World Cup Betting Offers and Free Bets

The 2018 World Cup in Russia is brilliant so far, and it could get even better as we head into the Semi Finals. England are going strong… but can they go all the way?

We’ll have all the best World Cup betting offers right here, as well as some cracking betting tips. We’ve also got a World Cup betting overview, as well as some tournament history and trivia.

World Cup Betting Tips and Predictions – Quarter Finals

Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

  • Uruguay v France – Uruguay Draw no Bet – 11/5 with 888Sport
  • Brazil v Belgium – BTTS – 4/5 with Ladbrokes
  • Sweden v England – England to win – 10/11 with Betfair
  • Russia v Croatia – Russia on Penalties – 8/1 with Coral

Uruguay have looked fantastic so far, with four wins from four. Meanwhile, France struggled against a poor Argentina side, while they scored just three times against the likes of Australia, Peru and Denmark. With that in mind, Uruguay look the value on the Draw No Bet market.

Brazil have scored in every game so far, but this is the toughest test of their defence. Belgium are the tournament’s highest scorers, so we expect both teams to score when the pair meet on Friday.

England’s momentum has been boosted after their result against Colombia. We see them keeping that up by beating Sweden. Meanwhile, Russia showed their penalty skills on Sunday, while Croatia stuttered. In a tight game, we expect the Russians to narrowly edge this one, at a huge price.

England World Cup 2018 Fixtures

England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Panama and Tunisia. Here are the dates of the matches for your diary:

Mon June 18: Tunisia v England – Volgograd, 7pm UK time
Sun June 24: England v Panama – Nizhny Novgorod, 1pm UK time
Thu June 28: England v Belgium – Kaliningrad, 7pm UK time

One would hope Gareth Southgate’s men should be able to get victories in the first two matches and then it’s the big showdown with Belgium to see who tops the table. Unless it’s all gone pear-shaped by then!

World Cup 2018 News

At long last we now know the 32 jubilant nations who will take part at the 2018 football World Cup, and indeed the groups in which they’ll compete.

World Cup 2018 Groups: 

  • 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: Colombia, Japan, Poland, Senegal

When does the Russia World Cup start?

The action kicks off on Thursday 14th June when host Russia take on Saudi Arabia in the opening match. Leave your civil rights at the door and enjoy the football!

What World Cup group are England in?

England have been drawn in Group G alongside Belgium, Panama and Tunisia. They play against Tunisia first on Monday 18th June 2018, followed by Panama on Sunday 24th June and then the crunch game with Belgium on Thursday 28th June.

England’s best and worst case scenarios?

Gareth Southgate’s nightmare scenario is clearly that his side loses all three games and they finish bottom. That would surely see him sacked before his plane back landed on the tarmac.

If England win all their group matches and top the group, they should have a winnable Round of 16 match against the runner up in Group H (Colombia, Japan, Poland or Senegal).

Things get trickier in the quarters as they could well face Brazil! But, looking at the best case scenario, let’s say they’ll get Mexico in the quarters, Russia in the semis and then, why not, a 5-0 win against Germany in the final! The tournament hasn’t started yet, so we can still have hope can’t we?

Group of Death

There are a couple of deathly groups this time around:

  • Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
  • Group D: Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria

Hope for the lesser nations?

Peru have a chance of sneaking through in second place in their group (competing with Australia and Denmark for the runners up spot behind France).

Costa Rica might fancy their chances to get the better of Switzerland and Serbia to finish behind Brazil in Group E

Betting on the World Cup

World Cup Betting

The FIFA World Cup is arguably the biggest tournament in any sport on the planet. The competition comes around every four years and is watched by millions of people worldwide – it is truly a wonderful spectacle.

In 2014, Joachim Low’s Germany came out on top, beating Argentina in the final by a goal to nil after extra-time at Brazil’s Maracana Stadium. Mario Gotze’s 113th-minute winner secured the Germans their fourth World Cup crown, having previously won the prestigious trophy in 1954, 1974 and 1990.

The 2018 World Cup took place in Russia for the first time. With the hosts already participating, 31 other countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Central America, plus the Caribbean and South America battled it out to join them. The final was staged at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, in front of almost 80,000 fans.

So it’s safe to say that the tournament is popular. Betting on the World Cup has become more and more popular too as the years have rolled by. Whether you are picking the outright winner, group winner, top goalscorer, team to be eliminated first, or the nation to finish bottom of their group, you can bet on just about anything and everything happening in the World Cup these days.

Even before all 32 participating nations have been decided, the bookies open up their World Cup markets nice and early so bettors can get stuck in. For instance, if you fancy backing the winner 18 months prior to a ball being kicked, the majority of bookies already have ante post World Cup markets open and prices available. Is this a great way to snatch some brilliant odds before they disappear, or is it a mistake to play your hand so early while so much can still change? Your call.

Paddy Power Russia Taunt

It’s always worth keeping an eye out for various offers and deals as the competition draws closer though, as practically all bookies will be running promotions leading up to the tournament. Whether that’s enhanced odds, boosted prices, money back deals, improved free bets or other new customer offers, some have an awful lot of fun with it as a matter of fact (see above).

So next time around, whether you fancy France to retain their crown, Brazil to top the scoring charts, England to fall in the group stage, or you think you know who will take the Golden Boot, betting on the World Cup has never been easier.

World Cup 2018 Betting Odds

Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change

World Cup outright winner odds:

  • Germany – 9/2 with Bet365
  • Brazil – 5/1 with Ladbrokes
  • France – 6/1 with Bet365
  • Spain – 15/1 with Bet365
  • Argentina – 9/1 with Bet365
  • Belgium – 12/1 with Ladbrokes
  • England – 17/1 with 888sport
  • Portugal – 25/1 with William Hill
  • Russia – 40/1 with Ladbrokes

World Cup 2018 Fixtures

World Cup 2018 Group stage fixtures (UK time)

Thu June 14: Russia v Saudi Arabia (Group A) – Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm
Fri June 15: Egypt v Uruguay (Group A) – Ekaterinburg, 1pm
Fri June 15: Morocco v Iran (Group B) – St Petersburg, 4pm
Fri June 15: Portugal v Spain (Group B) – Sochi, 7pm
Sat June 16: France v Australia (Group C) – Kazan, 11am
Sat June 16: Argentina v Iceland (Group D) – Moscow (Spartak), 2pm
Sat June 16: Peru v Denmark (Group C) – Saransk, 5pm
Sat June 16: Croatia v Nigeria (Group D) – Kaliningrad, 8pm
Sun June 17: Costa Rica v Serbia (Group E) – Samara, 1pm
Sun June 17: Germany v Mexico (Group F) – Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm
Sun June 17: Brazil v Switzerland (Group E) – Rostov-on-Don, 7pm
Mon June 18: Sweden v South Korea (Group F) – Nizhny Novgorod, 1pm
Mon June 18: Belgium v Panama (Group G) – Sochi, 4pm
Mon June 18: Tunisia v England (Group G) – Volgograd, 7pm
Tues June 19: Colombia v Japan (Group H) – Saransk, 1pm
Tues June 19: Poland v Senegal (Group H) – Moscow (Spartak), 4pm
Tues June 19: Russia v Egypt (Group A) – St Petersburg, 7pm
Wed June 20: Portugal v Morocco (Group B) – Moscow (Luzhniki), 1pm
Wed June 20: Uruguay v Saudi Arabia (Group A) – Rostov-on-Don, 4pm
Wed June 20: Iran v Spain (Group B) – Kazan, 7pm
Thu June 21: Denmark v Australia (Group C) – Samara, 1pm
Thu June 21: France v Peru (Group C) – Ekaterinburg, 4pm
Thu June 21: Argentina v Croatia (Group D) – Nizhny Novgorod, 7pm
Fri June 22: Brazil v Costa Rica (Group E) – St Petersburg, 1pm
Fri June 22: Nigeria v Iceland (Group D) – Volgograd, 4pm
Fri June 22: Serbia v Switzerland (Group E) – Kaliningrad, 7pm
Sat June 23: Belgium v Tunisia (Group G) – Moscow (Spartak), 1pm
Sat June 23: South Korea v Mexico (Group F) – Rostov-on-Don, 4pm
Sat June 23: Germany v Sweden (Group F) – Sochi, 7pm
Sun June 24: England v Panama (Group G) – Nizhny Novgorod, 1pm
Sun June 24: Japan v Senegal (Group H) – Ekaterinburg, 4pm
Sun June 24: Poland v Colombia (Group H) – Kazan, 7pm
Mon June 25: Uruguay v Russia (Group A) – Samara, 3pm
Mon June 25: Saudi Arabia v Egypt (Group A) – Volgograd, 3pm
Mon June 25: Spain v Morocco (Group B) – Kaliningrad, 7pm
Mon June 25: Iran v Portugal (Group B) – Saransk, 7pm
Tues June 26: Denmark v France (Group C) – Moscow (Luzhniki), 3pm
Tues June 26: Australia v Peru (Group C) – Sochi, 3pm
Tues June 26: Nigeria v Argentina (Group D) – St Petersburg, 7pm
Tues June 26: Iceland v Croatia (Group D) – Rostov-on-Don, 7pm
Wed June 27: South Korea v Germany (Group F) – Kazan, 3pm
Wed June 27: Mexico v Sweden (Group F) – Ekaterinburg, 3pm
Wed June 27: Serbia v Brazil (Group E) – Moscow (Spartak), 7pm
Wed June 27: Switzerland v Costa Rica (Group E) – Nizhny Novgorod, 7pm
Thu June 28: Japan v Poland (Group H) – Volgograd, 3pm
Thu June 28: Senegal v Colombia (Group H) – Samara, 3pm
Thu June 28: England v Belgium (Group G) – Kaliningrad, 7pm
Thu June 28: Panama v Tunisia (Group G) – Saransk, 7pm

World Cup Last 16 fixtures

Sat June 30: 1C v 2D – Kazan, 3pm (Match 50)
Sat June 30: 1A v 2B – Sochi, 7pm (Match 49)
Sun July 1: 1B v 2A – Moscow (Luzhniki), 3pm (Match 51)
Sun July 1: 1D v 2C – Nizhny Novgorod, 7pm (Match 52)
Mon July 2: 1E v 2F – Samara, 3pm (Match 53)
Mon July 2: 1G v 2H – Rostov-on-Don, 7pm (Match 54)
Tues July 3: 1F v 2E – St Petersburg 3pm (Match 55)
Tues July 3: 1H v 2G – Moscow (Spartak), 7pm (Match 56)

World Cup Quarter-final fixtures

Fri July 6: Winner match 49 v Winner match 50 – Nizhny Novgorod, 3pm (Match 57)
Fri July 6: Winner match 53 v Winner match 54 – Kazan, 7pm (Match 58)
Sat July 7: Winner match 55 v Winner match 56 – Samara, 3pm (Match 60)
Sat July 7: Winner match 51 v Winner match 52 – Sochi, 7pm (Match 59)

World Cup Semi-finals

Tues July 10: Winner match 57 v Winner match 58 – St Petersburg, 7pm
Wed July 11: Winner match 59 v Winner match 60 – Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm

World Cup Third-place play-off

Sat July 14: St Petersburg, 3pm

World Cup Final

Sun July 15: Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm

World Cup History

Estadio Centenario

Estadio Centenario, Uruguay, 1930

The first ever international football match took place in Glasgow in 1872, as rivals England and Scotland played out a 0-0 draw. Prior to the first World Cup, the initial international tournament was the British Home Championship.

FIFA was founded in 1904, and 1930 was the year of the first ever FIFA World Cup, which took place in Uruguay. The hosts went on to win the first tournament, beating fellow South American side Argentina in the final.

It was not until the 1950 World Cup in Brazil that a British team participated. In their first World Cup, England were knocked out in the group stage – a sign of things to come, perhaps?

Since 1950 the World Cup has been competed every four years spread across five different continents. Brazil have hosted two competitions, the most recent in 2014, while France and Germany have also staged two tournaments each.

The current format initially involves a qualification phase that takes place over a three-year period prior to each tournament. 31 international sides will make it through this round to join the hosts and compete in World Cup Finals, with all matches played at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of around a month.

In terms of winners, Brazil have won the World Cup more than any other nation in history. However, the last of their five wins came back in 2002, so they seem to have come off the boil somewhat. Germany and Italy are tied with four victories each, while Argentina, France, and Uruguay have all won football’s ultimate accolade on two occasions.

England’s only victory came in their own tournament in 1966, and Spain, during their golden generation from 2008 to 2012, won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in between winning back-to-back European Championships.

Football World Cup Trivia

  1. Record Crowd – In the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro at the 1950 World Cup, a staggering 174,000 people watched Brazil lose to Uruguay, the biggest World Cup final crowd to date. And probably extremely unsafe.
  2. Brazilian Goal Fest – Brazil’s 5-2 win over Sweden in the 1958 World Cup final in Solna produced the most goals in any final.
  3. King Klose – Germany’s Miroslav Klose, who hung up his international boots after the 2014 World Cup, scored an unrivaled 16 World Cup finals goals during his illustrious career.
  4. Age is Just a Number – 42-year-old Roger Milla became the World Cup’s oldest scorer when he netted for Cameroon against Russia during the 1994 World Cup.
  5. South America v Europe – Only European and South American counties have won the tournament so far, no other nation from any other continent has ever reached a World Cup final.
  6. Hattrick hero – Geoff Hurst remains the only player to ever score a hattrick in a World Cup Final, which he achieved in 1966 when England beat West Germany 4-2 to take home the trophy.
  7. 100% Record – Brazil are the only nation to have participated in all World Cups to date, hosting on two occasions and winning the trophy five times.
  8. It’s Just Fantastic Fontaine – The record for most individual goals in a World Cup is held by France’s Just Fontaine, with 13 goals in the 1958 tournament.
  9. Goals, Goals, Goals – In June 1954 at the World Cup in Switzerland, Austria beat the host nation 7-5 in the quarter-finals, which remains the most goals ever scored in a World Cup finals match.
  10. 17-year-old Maestro – Brazil legend Pele remains the youngest ever World Cup scorer. His goal against Wales in the 1958 World Cup came when he was just 17 years, 7 months and 27 days old. What were you doing when you were 17?