The World Cup is approaching rapidly and before we know it the tournament will be under way in Russia, the best teams on the planet fighting it out for the Jules Rimet trophy.
Brazil, Germany, France and Spain are the favourites in the betting market, with a huge array of markets already available to bet on.
But what long shot odds are worth considering for the 2018 World Cup? Let’s take a look!
Shock winners very unlikely at World Cups
Perhaps the first thing to keep in mind is that the World Cup never seems to throw up a surprise winner. The victor usually comes from one of the teams among the pre-tournament favourites.
The likely winner is in this group
Brazil look set to head to Russia as the outright favourites, with most bookmakers offering a price of around 4/1 on Tite’s men, who cruised through South American qualifying. But with a question mark over the fitness of star player Neymar, Tite faces a waiting game to see whether the Paris Saint-Germain forward will recover from a foot injury.
Regardless, with the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus, Brazil’s attack has a lot of depth. Whether Brazil have mentally recovered from losing the semi-final 7-1 to Germany on home soil four years ago remains to be seen, though.
Defending champions Germany look a solid enough bet at odds of 9/2. Joachim Low has a terrific record at major tournaments and the next generation also looks strong, a young side having triumphed at the Confederations Cup a year ago. France and Spain are the other European heavyweights, available at odds of 13/2 and 7/1 respectively.
With Lionel Messi in the prime of his career, 11/1 on Argentina to win the World Cup will be tempting for a lot of football fans. But Argentina needed Messi to drag them through qualifying with a hat-trick in their final match, while they were destroyed 6-1 by Spain in a recent friendly.
But for those seeking a long shot winner, a couple of options stand out from the crowd. One of those is Portugal, surprise winners at Euro 2016. They are offered at around 25/1 and with Cristiano Ronaldo leading their attack, there is every chance they go deep in the event.
Uruguay at odds of 33/1 could be worth considering as well. Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani provide one of the most exciting forward lines at the World Cup and they reached the semi-finals in 2010, so there is some recent success at the tournament for this side as well.
Goalscorer markets could offer long shot temptation
Familiar names like Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo lead the way in the Golden Boot betting for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Thomas Muller is the first name of interest – he can be backed at about the 25/1 mark. Germany are an outstanding side but, although Timo Werner has potential, they do lack a world-class striker. Muller has World Cup pedigree, though, scoring 10 goals at previous tournaments.
If Uruguay do have a good run, as we mentioned above, Suarez and Cavani could both be of interest on the Golden Boot market. They are each available at around the 30/1 mark.
Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe are both on offer at shorter odds, but perhaps Olivier Giroud is the man to pick from Les Bleus. The Chelsea forward is a favourite of Didier Deschamps and looks set to lead the line in Russia. Odds of 40/1 could prove to be a steal.
Other World Cup betting options to consider
With so many markets to choose from, there are plenty of potential profit-making wagers.
Portugal and Uruguay are offered at 12/1 and 14/1 respectively to reach the final, which may prove a bargain as they have strong performances at recent tournaments under their belts.
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Nigeria can be backed at about 8/1 to win arguably the hardest group – they face Argentina, Croatia and debutants Iceland in a section that is hard to call. Nigeria beat Argentina 4-2 in a warm-up friendly and the Super Eagles will believe they can do it again in Russia.
Serbia were judged by many to be the toughest pot four side and they were unfortunate to land in the same section of the draw as Brazil. But with the likes of Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – who is primed for superstardom – they have a chance of going a long way. Odds of 7/1 for Serbia to reach the semi-finals are definitely worth thinking about here.
Last but not least, a price of 20/1 for Brazil to play Spain in the final looks well worth taking on, with these two countries arguably in the best form of nations preparing to go to Russia this year.
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