to score four or more goals by the end of the group stage. The Brazilian wonderkid is currently enjoying the best form of his life and shall also be expected to carry the Samba Boys to an outright group stage win. Serbia boasts a strong backline, shielded by the ever-efficient holding midfielder, Nemanja Matic. Betting on matches involving them to end in under three total goals contains moderate risks with fair chances of success. Also, the fixture between Brazil and Costa Rica should see three or more goals scored by the Brazilians as they are ranked several places above their Latin-American counterparts.
In Group F, we have Germany, Mexico, Sweden and the Korea Republic. Germany is the reigning World Champions and is the bookmakers’ pick to top this group. The ‘Die Manschafft’ is also the reigning confederations cup champions and boast a lot of potential money-makers for gamblers in the ‘Anytime Goalscorer’ category; with notable names like Timo Werner and Thomas Muller within their line-up. Bets worth checking out are ‘Germany and Mexico to progress’, ‘Germany to beat the Korea Republic by a four-goal margin or more’ and ‘Germany vs Mexico to end with less than three goals scored in total’.
The teams making up this group make for interesting betting. Group G has Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, and England. While ‘The Three Lions’ are no slouches and shall be expected to get the better of their Central American and North African rivals, European juggernaut – Belgium – is a tough nut to crack. As such, the England vs Belgium fixture on 28th June is expected to shape up the group’s ranking at the end and subsequently, the outcome of the group outrights. Panama v Tunisia fixture is also interesting and most likely to end up in goals scored for both sides.
The final group shall see Colombia, Senegal, Poland, and Japan square it out for the rights to progress to the next round. This is most likely the ‘Group of Death’ and is expected to have closely contested matches. Colombia and Poland have strong teams and bookmakers’ odds seem to be in favour of their eventual emergence from this difficult group. However, Senegal is the wildcard team and has a robust attacking front line spearheaded by the mercurial Sadio Mane. Also, Japan is capable of causing problems, with tricky Leicester forward, Shinji Okazaki, within their ranks.
Interesting Facts and Information
- Hungary holds the record for the most goals scored by a team in a single match during the group stage. On 15th June 1982, Hungary beat El Salvador with 10:1, which is also a record for most goals scored in a group stage match.
- On 11th June 2002 Senegal drew with Uruguay 3:3. What is more interesting about this game is that there were 12 yellow cards. This is a record for the group stage games at World Cups.
- 173 850. This is the number of people that attended the 1950 World Cup group stage game between Uruguay and Brazil on 16th July. The game was played at the famous Maracana stadium in Rio De Janeiro and holds the record for the highest attendance for a World Cup game.