We’re getting closer and closer to the most exciting football match of the year: The World Cup 2018 final. This Sunday 15th July, France will be playing against Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium, after England's agonising loss during extra time yesterday. But what are the World Cup final predictions saying about the most possible outcome this year? We've taken a look at some World Cup betting odds, facts and statistics to try and help you make better predictions.
The probabilities with regard to the World Cup winner has now narrowed down significantly. France is now the favourite to win the World Cup, while until yesterday England was ranking second. Now that Croatia are off to the finals, it seems that a lot of people are assuming that France will most probably be the World Cup winner this year. But could we be underestimating Croatia again, just like the majority has underestimated the team before yesterday's match?
Let's look at some statistics to get the full picture: France won its first and only World Cup back in 1998 when they beat Brazil 3-0. On the other hand, England won the World Cup a long time ago, in 1966, when Bobby Moore's team defeated what was then West Germany 4-2! The last time England played in the World Cup semi-finals was back in 1990, when they played against West Germany once again and lost during penalties. On the other hand, Croatia has never lifted the trophy, and it's the first time in history that this small nation has reached the World Cup final! Croatia's best position was third place in France 1998, which was also the first time this country played in the World Cup.
Since then, the formations have changed, which means that you cannot base your predictions on these statistics. The World Cup winner odds are in fact based on more recent statistics, as well as on both teams’ performance during this World Cup. Croatia has indeed impressed in this edition, especially after their victory over Argentina. Some have deemed that England has been lucky with regard to the opponents that the team has faced – and admittedly, it has avoided supposedly strong teams such as Spain, Germany, Portugal and Brazil.
In yesterday's match, the Three Lions made an impressive start, when Kevin Trippier scored in the first few minutes. But Ivan Perisic's goal in the second half led to that dreaded extra time, when the English team looked rather tired, and it was quite evident that Croatia was more in control. Mandzukic managed to make it past England defender John Stones to score the team's winning goal in the 109th minute, thus sealing England's fate and breaking the nation's heart.
Current World Cup winner odds at LeoVegas Sport:
English striker Harry Kane is still by far the favourite top goalscorer this World Cup given the number of goals he's got under his belt. Bethard is offering odds of only 1.04 on Kane to win top goal scorer, making this betting market no longer profitable. This sportsbook is offering better odds on the top goalscorer for Croatia and France though, with Luka Modric and Antoine Griezmann as clear favourites.
At the moment, our recommended betting sites are offering a number of other Outrights. You can bet on which team will finish third (will it be England or Belgium?), the Golden Glove Award Winner, as well as on England’s top Premier League Goalscorer.
As the possibilities are narrowing down, betting sites are offering less favourable pre-match odds than they used to in the beginning of the tournament. For a chance to secure better World Cup final odds, we advise checking out the live odds offered by betting sites once the game has started. In this way, you can also bet on other events (such as whether a player will score in the next five minutes, just to give one exciting, albeit risky, example) at higher odds. Alternatively, you might want to bet on the World Cup winner during the second half if the score is still a draw or 0-0, since the increased uncertainty might prompt the betting site to offer better odds. If you don’t mind risking, you may also bet on the team which you think will win while it is losing, if there’s still enough time for them to make a comeback.
Finally, in case you're curious, below we’ve listed the winners of all 21 previous World Cup editions:
1954: West Germany
1974: West Germany
1990: West Germany
But who will it be this year? This World Cup has been characterised by unpredictability and surprises, so we definitely cannot tell. Listen to what fantasy football expert Russell Cane has to say in the below video, where he discusses the semi-finals with CasinoHawks presenter James. Russell has a knack of getting most of his guesses correct, so if you tend to bet on the World Cup finals, maybe you should take heed!
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