World Cup 2018
In this World Cup 2018 betting guide, we bring you all the facts, betting tips, strategies and need to know details. With this guide, you’re World Cup 2018 betting strategies will be that much more informed. Enjoy!
World Cup 2018 Odds, Betting Guide – & More
Welcome to this complete World Cup 2018 betting guide!
The World Cup is the granddaddy of all football tournaments on earth, the one where the undisputed kings of football will be crowned for another 4 years.
The World Cup is always lively, full of drama, ups, and downs, screaming goals and unforgettable moments. Football fans around the world work themselves into a frenzy as it approaches and progresses and World Cup results come out, feeling the full spectrum of highs and lows as their respective nations battle it out to become the undisputed champions of the world.
The World Cup also has a rich history, and some even view it as a story in and of itself. Every cup is a chapter in the book, but the book itself is much bigger than any one tournament.
We’ll cover the fascinating story of the World Cup from its inception to the present day. We’ll highlight some of the most memorable moments the tournament has ever produced and give you the inside scoop on what’s likely to happen in the upcoming World Cup 2018.
Before we get into all of that, however, let’s take a snapshot assessment of the World Cup 2018.
If this one’s anything like the previous ones, it’s going to be utterly unmissable!
The FIFA World Cup 2018 At a Glance
The World Cup 2018 will take place in Russia – and already the drama has kicked off (pun intended).
With Western nations engaged in geopolitical shenanigans with Russia as the boogie man, it’s been a constant worry about whether or not the tournament will take place at all.
With a large chunk of Russian athletes banned from the Olympics for doping and Russian fans condemned at the Euro Tournament for acts of hooliganism and violence this year, it’s a constant ‘hanging by a thread’ type situation, adding even more fuel to the fire of the epic drama that always is the World Cup.
As if the situation couldn’t get any more volatile, FIFA’s president Sepp Blatter resigned in disgrace after it was revealed that he was engaged in corruption at the highest levels. This only compounded the suspicions that surrounded the controversial selection of Russia as the host country. Talk about a story, and that’s before the actual football had even begun!
Yet the show must go on, and it’s full steam ahead as the World Cup 2018 qualifying draw has already happened in St. Petersburg and the qualifying games have already commenced. With an average of 2.97 goals scored in them so far per match, it’s been packed with action already. The odds have been set and it’s time to get betting!
So what about location? What many don’t know about Russia is that there are two ‘sides’ to it, one largely known as European Russia, the other as Asian Russia. All of the World Cup 2018 games will take place on the Western, European side of Russia in cities like St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kaliningrad, Sochi, Samara and several others.
Despite that, there have been calls by prominent black footballers to boycott the tournament due to concerns about racism in the country. Phew! Talk about pushing all the hot buttons at once!
Yet, the qualifying rounds have already begun, with the 210 teams battling it out for their place in the finals. There’s been talk and rumour of expanding the total numbers of teams that qualify from 32 to 40, but so far no moves have been made and it seems to be largely rumour, sparked by the UEFA president Michel Platini. How this would affect the odds if it did occur is unknown.
Qualifiers will go on until mid-November 2016, and then the first battle lines for the finals will be drawn. Only 31 teams will make it, as host country Russia qualify by default according to World Cup Rules.
So there you have it, a quick snapshot of this politically charged, exciting World Cup that’s sure to outdo all the amazing tournaments before it. There have been some surprises in the qualifiers already, and in true World Cup fashion, you just never know what’s going to happen next or when the final whistle has blown.
Oh, and if you plan to actually go to any of the matches, Russia is waving all visa requirements for the duration of the tournament. They’ve cut the red tape at the ribbon and ticket holders, footballers, team members like coaches and the countless other people who make the World Cup 2018 happen are able to travel to Russia visa-free.
How the World Cup Works – From Kickoff to Final Whistle
Now that we know a little about the history of the world’s biggest football tournament, let’s take a look at how it actually works.
As you saw in the history section, there have been multiple expansions and rule changes since the first tournament, giving us the current format we have today.
Here’s how things stand today, and how the World Cup 2018 will play out:
First, 210 teams from around the world fight for their place in the finals in the regional qualifying stages.
Teams from Europe battle it out for 13 places, South American teams battle it out for 4.5 places, CONCACAF teams (including USA, Barbados, El Salvador, etc) play for 3.5 places, African teams play for 5 places, Asian teams play for 4.5 places, and Oceania teams play for 0.5 places.
The number of places up for grabs depends on global ranking. World Cup 2018 odds are also decided partly based on this.
These qualifiers are already underway and many fantastic games of football have been played already. Only 31 teams will make it through the group stages to join hosts Russia in the finals. It’s already been a highly charged tournament with plenty of memorable moments.
So how are groups selected and what happens thereafter? Groups are selected in a random draw held by FIFA. Once groups are drawn up, how things proceed depends on which region you’re talking about.
In Europe, games are played with the group winner going through automatically. 8 of the best-performing runners up then play in a two-legged playoff in a battle royale for their place in the finals. This is always a very exciting time in the world cup for the nations concerned as it truly do or die time in a quest to reach the World Cup 2018 final.
In South America, each team plays each other home and away. The top 4 teams qualify automatically, and the 5th place team gets the 0.5 qualification, facing the winner of the Oceania region for a single place in an intercontinental match.
CONCACAF teams play in a complex and convoluted 5 round playoff. In the end, the top 3 teams qualify and the 4th place team plays against a team from the Asia regional games in an intercontinental playoff.
In Africa, 3 rounds see 40 nations battle it out for 5 places. The top 20 from the second round end up in 5 groups comprising 4 teams each. Only group winner qualifies for the finals.
Asian teams see 40 countries play over 3 rounds, windling things down to 2 groups of 6 in round 3. Group winners and runners-up automatically go through, while teams finishing 3rd play a 2 legged playoff with the winner going through to an intercontinental match against a team from CONCACAF for a place in the finals.
Oceania sees a 3 round group stage cutting things down to 2 groups of 3 in the 3rd round. Group winners face off in a playoff to proceed to an intercontinental match against a South American team.
After the qualifiers and intercontinental matches have been played, 32 teams proceed to the finals. There are two stages in the finals: the group stages, and the knockout stages.
In the group stage, there are 8 teams of 4 each. There’ll be one ‘seeded’ team in each group, decided by FIFA according to rankings. This team will be the one to beat in each group. The other teams are selected at random. The draw is set up so that no group can contain more than 2 European teams or more than 1 team from each of the other 5 FIFA designated ‘zones’. This is done to ensure equal representation in the knockout rounds which come later.
Every team will play least 3 matches during the group stages. These are fraught with excitement and often heated. A win gets 3 points, a draw gets 1, and a loss gets 0, just like league play. The top 2 teams in each group proceed to the knockout stage, which is when the real World Cup 2018 excitement begins. World Cup odds are dynamic and change as results pour in even at this early stage.
Once the knockout rounds begin, there can be no draws. Extra time and penalties will decide each and every match with the winner proceeding and the losing team packing up and heading home. There will be 16 teams when the knockout rounds begin.
After the round of 16, we enter the quarterfinals with 8 teams left. The excitement at this stage is palpable and the intensity of the games goes into overdrive as an atmosphere of feverish competition descends upon the already charged tournament.
From the quarter-finals, only 4 teams will make it to the semis. After these are played, we are left with the final match in the World Cup where 2 teams will play to the death to be crowned world kings of football for 4 years.
There are betting opportunities at every stage of the World Cup, from the first qualifiers through to the finals. While casual football fans tend to start paying attention after the group qualifiers, they are missing out on endless opportunities to profit from the games that take place before the world turns its full attention to the World Cup. World Odds are often best at the early stages – for example, a German win, which is likely, is currently selling at 11/2!
See the ‘World Cup Betting Strategies’ section below for more details on how you can profit from these early games, or any game throughout the duration of the world’s most watched sporting event. Click here to learn about our World Cup favorites.
Did you know: The winners of the World Cup don’t only get to go down in history, but also get to take home a whopping $35 million. That has to be taken in content, however, because during the 2014 cup FIFA took in more than $4 billion. Not bad!