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World Cup 2018 Betting

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World Cup Free Bets

The World Cup, like most football betting events, is a colossal affair at bookies across the world, each of whom vie for punters’ attention with top offers around the time of the tournament. World Cup free bets generally require a bettor to deposit or bet a certain amount first prior to receiving the amount listed. The best World cup free bets are often found in the days leading up to the tournament as bookmakers tend to enhance their offers to try and draw in more punters during the busy World Cup betting period.

Bettors will notice different types of World Cup free bets on offer. A ‘Matched Free Bet’ is the most common one. For this, a bookie will match the amount that you deposit into your account up to a fixed amount. ‘No Deposit’ World Cup free bets are generally received when a player creates a new account with a bookie. Normally in this case the punter will only be allowed to keep the winnings of their World Cup free bet. If you plan on avail of some World Cup free bets make sure to read into the terms and conditions of the offer you like. The rules can be different from bookie to bookie so it’s best to know exactly what you’ll be receiving prior to signing up.

What is the Fifa World Cup?

The World Cup is renowned as one of the, if not the major football betting event. It is the world’s biggest single-event sporting competition and takes place every 4 years, with teams from every continent eligible to qualify. Winning the World Cup is generally considered the top prize for international association football teams. Playing in the FIFA World Cup is recognised as the absolute highest honour for a player on the international stage, and as such, places in a team’s squad are hard fought for. Lionel Messi summarises the unpredictable nature of the competition best: ‘You have to show up in the World Cup, and in the World Cup anything can happen’. World Cup betting is widespread, with millions of fans across the world willing to stake on their home country taking home the prize, regardless of the odds.

Wagering the World Cup Qualifiers

Qualifying for the World Cup is no easy task for a team. Games are played in the 3 years prior to the competition to establish who will compete at the World Cup Finals. Host nations automatically qualify for the World Cup Finals, while every other nation plays qualifying matches in their respective continental zones to narrow down the starting field of 210 countries. Depending on the confederation, qualification is obtained through a knockout or league format competition. Previously, the winner of a World Cup would gain automatic entry to the next competition, but this ended in 2001 when it was announced by FIFA that the winners of the Japan/Korea World Cup in 2002 would not gain automatic berth and would instead have to qualify as normal.

Reaching the Finals

The World Cup Finals are played over the course of a month, generally during the Summer. The host nation is expected to construct (or already have) a stadium with a minimum capacity of 60,000 attendees for the opening and closing games of the competition. The team groups that make up the World Cup Finals are decided by where each team came in the qualification rounds. The World Cup Finals are attended by hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the world during the course of the competition and require massive infrastructure efforts from the host nation to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The World Cup Final is generally played in the largest stadium near or in the capital city of the host country and accounts for a massive portion of international World Cup betting.

Tips for Betting the Opening Rounds

As with any major sporting competition, the unpredictable nature of the opening rounds of the World Cup can make the outright winner of the competition particularly difficult to bet on. Top online bookmakers offer group betting, where you can pick the country you believe will win a group, and also the countries you believe will qualify from each group. When betting on the opening rounds, it’s important to look at the condition of each team, and in particular how they performed in the World Cup qualifiers in the preceding years.

Make sure to take note of the form of individual players in their domestic leagues before making any concrete decisions. Keep an open mind when it comes to teams that aren’t the strongest on paper, as every World Cup tends to enjoy some big surprises in the early stages. Observe strikers that perform well and score solid goals in opening games. An initial goal boost can help a player’s confidence and may give an early head start on the Golden Boot award. World Cup odds can differ massively for top goalscorers in comparison to their odds in their respective leagues for the equivalent prize.

Tips for Betting the Round of 16, Quarter and Semi Finals

As the competition progresses, so do the stakes. Betting the Round of 16, Quarter and Semi-Finals in a World Cup can be a challenge. Betting on the outright winner may prove a little more manageable at this stage, as the field will have narrowed and it may be clearer who the strongest teams are. Many bookmakers offer ‘each way’ bets (similar to golf betting), allowing the punter to predict two bets, one that the country will win the tournament and one for them to reach the final. Placing an ‘each way’ bet may be more effective for you at this stage if you are finding it difficult to distinguish an outright winner. Try to focus on teams that have struggled to reach the Round of 16 and those that have sailed through.

Tips for Betting the Final

It is normally the most watched television event of that year and as such, it garners a great deal of attention from bookmakers. The obvious bet to stake some cash on is the winner of the final, but bookies offer a variety of other choices for football fans to avail of, which makes betting on the last game of the competition as exciting as possible. Expect odds on bets from who will take the first corner to whether or not there will be a red or yellow card during the game. UK bookmakers expect approximately £1,000,000,000 to be placed in bets over the course of the entire World Cup.

Previous World Cup Winners

Year Winning Team Score Losing Team
2014 Germany 1-0 Argentina
2010 Spain 1-0 The Netherlands
2006 Italy 1-1 (5-3 P) France
2002 Brazil 2-0 Germany

Tournament Awards

There are many different awards presented at the conclusion of a World Cup:

Why Hosting the World Cup Matters

The cultural privilege of hosting the World Cup Finals is decided through a bidding process with many countries submitting their bids years in advance - not dissimilar to the process used for the Olympic Games. The World Cup Finals fixtures are released by the host country months in advance of the beginning of the competition, allowing ample time for teams and fans to organise travel to the event. Some bookmakers allow punters to bet on the hosts of the next World Cup.

World Cup 2018

2018 at Russia

Group A Fixtures | Group B Fixtures | Group C Fixtures | Group D Fixtures | Group E Fixtures | Group F Fixtures | Group G Fixtures | Group H Fixtures | Last 16 Fixtures | Quarter-Finals Fixtures | Semi-Finals Fixtures | Third Place Play-Off | World Cup Final

In 2018 the World Cup and it's heralded Final will be hosted by Russia. Stadiums have been constructed/renovated in Kaliningrad, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, Yekaterinburg, Volgograd, Samara, Kazan and Moscow. The official schedule for the tournament was announced by FIFA on December 1st, 2017. Germany (the 2014 winners) are the current favorites to win World Cup 2018.

Group A Fixtures

Date & TimeLocationMatch
MoscowRussia V Saudi Arabia
EkaterinburgEgypt V Uruguay
Saint PetersburgRussia V Egypt
Rostov-on-DonUruguay V Saudi Arabia
SamaraUruguay V Russia
VolgogradSaudi Arabia V Egypt

Group B Fixtures

Date & TimeLocationMatch
SochiPortugal V Spain
Saint PetersburgMorocco V Iran
MoscowPortugal V Morocco
KazanIran V Spain
SaranskIran V Portugal
KaliningradSpain V Morocco

Group C Fixtures

Date & TimeLocationMatch
KazanFrance V Australia
SaranskPeru V Denmark
EkaterinburgFrance V Peru
SamaraDenmark V Australia
MoscowDenmark V France
SochiAustralia V Peru

Group D Fixtures

Date & TimeLocationMatch
MoscowArgentina V Iceland
KaliningradCroatia V Nigeria
Nizhny NovgorodArgentina V Croatia
VolgogradNigeria V Iceland
Saint PetersburgNigeria V Argentina
Rostov-on-DonIceland V Croatia

Group E Fixtures

Date & TimeLocationMatch
Rostov-on-DonBrazil V Switzerland
SamaraCosta Rica V Serbia
Saint PetersburgBrazil V Costa Rica
KaliningradSerbia V Switzerland
MoscowSerbia V Brazil
Nizhny NovgorodSwitzerland V Costa Rica

Group F Fixtures

Date & TimeLocationMatch
MoscowGermany V Mexico
Nizhny NovgorodSweden V South Korea
SochiGermany V Sweden
Rostov-on-DonSouth Korea V Mexico
KazanSouth Korea V Germany
EkaterinburgMexico V Sweden

Group G Fixtures

Date & TimeLocationMatch
SochiBelgium V Panama
VolgogradTunisia V England
MoscowBelgium V Tunisia
Nizhny NovgorodEngland V Panama
KaliningradEngland V Belgium
SaranskPanama V Tunisia

Group H Fixtures

Date & TimeLocationMatch
MoscowPoland V Senegal
SaranskColombia V Japan
KazanPoland V Colombia
Nizhny NovgorodJapan V Senegal
KaliningradJapan V Poland
KaliningradSenegal V Colombia

Last 16 Fixtures

Date & TimeLocationMatch
Kazan1C V 2D
Sochi1A V 2B
Moscow1B V 2A
Nizhny Novgorod1D V 2C
Samara1E V 2F
Rostov-on-Don1G V 2H
Saint Petersburg1F V 2E
Moscow1H V 2G

Quarter-Finals Fixtures

Date & TimeLocationMatch
Nizhny NovgorodTBC V TBC
KazanTBC V TBC
SamaraTBC V TBC
SochiTBC V TBC

Semi-Finals Fixtures

Date & TimeLocationMatch
Saint PetersburgTBC V TBC
MoscowTBC V TBC

Third Place Play-Off

Date & TimeLocationMatch
Saint PetersburgTBC V TBC

World Cup Final

Date & TimeLocationMatch
MoscowTBC V TBC

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